Advantages of Shared Ownership Properties

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Shared ownership is a government scheme that helps people buy a share of a property and pay rent on the rest, making it easier to afford a home. These properties are always leasehold and managed by housing associations. Leanne Cooper, a conveyancer in our Residential Conveyancing Department, shares her expert insights into shared ownership.

What is shared ownership?

Shared ownership properties can be a house or a flat.  The properties are always leasehold.  Shared Ownership is a government scheme that offer people the chance to buy a share of a property from a housing association who are the freehold owners of the property and known as the landlord.  If you buy a property through the shared ownership scheme you buy a share of the property and then pay rent to the landlord for the share you don’t own.  This allows people to get on the property ladder if they cannot afford to purchase a property at the full market value.

How Shared Ownership Works?

You can purchase a share between  10% and 75% of the home’s full market value.  During your ownership you can  purchase more shares in your home and this is known as ‘staircasing’.  If you buy more shares, you will the pay less rent to the landlord.

What costs do you pay with shared ownership?

Once you have found a home you wish to buy, you will usually have to pay a reservation fee of around £500 to the landlord (housing association).

You will need to instruct a solicitor and pay their fees for dealing with the purchase transaction, registering the purchase with the Land Registry on completion and also paying and land tax (stamp duty) which may be payable on your share of the property.

If you are obtaining a mortgage, you may need to pay fees to a mortgage broker to secure a mortgage offer.

Contract and Completion to Shared Ownership

In order to be able to exchange contracts, and contractually commit to purchasing your share of the property you will need to pay a deposit usually between 5%-10% of your share of the property.

Once completed, you will be required to pay rent to the landlord on the share of the property you do not own.

Monthly charges may also include service charge payments for maintenance of any communal areas or managed areas within an estate.   There may also be a management fee payable or this could be collected within the service charge.  These charges will however be set out in the lease and your solicitor will advise you of these at the start of the process.

Can you make alterations or home improvements with shared ownership

You can paint, decorate and refurbish your shared ownership home i.e replace a kitchen or bathroom.  You may however need to obtain written permission from the landlord to make any structural changes.

 Is it difficult to sell a shared ownership property

You can sell your shared ownership property at any time.  If you own 100% of your home, you can sell it on the open market via an estate agent.

If however, you have not purchased 100% share of the property and wish to sell your share of the property you must tell your landlord, the housing association when you want to sell your home.  The landlord will then have the opportunity to find a buyer for your share.  The lease to your property will set out the period of time the landlord has to find a buyer and this can be anything from 4, 8 or 12 weeks.  If the landlord does not find a buyer within the nominated period you can then sell your share of the property yourself on the open market.


If you’re looking to buy or sell your home, get in touch with our experts today at 01453 847200 or use the contact form on the side.


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    Benefits and Process of Shared Ownership Properties