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Residential Conveyancing

Shared Ownership Solicitors

Shared ownership schemes are intended to help first-time buyers onto the property ladder. Buyers who might not otherwise be able to afford the full purchase price of a suitable property can buy part of their home and pay rent on the other portion.

The schemes are usually administered by housing associations or registered social housing landlords. Because you will not be buying the whole of the property, the deposit you will need to pay will usually be substantially less, making home buying more accessible.

If you are considering a shared ownership property, it is important to choose solicitors with expertise in this area of law as it is more complex than a straightforward property purchase. At Kingsfords, our shared ownership solicitors in Ashford, Cranbrook and Hythe have extensive experience in dealing with this type of transaction.

We can advise you of the implications of a shared ownership purchase and explain how the process works so that you have a clear understanding of the deal. As well as having an in-depth knowledge of shared ownership purchases, we also provide a high level of personal service. We will make sure that you have guidance and support during the transaction. We will update you as to the progress of your purchase throughout and answer any questions you have as they arise.

Our shared ownership services include:

Speak to our shared ownership Lawyers in Kent today

Speak to one of our shared ownership Lawyers at our offices in Ashford, Cranbrook or Hythe today by calling 01233 624545.

Alternatively, please fill in our enquiry form on the right-hand side of the page to request a call back.

Our shared ownership expertise

Advice and review of shared ownership agreements

Shared ownership schemes can be complex and it is crucial to fully understand the implications before you enter into an agreement. Our team can explain how the process works and what rights you will have once you sign up to a purchase.

We will make sure that the contract is in your best interests and that your interests are protected as far as possible.

Representation in the shared ownership property purchase process

The shared ownership conveyancing process is similar to a normal purchase but with substantial extra paperwork relating to the split in ownership and your right to rent the part of your home that you do not yet own and your right to staircase upward which may not always be 100% of the property.

Our team are highly experienced conveyancers and always work proactively to ensure that transactions are completed as quickly as possible.

We will carry out the usual searches and enquiries on your behalf and report to your mortgage lender on the legal title to the property. We will liaise with you over the completion and deal with any stamping and the registration of your purchase and mortgage at HM Land Registry after you take over ownership.

Representation in purchasing additional shares in a shared ownership property

If you want to exercise your right to staircase or buy additional shares in your home, we can represent you in this process. If you are also remortgaging, we will deal with this at the same time, arranging to pay off your existing mortgage, dealing with your new mortgage and registering your ownership of a larger share of your home.

Sale of shared ownership property

We also deal with the sale of shared ownership property. You will be required to sell your home to another shared ownership buyer and we will provide their solicitors with the detailed information they will need to complete promptly. Alternately, you may have decided to staircase to 100% and sell the property on as a freehold.

 

  • Kellie Darke
      • Kellie Darke
      • Director (Licensed Conveyancer) & Head of Property
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  • Donna Trewerne
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  • John Edmonds
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  • Catherine Barnett
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  • Celia Willcock
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  • James Mackay
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Frequently asked questions about shared ownership

How does shared ownership work?

Shared ownership allows you to buy part of a property, usually between 25% and 75%. The housing association or landlord will own the remainder and you will pay a rent on this part. You will usually obtain a mortgage to finance the purchase. 

The agreement that you enter into will include staircasing provisions. This is the right to buy more of the property in the future. Some properties will not allow you to purchase more than 80% of the property.

When you enter into the contract, you will agree to a range of terms and conditions. When you sell, you will need to sell the property to another shared ownership buyer, unless you can staircase to 100%. The housing association may find a seller for you if they have a waiting list of buyers, or they may suggest you advertise on the open market.

Who is eligible for shared ownership?

To be eligible to buy a shared ownership property, at the time of writing you must:

  • Have a household income of £80,000 a year or less or £90,000 a year or less if you are in London; and
  • Be unable to afford the deposit and mortgage needed to buy a home that meets your needs outright

One of the following must also apply to you:

  • You are a first-time buyer
  • You have previously owned a home but cannot afford to buy one now
  • You are creating a new household, for example, after leaving a relationship
  • You are in shared ownership housing and would like to move
  • You own a home but need a new one that meets your needs and cannot afford this

Some housing associations may also have other criteria, such as requiring a connection to the local area.

What are the pros and cons of a shared ownership property?

The advantages of shared ownership include being able to afford a home that is right for your needs and in the area where you want to live and work.

With potential lower monthly costs, you can reduce the risk of becoming unable to afford to keep your home. You may be able to find a mortgage more easily if you need to borrow less and you have the option to increase your ownership later on if you can afford this. Although  not all lenders will lend on shared ownership.

The initial costs in shared ownership transactions can be less as you will not usually need to pay Stamp Duty when you buy a shared ownership property, but you can opt  to pay as you staircase upward at a later date.

Potential disadvantages are that you may be slightly restricted when you look for a mortgage as not all lenders offer shared ownership deals.

The agreement may limit what improvements and alterations you can carry out at the property and it will generally be leasehold, meaning you will usually have to pay ground rent and service charges.

When you sell, you will need to sell to another shared ownership buyer. This may have to be a buyer chosen by the housing association.

With shared ownership being a more complex process, there is some risk of shared ownership disputes if a disagreement arises with the housing association or landlord.

How does stamp duty work on shared ownership properties?

There are two options when it comes to paying stamp duty on a shared ownership property. You can pay full stamp duty when you buy, based on the full market value of the property.

Alternatively, you can pay stamp duty in stages as you increase your ownership. You would initially pay the tax on the share that you buy. You would not then need to pay any more until you owned more than 80% of the property.

Because the property may increase in value, you can expect to pay less stamp duty overall if you pay in full at the start. We can advise you of your options and discuss how you want to deal with stamp duty.

Some buyers might not be required to pay stamp duty at all if the property falls below the stamp duty threshold.

Who pays for repairs in shared ownership?

The shared ownership agreement will set out how repairs will be dealt with. You will usually be required to pay for some or all of the maintenance required and we will go through your liabilities with you once we have the shared ownership paperwork.

How much do you pay for solicitor fees on shared ownership?

Because of the complex nature of shared ownership purchases, the legal costs are more than for a freehold residential purchase. At Kingsfords, we always aim to provide excellent value for money and a high level of service.

We will be happy to go through the potential costs with you if you call us and explain any extra expenses, such as notice fees, if these are required.

For more information about our pricing, see our leasehold residential purchase pricing page.

For more information in respect of our services, see our residential property page.

Speak to our shared ownership solicitors in Kent today

Speak to one of our shared ownership solicitors at our offices in AshfordCranbrook or Hythe today by calling 01233 624545.

Alternatively, please fill in our enquiry form on the right-hand side of the page to request a call back.