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Shared ownership scheme: The popular scheme of buying a house in the UK

Buying a home is one of the biggest financial investments, for some the most substantial they will ever make. When it comes to the UK, the prior affirmation is even more veracious: expensive houses, small salaries or difficulties in getting a mortgage. The Government comes to your aid with various schemes to buy a house.

  • If you have a small deposit (at least 5%), the Help to Buy scheme (Equity Loan or Mortgage Guarantee) is your best choice
  • Right to Buy/Right to acquire allows council tenants to buy their council house, with a discount, if you lived as a council tenant for the last three years
  • Shared ownership scheme enables you to purchase a house through a housing association: you buy a percentage of the house (25% to 75%) and pay the rent for the rest

Shared ownership scheme

Whilst you will own a part of the house, you pay a discounted share on the remaining share. The mortgage you need can be anywhere between a quarter and three-quarters of the house value, and you can later own 100 % of the house through staircasing.

Eligibility

  • Household income: from April 2016, less than £80,000 (outside London) or £90,000 (London)
  • You used to own a house and cannot afford one now
  • You rent a council or association property
  • If you are over 55, you can apply for Older People’s Shared Ownership

Conveyancing with shared ownership scheme

The shared ownership properties are always leasehold, which means the conveyancing fees might be slightly more substantial.

The conveyancing process remains the same, with a Housing Association (HA) or Registered Social Landlord (RLS) acting to check if you meet the criteria and your mortgage as well. Their solicitor will work with your solicitor to draft the contracts and the lease, which should contain all the shared property costs. Such as the rent and service charge for maintenance (even if you only own a share of the house, you still pay the full price) paid to HA and details about the communal area cleaning or reparations.

Some solicitors are specialised in shared ownership property conveyancing. Researching before choosing your solicitor can save you money and time, making the conveyancing process as quick as possible. On the other hand, when it comes to leasehold and shared ownership, the conveyancing can take longer (anywhere between 3 and six months), due to the complex nature of the leasehold.

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