Shared Ownership

Saving up for a home can feel impossible. Diligently putting money away each month for a deposit, all while rent bleeds you dry, and house prices continue to rise.

The news always seems to be full of articles about ‘millennials’ who managed to save up a deposit in just one or two years, ‘and all I had to do was move back in with my parents and never go out or go on holiday; I lived on rice and beans and of course I just had to give up takeaway coffee’.

We know just how frustrating it can be.

Luckily, there is support for people who cannot afford a deposit or a mortgage. The government has introduced a range of schemes, including the shared ownership scheme.

With shared ownership, you can buy part of a home (usually between 25% and 75%, but new buyers will soon be able to buy with as little as 10%). The other part is owned by a housing association or social housing provider to whom you pay rent. Over the years, you can continue saving and buy extra proportions of your home until you own 100% (this is called ‘staircasing’).

The legal process of buying a home through shared ownership is different to the ‘standard’ conveyancing process, so it is important to seek the advice of conveyancers who have expertise in this area.

At Wosskow Brown, our conveyancing solicitors specialise in helping people buy homes through schemes such as shared ownership.

We have substantial experience handling the unique legal aspects of these transactions, so you can trust us to get on with it quickly and efficiently.

Here’s what you can expect from us:

  • Fixed fees – so you know how much your conveyancing will cost from start to finish.
  • Conveyancing Quality Scheme accredited lawyers.
  • A friendly team who respond quickly to calls and emails.
  • Proactivity – we will chase the other side and push for progress. No delays will ever come from our side.
  • Regular updates – so you always know what’s going on.

Three simple steps to get started with our shared ownership conveyancing solicitors

1.    Request a fixed fee conveyancing quote

Get an instant idea of how much your conveyancing is likely to cost with us by using our conveyancing calculator to request an instant quote.

Our online quote will cover our fees, VAT and information about anticipated third party costs (such as Land Registry fees).

Shared ownership homes are always leasehold, so make sure you select Leasehold under the Tenure section:

Also, remember to tick the Shared Ownership / Help to Buy Scheme section:

Once you have your quote, do whatever you need to do before deciding to move forwards with us – get some other quotes and check out our team to learn about our expert conveyancers.

2.    Give us a call or send us a message

We have local offices across Sheffield on Attercliffe RoadAbbeydale Road and in GleadlessHillsborough and Woodseats, plus an office in Barnsley.

So, give us a call at your nearest branch, or fill in our online enquiry form and we’ll give you a call back as soon as possible.

3.    Let us work our magic

We can start acting as soon as you are happy to proceed with us. Before we can get on with the exciting bits, we will need to sort out some admin, such as verifying your identity and reviewing our terms & conditions. So, if possible, get in touch a little bit before you need us.

We’ll also confirm your conveyancing quote in writing. Because we specialise in fixed fee conveyancing, you can trust that the price we quote will be what you pay. We will never go outside that quote unless extra work is required, and if that is the case, we’ll always speak to you first to get your consent.

How our shared ownership lawyers can help you

We can assist with all matters relating to shared ownership, including:

  • Buying and selling shared ownership properties.
  • Reviewing shared ownership lease agreements
  • Increasing your share in the property (staircasing).
  • Remortgaging shared ownership properties.
  • Specialist advice for first time buyers about the home ownership options available to you.

Why choose our shared ownership solicitors in Sheffield and Barnsley?

We are members of the Law Society Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS), an accreditation held by firms who lead the way in the area of property law.

But what does this mean for you? It means:

  • We have a strong track record of success.
  • We know how to spot risks before they cause you problems, meaning our clients face fewer delays during their conveyancing.
  • We’re clear and honest about our fees (and you’ll never be surprised by any hidden costs).
  • We’re approved to work with a wide range of mortgage lenders, so you can trust that your lender will be happy for you to instruct us, and you can access the best quality deals.

How does shared ownership work?

Shared ownership, sometimes referred to as share to buy, is a government home ownership scheme to help people who cannot afford a deposit or mortgage get on the property ladder.

It involves buying a share of a new build home or a resale shared ownership property. The share you don’t buy will be owned by a housing association or social housing landlord.

You will pay a deposit and get a mortgage on the share you own and pay rent on the part you don’t own. Shared ownership properties are always leasehold. This means there may also be other charges, such as service charges.

As time goes on, you can buy more shares in the property, usually until you own 100%. In this case, you will no longer have to pay rent, but may have to carry on paying service charges and ground rent.

New model for shared ownership 2021-2026

The government has decided to introduce a new shared ownership scheme to make it even easier for first time buyers to get on the housing ladder.

The new model for shared ownership will run from April 2021 to 2026, with many of the new benefits being available to buyers from early 2022.

The main changes under the scheme are:

  • The minimum share you can buy in a property is being reduced from 25% to 10%, which means many will be able to buy with a smaller deposit and mortgage.
  • When staircasing, owners will be able to buy smaller increments of 1% each year, reduced from 10% under the old scheme. Rent on the remainder of the property will be reviewed after each purchase.
  • Shared ownership housing providers will have to pay for essential repairs for the first 10 years of the lease. Owners will be able to claim up to £500 per year which can be rolled over for one year.
  • If a shared owner under the new scheme wants to sell, they do not have to wait the full eight weeks for the housing provider to market the property as under the old scheme. They will be able to end the eight-week period after four weeks if they would prefer to sell on the open market, giving them more control over the sale process.
  • New and existing owners will get 990 year lease terms, making their ownership much more secure. At the moment, shared ownership leases are usually 99 or 125 years long.

If you have any questions about the new shared ownership scheme and whether you can benefit from the changes, please get in touch.

Am I eligible for shared ownership?

To be eligible, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Have an annual household income of no more than £80,000 (or £90,000 in London).
  • Not be able to afford a home suitable for your needs on the open market.
  • Not be behind on your rent or mortgage payments.
  • Have a good credit history and can afford the payments required to own the shared ownership home.

You do not need to be a first time buyer, but most shared ownership buyers are. If you are not a first time buyer, you cannot own another home at the same time.

Get in touch with our shared ownership solicitors in Sheffield and Barnsley today

Get in touch with our friendly, expert conveyancing solicitors in Sheffield and Barnsley to get your next home move underway.

We have local offices across Sheffield on Attercliffe RoadAbbeydale Road and in GleadlessHillsborough and Woodseats, plus an office in Barnsley.

Give us a call at your nearest branch or fill in our online enquiry form and we’ll give you a call back as soon as possible.