At Forbes, we have expert shared ownership solicitors to advise you through the process of buying a shared ownership property.
SOLVING PERSONAL LEGAL MATTERS
The expert residential conveyancing solicitors at Forbes are the first choice for those needing professional and friendly advice when looking to get involved with any shared ownership or shared equity scheme.
Our shared ownership conveyancing team can offer expert advice to all of our clients on a fixed fee basis, saving you money and time whilst making sure you get on the property ladder as quickly as possible.
While maintaining very competitive shared ownership solicitor's fees, we completely tailor our services to your case, explaining every detail and making you aware of any legal and financial implications a shared ownership agreement comes with.
A shared ownership scheme is when buyers purchase a share of a property, usually from a housing association (HA) or registered social landlord (RSL) predominantly after securing a mortgage and means a buyer shares the ownership with the HA or RSL.
As most schemes will allow a buyer to pay more on the property as their circumstances change, often this will lead people to eventually request to purchase the remainder of the share down the line.
As certain lenders have specific requirements that must be met before they will lend money to a buyer on these schemes, there are a myriad of complicated terms and conditions that are attached, as such, it's vital you have an experienced team of conveyancing and shared ownership solicitors deal with your scheme.
Forbes is that team.
With many years of experience in handling shared ownership schemes, Forbes can offer the best advice whether you are looking to start a shared ownership scheme or are already taking part and wish to increase your share in the property.
We aim to take all of the stress and anxiety out of buying a home, including anything to do with shared ownership schemes, making sure you are kept up to date through every stage of your case and that everything is explained in plain English so there are no surprises further down the line.
If you're purchasing a property via a shared ownership scheme, you will need conveyancing services as with buying any kind of home. This deals with the legal side of the property ownership and it's important that this process is done 100% correctly by those with the necessary knowledge and expertise.
Most mortgage lenders will insist that you use a conveyancing solicitor as a term of your borrowing from them, which helps to ensure that the transaction goes through as it should.
Shared ownership schemes are not right for everyone, and not everyone will be eligible for a scheme like this. Shared ownership schemes are designed for those who are unable to buy a property in a standard way, and provide an opportunity for some people to get onto the ladder who might not otherwise be able to afford it.
There are many benefits to shared ownership schemes, but it's important to speak to those with specialist understanding of the pros and cons of these schemes, to ensure that it's right for you and your circumstances before you commit.
While shared ownership can be a really useful gateway to getting on the property ladder, it doesn't give you all of the benefits of home ownership because you don't fully own the property. Even if you later scale up your shares to 100%, all shared ownership properties are leasehold, not freehold, which can bring its own issues.
With shared ownership, you pay rent on the proportion of the home that you don't own, as well as your mortgage repayments. You will only qualify for the scheme if you meet the affordability criteria for this, but you will be responsible for keeping up with both of these payment types.
There will be a service charge payable for the upkeep of any communal areas for most shared ownership properties. As the property is leasehold, the shorter the lease gets, the more difficult it can be to sell the property so it's important to check that you will be able to extend your lease if needed.
As you don't fully own a shared ownership property (although this won't apply if you later staircase to 100% ownership), you can't rent out the property to someone else, although you are usually able to have at least one lodger as long as you also live there yourself.
You will also need to get permission from the freeholder before making any structural changes to the property, which can be costly.
Shared ownership properties can be repossessed if the homeowner falls into mortgage arrears and isn't able to resolve the issue with their lender, as this would involve non-compliance with their lease covenants. There would need to be a court order issued for forfeiture of the lease as the leaseholder cannot be evicted without one.
The situation with shared ownership properties can be complex when it comes to repossession, as there is more than one 'owner' of the property. It's important to let your lender and housing association/social landlord know as soon as possible if you are struggling to pay your mortgage or the rent you pay on the other portion of the property so that you can work together to find a solution.
The length of time that it takes for a shared ownership property purchase to go through will vary, depending on the specific circumstances involved. It does tend to be quicker with new build properties, where the average time is around 6-10 weeks as long as there is not a delay with the build completion.
You can increase the chances of a quick and smooth shared ownership buying experience by having experienced shared ownership solicitors in your corner to assist with the process.
Our expert conveyancing team can assist with your shared ownership property purchase. Get in touch to find out more.
Partner, Conveyancing Solicitor, Blackburn