Our Shared Ownership Conveyancing Solicitors have answered some FAQs. Select the relevant question below to find out more.
Shared ownership conveyancing is the process whereby people are given the option to purchase a share in a property, that is, for example, owned by a Housing Association. You can then live in the property, and pay rent for the share of the property that you don’t own. This allows people who cannot afford to purchase the entire property to buy a share, usually somewhere between 25% and 75%. Here at MG Legal, our team of expert shared ownership solicitors are here to help with all aspects of shared ownership conveyancing, for a clear, fixed-fee rate.
Shared ownership is an affordable home ownership scheme backed by the government, and was set up to help more people get onto the property ladder, who would otherwise not be able to afford to purchase a property.
If you use the shared ownership scheme, you will purchase a share of the property, and will secure a mortgage for this share of the property. You would then pay rent to the Housing Association for the remaining value of the property.
As with all government-backed affordable home ownership schemes, there are specific criteria that you must meet in order to be eligible to use the shared ownership scheme.
Your household must earn £80,000 a year or less (£90,000 a year or less in London)
You cannot afford all of the deposit and mortgage payments for a home that meets your needs
On top of these necessary criteria, you must also meet one of the following conditions:
you’re a first-time buyer
you used to own a home, but cannot afford to buy one now
you own a home and want to move but cannot afford a new home suitable for your needs
you’re forming a new household - for example, after a relationship breakdown
you’re an existing shared owner and want to move
The Older People’s Shared Ownership (OPSO) is a shared ownership scheme that is available for those aged 55 and over. It works in much the same way as the regular shared ownership scheme, but our shared ownership solicitors inform our clients that through this scheme, you can only buy up to 75% of the property.
There is no opportunity to purchase the entire property at any point. If you are looking to make use of the Older People’s Shared Ownership (OPSO) scheme, get in touch with our shared ownership solicitors today to see how we can help with the conveyancing process.
The HOLD scheme also works in largely the same way as the standard shared ownership scheme, but is in place to ensure that necessary allowances are made for people with Long- Term Disability.
Because of this, you can only apply for the HOLD scheme if the homes available in the other shared ownership schemes don’t meet your needs, e.g. you need a ground-floor home. If you suffer from a long-term disability, and you meet one of the previously mentioned criteria for the shared ownership scheme, you could use the HOLD scheme to buy a home.
To speak to our specialist shared ownership solicitors about how we can help with your property purchase using the HOLD scheme, simply contact us online here and hear back from us within one working hour.
Whether a property is owned as joint tenants or tenants in common, all legal owners will be required to jointly make any decisions about the property. For example, if two people own a property, both will be required to sell, transfer or re-mortgage the property together.
If a property owner loses capacity and is unable to make decisions about a property, their attorneys named in their Lasting Power of Attorney can step in to act on their behalf. If no one is appointed under a Lasting Power of Attorney, someone will need to make an application to the Court of Protection for an Order authorising them to make decisions on the person's behalf. Sadly, this application can be complex, and you should always seek advice from our Court of Protection Solicitors before attempting to make this type of application yourself. You can contact them online, here.
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How can MG Legal's Shared Ownership conveyancing solicitors help?
When it comes to buying a shared ownership property, selling a shared ownership property, or staircasing a shared ownership property, you need the help of an expert shared ownership solicitor, such as MG Legal. When you work with MG Legal, our shared ownership solicitors go above and beyond to ensure that the process goes smoothly.
Our shared ownership solicitors can help with the following things:
Liaising with the Housing Association, the mortgage lender, and any other parties on your behalf
Advising and informing you on the scheme rules and regulations
Arranging Land Registry and local authority searches
Reviewing the terms of the lease and explaining everything to you
Overseeing any legal documents and talking you through them in an easy to understand way
Liaising with the Land Registry regarding the registration of the purchase
Shared Ownership Conveyancing
When using the shared ownership scheme, the rules on stamp duty land tax can be confusing. From 2018, if you are a first time buyer purchasing a shared ownership property in England, you will be exempt from stamp duty for the first £300,000 of any home costing up to £500,000.
If you are using the shared ownership scheme, but do not fall into this category, our shared ownership solicitors have explained below your options regarding stamp duty:
Pay stamp duty in stages- It is possible to pay stamp duty as normal on the first purchase that you make on a share of the property, and then not pay any more stamp duty until you own over 80% of the property
Market value election- alternatively, buyers have the option to pay stamp duty all in one go for the full market value of the property, rather than just the share that you purchase. This is, often, an election made when prospective purchasers have a clear intention to own 100% of the property, by way of staircasing, in the future.
Usually, if you have used the shared ownership scheme to purchase your property, you will have the option to buy further shares in the property after living there for a certain period of time. This is done through a process known as staircasing. Essentially, our shared ownership solicitors would explain that, in simple terms, the more share you purchase in the property, the less rent you will have to pay to the Housing Association, you would also hold a higher portion of ownership in the property on staircasing.
Thinking of the process like a stair case, in most cases, there is the option to gradually work towards purchasing, and owning, 100% of the interest in the property, and no longer needing to pay any rent to the Housing Association.
If you are looking to buy more shares of your property, then our shared ownership solicitors are here to help. We are experts in the staircasing process, and are on hand to assist you in purchasing more shares in your property.
To learn more about the process of staircasing, and how our shared ownership solicitors can help you today, simply contact us online here, and hear back from a shared ownership solicitor within one working hour.
The process of selling a shared ownership home can vary depending on how much of the property you own. If you have fully staircased the property, and own 100% of it, you can put the property on the open market. However, any potential buyer must meet the criteria to purchase a shared ownership property.
The first step to selling your shared ownership property is to advise your Housing Association that you are wanting to sell the property. The Housing Association with then carry out a valuation of the property, and if you are happy with this, you can go ahead with selling your shared ownership home.
Once the Housing Association finds a buyer, which will typically happen within an 8 week period, you need to find a conveyancing solicitor specialising in shared ownership conveyancing. When you work with MG Legal, your designated shared ownership solicitor will then take care of all aspects of the sale for you, from arranging searches to sending off necessary forms, and we will keep in regular contact with you throughout the process to keep you updated.
After carrying out all necessary legal steps, the final exchange of contracts will take place, and a completion date will be set to move out of the property. If you are unsure how to sell your shared ownership property, or looking for an experienced shared ownership solicitor to handle the legal aspect of your shared ownership house sale, simply get in touch with MG Legal’s shared ownership solicitors today here, and hear back from a conveyancing expert within one working hour.
Staircasing conveyancing is the process of a property owner under the shared ownership scheme purchasing more shares in their property. Below, our shared ownership solicitors have run through the process of staircasing, and how it works:
Inform the Housing Association- before our specialist shared ownership conveyancing solicitors can get to work on helping with the staircasing process, you must inform the Housing Association of your plans, who will send you any relevant forms and information required to get the ball rolling.
Shared Ownership Staircasing Valuation- After this, you will need to instruct a qualified RICS surveyor to obtain a staircasing valuation.
Instruct a shared ownership solicitor- this staircasing valuation lasts for 3 months, so it is important to find the right shared ownership solicitor as soon as possible, to ensure that the process is completed in due time. If you work with MG Legal’s shared ownership solicitors, we can assist you through the entire process, as well as the remortgaging of your property, if this is being done alongside. We are aware of the stringent time scales involved, therefore, are always on hand to secure Completion at the earliest practicably possible date.
When you work with MG Legal, your designated shared ownership solicitor will then get to work on everything for you. We will carry out any necessary ID checks and proof of funds, obtain the official copy of the register title from the land registry, obtain your new mortgage offer (where applicable), and provide the mortgage lender with any necessary documents, such as copies of planning permission or building regulations. We will then ensure that all necessary searches are carried out, and the OS1 priority search, before reaching completion of the staircasing.
As you can see, the staircasing process is complex, and this is why you need the assistance of a specialist shared ownership solicitor, who is an expert in conveyancing. If you need any further information about the staircasing process, the remortgaging process, and how our specialist shared ownership solicitors can guide you through them, simply get in touch online here, and we will be back in touch within one working hour.
Here at MG Legal, we know that it can be difficult to fit purchasing a home in around your busy schedule, and take time out of your day to travel to meet your shared ownership solicitors. Because of this, our shared ownership solicitors are able to work with clients in a fully remote way, and we specialise in online conveyancing.
With every step of the process, we can take care of it remotely, while ensuring to keep you regularly updated, just as we would with our clients who come into our office. This means that you don’t have to settle for a conveyancing solicitor in your local area, and you can work with our specialist shared ownership solicitors from anywhere across England and Wales, only coming in to see us if you’d like to do so.
To contact our online shared ownership solicitors today, and learn more about how you can work with us from the comfort of your own home, simply get in touch with us online here, and hear back from a shared ownership solicitor within one working hour.
While our shared ownership solicitors are experts in online conveyancing, we are always happy to offer traditional solicitor meetings in our North-West offices for any of our clients who would rather meet with their shared ownership solicitor in person. Our team have offices across the Lancashire area, in Longridge, Lancaster, Garstang, and Lytham.
If you would like to arrange a meeting with our conveyancing solicitors, or discuss how we can help with your shared ownership home needs, do not hesitate to get in touch with us online here, and we can arrange a meeting at an office location of your choice.