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Shared ownership

Shared ownership

Government schemes for first-time home buyers


Owning a home in the Home in the United Kingdom is harder year after year. A buyer will have to save up a huge sum of money to even think about purchasing a home. A recent Halifax study in 2016 shows the average price needed for the first time is £400,000. That is not going to encourage low-income earners to pursue a dream of buying a home. However, fortunately there are some government schemes and policies to help provide solutions for people with small budgets for their first home.

As a government initiative to allow more people to own homes, these are the different scheme to help low-income individuals.

Help to Buy ISA

Help to Buy ISA is tax-free saving account scheme for which the government will add 25% bonus up to £3,000 for your first home. It means for every £200 you deposit, the government ads in £50. The good news is that multiple first-time buyers can claim the benefit to buy a property. Property prices below £250,000 (£450,000 in London) are eligible for this scheme.

This is not high considering the average prices of homes, but it is free money. You should definitely consider signing up if you are looking to buy your first home.

Lifetime ISA

Lifetime ISA allows individuals to save money towards a first home. With the government contributing a 25% bonus for the amount collected before the individual is 50 years. There’s a bonus limit of £1,000 per year per individual. The price cap for this scheme is set at £450,000 anywhere in the United Kingdom.

The scheme is effective from April 4th, 2017 and you have to be under the age of 40 to qualify. Better hurry up if your 40th birthday is near.

Help to Buy Equity Loans

This scheme allows individuals to borrow 20% of the value of the property from the government when you deposit a small 5%. The property you are planning to buy does have to be worth less than £600,000. You do not need to pay interest on the loan for five years and is linked to inflation.

The equity loan scheme is ideally suitable to lower the mortgage rates from a lender. Since you are borrowing 75% rather than 95%, it will reduce your financial burden.

Shared ownership scheme

Shared ownership allows you purchase 25 to 75 percent share of property for buyers with less than £80,000 annual income. A process termed as “staircasing” allows the buyer to buy more chunks of the property until they own 100% of the house.

The scheme is available for resale and new-build homes. As you use staircasing, the value of the chunks is calculated on current market value. This is done by the Housing Association and requires a valuer’s fee every time.

Starter Homes

The scheme was launched in March of 2015. The plan is to get 200,000 new homes built to facilitate new home buyers aged between 23 and 40. Starter Homes provides 20% discount to properties of the market price. The price cap for starter homes are set at £250,000 (£450,000 in London), and they cannot be sold or rented during the first five year of first purchase.

Land Registry fees and Conveyancing


An additional cost when you move houses or change anything in the ownership are the Land Registry fees. What are these fees and why do you have to pay them? The Land Registry is a governmental agency responsible for every change you make in a title to the property and for all the details regarding a house owner. Any alteration must get through the Land Registry, so you are protected against squatters or tenants and to actually be the legal owner of your house.

Starting with 2014, the Land Registry system changed, and you are able to send any modifications and the necessary paperwork online, which saves you time and also considerably reduced the costs of the Land Registry fees. The difference between posting the alterations by post and by email can sometimes mean hundreds of pounds still in your pocket. You can check if your property is eligible for the electronic platform on the government website. The cost is significantly reduced for bigger properties, where the fee is lower even with £500.

What do you pay Land Registry Fees for? Anything from adding/removing a person from the property title, boundaries amendments, change of name, cancellation of the lease or equity sharing lease constitutes an adjustment to the property title, and there are different fees to be paid.

How can you pay the Land Registry fees?

  • By cheque or postal order
  • Credit/debit card/cash at one of the Land Registry agency, by appointment
  • Variable direct debit, through a Business e-services account

If you plan on buying a new residential property, we recommend a Land Registry search before the transaction. The search will reveal if the seller is the legal owner and if he has the right to sell. Also, there is information about the owners' equity (if the house is under Shared Ownership), any mortgages or leases and details about title registers, any plans or alterations brought to the property in the past and specifics about prior and current owners.

The related costs depend on the value of the property, application type and ownership transfer – in the case of a shared ownership and you only buy an equity (part), or you are the only owner (whole). To this, we add the difference between applying by post or on the digital platform.

All you need to know about what is shared ownership houses


The biggest question on the minds of most first time buyers considering shared ownership scheme is what is shared ownership houses. The reason behind this question is that shared ownership houses are cheap to buy and are at the same time rented. A buyer pays a portion of the price of the house and rents the remaining. The rent is paid to a housing association or the financial institution that paid the rest of the cost of the property. A buyer can own a minimum of 25% and a maximum of 75% of the house. He may increase his shares through staircasing.

Staircasing with shared ownership houses

A buyer is neither obliged to stay in a shared ownership scheme for long nor required by the law to the staircase. They can only staircase when their situation allows, for example, if you get additional sources of income and want to spend it on the property. Most buyers usually purchase their shares of the property by mortgaging. You must ensure that your mortgage instalments are taken care of before staircasing.

Can you sell shared ownership houses?

Shared ownership properties restrict owners power to the property. An owner of a shared property cannot sell his property before informing the housing association or financial institution with which he co-owns the house. Housing associations and financial institutions have the Right of First refusal that prevents a buyer from selling a house before informing them. They have the right to put the property in the market for a given period of time and can only allow a buyer to sell after the expiry of that.

Who’s responsible for shared ownership houses?

The authority of the housing associations and financial institutions come with obligations. These institutions must take responsibility for property maintenance. This is a responsibility that is bestowed upon them by the state. A buyer is not expected to pay for property maintenance. The cost of repairing floors and walls goes to the institutions. These institutions do not suffer losses despite such obligations. The rent that is paid to them is sufficient to pay for any expenses they incur during your stay. They are just like landlords but with a limited share to the property.

Institutions can own shared ownership properties as freehold or leasehold. You can find out about ownership schemes when you talk to a relevant financial institution. Shared ownership properties are available all over the UK. The number of properties that are owned by institutions differs. It is important to find out what an institution has before you buy.

Selling shared ownership houses

When you get to sell shares of your property, the shares you owned goes to a new buyer. The buyer then gets into an arrangement with the institution you co-owned the property with. The property has to be evaluated before it is sold. Valuation is conducted by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). Evaluation help mortgage lenders in calculating the amount of money a buyer needs to pay for a property. A buyer of a shared ownership property must be a first-time buyer. No pre-existing homeowners are allowed into the shared ownership scheme. A shared property owner may get into the scheme if he does not own any other property as a freeholder or leaseholder. 

Shared Ownership Conveyancing can be confusing at times for home purchasers.


Shared proprietorship/ownership is a plan where a proprietor, generally a Housing Association (HA) or (RSL) will offer a rate offer of a property to a buyer while holding the remaining offer. It is intended to help individuals get on the property step who generally couldn't manage the cost of it.Conveyancing in the field of shared possession/ownership includes purchasing and offering property regularly inside of the requirements of one of the accompanying three vehicles; shared proprietorship, shared value and Help to Buy. The activities and exchanges needed for shared proprietorship conveyancing are frequently more intricate and/or extended due to the more perplexing nature. Shared ownership Conveyancing can at times show up pointlessly confused to home buyers.

Similarly your Solicitor may prescribe that you have a trust deed – again you are purchasing a home for yourselves, not for any other individual, so why this discussion of trusts?

It would be anything but difficult to accept that these are only routes in which the legitimate calling makes things convoluted, most likely with a perspective to piling on the charges. Anyway, responsibility for house and area is more convoluted than owning physical articles, and issues can emerge when two individuals possess the same property.

The significance of joint occupants and inhabitants

English law now gives that the lawful bequest held by co-proprietors as trustees is resolute, and is constantly claimed by them as joint occupants in unified shares. Each co-proprietor along these lines mutually claims the entire legitimate title, as opposed to having a particular offer. "Occupant" in this setting is utilized as a part of its unique feeling of somebody who claims or "holds" land, as opposed to its general advanced feeling of somebody who rents or rents a property.

However the fair hobbies of the co-proprietors can be held either as joint occupants or inhabitants in like manner. Joint occupants will possess the entire fair enthusiasm for unified shares, yet inhabitants in like manner can claim indicated shares, and can to some degree manage these independently.

Trusts and Shared Possession

the idea of trusts to manage Shared ownership is important. At its least complex, making a trust includes property being vested in one or more persons, called trustees, to hold it in trust for someone else, called the recipient. The trustees are said to claim the legitimate domain and the recipient has an evenhanded hobby.

At the point when two or more individuals offer responsibility for home present-day law gives that they hold the lawful domain as trustees for themselves as recipients on a Trust of Area .

Shared ownership/Proprietorship Conveyancing Charges

In the event that you think a trust deed is required, talk about this with your Conveyancing Specialist and request a quote for any extra expenses before consenting to continue. The expenses for such a deed can shift as indicated by the unpredictability of your prerequisites. Most firms can now have standard structures which cover the most widely recognized circumstances and if one of them can be used the expenses ought to be humble.

At the point when joint buyers have a home loan, the Specialist/solicitor will need to complete liquidation and ID checks against every purchaser. Some law offices may pass the expense of these quests on to the customers, in which case you ought to be plainly educated of this toward the begin of the exchange.

Shared ownership Solicitors frequently suggest trust deeds

Consequently when there is Shared ownership, Conveyancing Specialists/solicitors regularly suggest that the gatherings set out their necessities as a trust deed. This is particularly helpful where co-proprietors don't have whatever other legitimate relationship, for example, being hitched. Such a deed can't cover all projections, and won't fundamentally stay away from question. The courts have different forces identifying with Shared ownership /Possession property, and a trust deed may not so much override them. This is particularly so for marital property. However a deed will give a structure to which the courts can allude in the case of a debate.

At the point when the property is shared as valuable joint occupants, the area registry won't make any note on the register. On the demise of one proprietor their offer naturally goes to the survivor, conveying the trust to an end. Subsequently the surviving proprietor can offer the property in his or her own particular name without the need to select a further trustee.

Difference between common ownership and joint property ownership


There is nothing better than having a little assistance when buying property. Property prices in the UK are very high and are still rising. These properties have become more and more unavailable to new buyers especially those from the low-income category. These prospective buyers have had to put up with tenanted properties or live with relatives. The government has recognised the plight of low-income earners and established various schemes that allow them to own property. One of these schemes is the joint property ownership scheme. A joint property own pays a price that is lesser than the actual price of a property because of he is sharing costs with a friend. This type of ownership has similarities and differences with common ownership.

What is joint property ownership?

A joint property is owned by a buyer and a housing association. It is the buyer who physically lives in the property. The housing association only holds shares to the property without claiming any living space. The buyer must purchase 25% to 75% of the price of the house. What is left after the buyer pays his share is catered for by a housing association. Because the purchaser both enjoys reduced cost of accommodation and the whole dwelling space, he must pay his housing association some rent. Most housing associations charge a rent of 3% of their shares in the property. The buyer will also be responsible for some property maintenance costs. This way, joint property ownerships are very similar to rented properties. The housing association is the landlord, and the buyer is the tenant.

Joint ownership obligations

A buyer may in time find joint property ownerships to be demanding in terms of rent and obligations to his housing associations. This buyer may choose to purchase the whole house or sell the house. A buyer cannot buy the whole of a common ownership property at once even if he owns 75% shares in the property. He can only buy these shares gradually through a process called staircasing. He becomes the sole owner of the property when his shares reach 100%. He may then cease to pay rent. Most common property buyers with full ownership of property get into leasehold ownership upon purchase of 100% shares.

Selling joint ownership

A buyer may also sell his shares of the property when situations suit him. There are two ways to sell shares. A buyer may sell his shares to a housing association and then use the money plus other funds to purchase more shares in the house. This is one way of staircasing. It mostly applies to buyers with less than 50% of shares.

A buyer can also sell his shares to a new buyer. The buyer who does this ceases to have any claim on the property. His shares of the house are taken over by the new owner. It is not easy to sell joint ownership properties. Housing associations have the Right of First Refusal when it comes to the sale of property. A buyer cannot sell a property without first informing his housing association. The housing association will then put the property in the market for a given duration of time. It is only when it fails to find a new buyer that the current occupant can sell the property. 

What you need to know about selling shared ownership problems


Shared ownership occurs when a buyer purchases a stake in a property while paying rent on the rest of the share of the property. The buyer must meet eligibility criteria for shared ownership. Eligibility criteria include a household income of no more than £60,000, a first time home owner, or a homeowner who cannot buy a house in an open market. Selling a property in shared ownership is not as easy as buying. These problems make the sale of these properties difficult and sometimes impossible. A solicitor may help you sort out some of the selling shared ownership problems.

High solicitor fees

High solicitor fees are one of the problems a seller will encounter. Most properties under shared ownership are leasehold properties. Conveyance fees for leasehold properties are usually very high. The cost for leasehold properties that are in shared ownership is even higher because of the volume of legal work and documentation required. A solicitor who is conveyancing leasehold properties must work with real estate agents or property managers, financial institutions and the freehold owner of the property. This is in addition to other routine conveyancing researches. The laws governing ownership of a shared property are specific. The solicitor should be trained in this type of conveyancing, and, even better, have a wide experience in selling shared ownership properties. This means that the seller will have to cough out huge sums of money for conveyancing.

Diminishing market for shared ownerships

While it is easier to own shared ownership property, very few people are willing to buy shared ownerships if they want to settle down. This implies that the market for shared ownership properties is very sparse. There are many problems surrounding purchase and ownership of shared properties. The buyer has to pay rent, monthly service fees and maintenance fees. Of course, he will also have to make monthly mortgage repayments if the property is bought with a mortgage. Maintenance fees can sometimes be high especially when major constructions have to be undertaken. All these expenses are unappealing to most buyers. That is why most buyers of shared ownership properties are those that have little experience in real estate or have lower incomes.

Eligibility criteria for buying shared ownership

Besides the issues surrounding occupancy of shared properties, a good number of buyers also fail the eligibility criteria for buying shared ownership properties. Most people in the UK already have homes. Those who have homes but still want shared properties have the ability to get enough mortgages to buy properties in the open market. People who can afford a mortgage for open market properties are not allowed to buy properties in shared ownership. To make matters worse, financial institutions are never willing to give mortgages on shared properties. All these result into a greatly reduced pool of buyers of shared properties.

Consent of House owner

Sale of shared ownership properties is limited by the right of first refusal. The right of the first refusal prevents the seller from putting the property in the market without the consent of the housing provider. It gives the housing provider the right to repossess the property and sell it to another person. The housing provider who claims the right of first refusal may fail to get a buyer. In this case, the seller is allowed to put the property out on the market. Failure of the seller to adhere to right of first refusal can result in punitive measures, which include payment of damages to the housing provider.

Are there any Shared ownership risks


Shared ownership enables low-income earners to get homes at reduces prices. All they have to do is pay between 25% to 75% of the price of the house. The rest of the cost of the house is catered for by a financial institution. The buyer must then pay a rent to the financial institution with which he enters a shared ownership scheme with.  The percentage of the shares held by buyers are normally paid for by a mortgage and lender. This money does not come from the buyers own pockets. They buyer may increase his shares of the property by staircasing. Staircasing involves the gradual purchase of the shares that are owned by a financial institution until the time that a buyer owns 100% of the property. He may then seize to pay rent to the financial institution. All these facts about shared ownership make the scheme seem very appealing. However, there are shared ownership risks that a buyer must be prepared for before entering into the scheme.

The Staircasing process

Staircasing your way into full home ownership is not easy. A buyer has to pay some money for every share he buys. Shared ownership is for low-income earners and is mostly funded by mortgages. This implies that a buyer of a shared ownership property may not have enough money to buy the shares of a housing association. This is because this buyer has the financial obligations to the house which include payment of rent and mortgages. He may be so financial constrained that he will never be able to buy all the shares of the property. Cases have been documented of buyers staying in shared ownership for the rest of their lives rather than taking advantage of staircasing. Staircasing can only be possible if the buyer gets an increase in his incomes.

Failure to pay regular rent for unowned portion of the house

Shared ownerships are very much like rented properties. A buyer must pay rent to the housing association or financial institution with which he enters into tenancy with. The rent is usually 3% of the shares held by a housing association. A buyer must also make a monthly instalment of mortgages If he bought the house through a mortgage. These expenditures are made on a regular basis. A buyer who fails to make rent payments may lose his property in the long run. Mortgage lenders chip-in to rescue buyers with mortgage arrears. Even so, the buyer must repay the lender the amount of money that was used to foot his rent arrears.

Maintenance costs

Maintenance costs of shared ownerships are divided between a buyer and his financial institution. This is one of the ways that shared ownerships is similar to assured tenancy schemes. The proportion of the cost of maintenance can rise steeply if major repairs are to be undertaken. Buyers who have flats owned by freeholders rather than housing associations are even at a greater risk of paying more for maintenance. This is because they are viewed as tenants by their freeholders and are not seen as shared ownership partners. 

One must consider these shared ownership risks by any buyer that is considering entering into the scheme. Although they are not high risk, they inevitably can cause you unwanted trouble during your stay. Reviewing these risks help you make a better decision for getting the most benefit out of shared ownership houses.

Why Shared Ownership in Hampshire should be chosen


Hampshire is one of the most important areas in the United Kingdom. The huge demand for the properties in this area often attracts the buyers to have a dream home here. However, the budget and the purchase amount often deny them the same. Shared Ownership in Hampshire are something that people look to owning a future home if they are illegible. A person starts to own part of a home with some percent of shares and can eventually buy the remaining percent of the property later. This is mostly done with the housing associations. The conveyancing process of the shared ownership remains the same, and the solicitors play a vital role in Hampshire.

Shared Ownership in Hampshire

The Housing Associations offer the partial or shared ownership to the people in Hampshire. With this scheme, a person can buy a portion of the house and the remaining portion remains with the Housing Association. The buyer has to pay the rent for the remaining amount to the association. However, the buyer can buy the remaining amount anytime he or she wants.

The process of conveyancing and financing is same for shared ownership. The person needs to pay the deposit and can get the mortgage for the remaining amount. The purchase price is obviously less for the shared ownership thus it becomes easy for the buyers to own the property. The buyer can own 100% ownership of the property as well. The solicitors in Hampshire ensure that the buyer gets the property registered at the Land Registry and complete all the conveyancing formalities. Many solicitors in Hampshire are experienced and knowledgeable for the shared ownership in Hampshire. One can just carry out research for the same.

Shared Ownership Solicitors in Hampshire

Here are some of the solicitors who provide the conveyancing for shared ownership in Hampshire. However, one must search for the solicitors online as well and compare the price before making a final call.

Brooks Partners

Brooks Partners is a Law Firm that extensively provides the services for the shared ownership conveyancing. The dedicated solicitors ensure that the buyers make the most of it. The affordable rates further make it one of the most popular.

Philips Solicitors

Philips Solicitors is also a Law Firm and has comprehensive services for the conveyancing in Hampshire including the shared ownership. The reasonable solicitor fees make it very popular among people.


Glanvilles is also a reputed law firm and is known for the shared ownership conveyancing facilities for affordable counsel fees.

David Ebert and Co

David Ebert and Co has great completion rate for shared ownership conveyancing process and is known for the reasonable attorney fees.

Shared ownership staircasing advice


The United Kingdom's government is dedicated to creating more home ownership. This goal has spawned a few scheme to help people with different backgrounds, low-income and disabilities. Shared ownership is one of those programmes that help individuals with low income to own a portion of the house which is between 25-75% of the total property. The scheme also allows shared ownership individuals to increase their share of the property with a method called staircasing. Allowing shared ownership of the property to complete ownership increases enthusiasm among buyers. Here’s some staircasing advice you should consider.

Shared ownership is shared with a housing association. The partial ownership share to some extent limits your control over the property and operation. The housing association is responsible for major modifications and before you need any special adjustment on the property. In staircasing, if you increase your ownership from 10 percent to under 100 percent then it is called partial staircasing. If you want to increase your ownership to 100 percent, it is known as full staircasing. To go ahead with staircasing, a minimum of 10 to 20 percent increase is required until the final staircasing for 100 percent.

The process of staircasing is less troublesome and faster than conveyancing for obtaining shared ownership. Still, that can be daunting for someone inexperienced with legal responsibilities. The process of staircasing normally includes the following process:

  • Dealing with the appropriate Housing Association
  • Getting a valuation of the property
  • Contacting with the mortgage lenders
  • Completion of Memorandum of Staircasing

Dealing with the relevant Housing Association

The housing association is responsible for renting the share of the property you do not own. You have to buy additional shares of property until you reach 100 percent ownership. The process includes contacting the housing association to allow you own an increased share of the property. The process can be made efficient with the help of an experienced solicitor. Their staircasing advice can speed up the process and help with legal aspects of the process.

Getting a valuation of the Property

When you need to increase your share, you have to consult the RICS for valuation. An RICS surveyor will valuate the current cost of the property. Moreover, the amount is divided by the percentage of the property you decide on increasing ownership. The housing association can appoint a surveyor, but you have to finance the operation.

The valuation cost is considered valid for three months, so the staircasing should complete within this period. Failure to complete staircasing within the period will require a new assessment.

Contacting with the mortgage lenders

If you are obtaining a mortgage for staircasing or remortgaging the property, it is important to complete mortgage deal. This is going to finance the staircasing of the property. It always helps to have a good credit rating for a speedy mortgage approval.

Completion of Memorandum of Staircasing

If you are acquiring an additional share of the property and not the complete share of the property, the housing association will send you the Memorandum of staircasing. This is done after the payment for the share is complete. You have to sign this document, and it is registered with the Land Registry. If you have appointed a solicitor, they will handle the Memorandum of Staircasing for you.

How cohabitation agreement mutual property ownership


Due to exorbitant house prices in the UK, real estate agents have come up with various schemes to enable people to own property. One of these is the cohabitation agreement. Cohabitation agreement allows two individuals who are not married to share ownership of property. It is a legally binding agreement and is recognised law. Its formation and termination are subject to adherence to a legally binding contract. Cohabitation allows couples to pool together their resources in buying a home. The couples may also use this agreement to take advantage of real estate incentives that are put forward by the government, such as Help to Buy Isa. The couples must come up with an agreement regarding the use of the property and property dissolution. The agreement gives each couple a peace of mind during their stay in the property since they will not be living in fear of what the other partner might do. The agreement must be clearly spelt out and duly signed by each of the couples. Each couple is entitled to a copy of the document. It is advisable to keep this document in a lawyer’s office or any other safe place. The document will come in handy during the dissolution of the contract. Failure to produce the contract or cohabitation agreement may make a legal intervention in a dispute between the couple difficult or even impossible to solve.

A cohabitation agreement need not be complicated and full of legal jargons. It can be drawn in a simple language that is clear to the parties involved both in the contract drafting and during the dissolution of the contract. Even though the agreement is simple, it should be as specific as possible. Ambiguity may cause interpretation difficulties during conflict resolution. Factors to consider when drawing the contract include:

  • The manner in which expenses will be shared. The couple may share expenses equally, or according to each individual’s financial capabilities. They may also pool their funds in a joint account and use the account to pay for common expenses.
  • How properties acquired before and after the relationship are to be shared.
  • How to go about dispute resolution
  • What is to be done in the case of death of one of one of the couple.

There are additional documents that make cohabitation contracts easy to manage. These include wills, durable power of attorney, and joint tenancy with a right of survivorship. Wills are quite common documents of inheritance. They outline how a deceased person’s property is to be shared. Application of the concept of wills in cohabitation agreement is similar to how it is used everywhere else. A will in a cohabitation agreement states the name and the rights of a person that is entitled to continue cohabitation agreement in the case of death of a pre-existing owner of a cohabited property.

Things to consider when buying a house with a friend


House prices are extreme considering an average person’s income in the United Kingdom. Moreover, most people resort to getting a huge mortgage to pay for their new home. Although this the norm, considering a joint investment with a friend to buy a home can be an alternative to being chased by mortgage arrears. Buying a house with a friend can be stressful if you do not consider all aspects of co-owing a house.

Sharing investment, mortgages and profits

As friends, you will have to agree on exactly how much investment you are placing for the buy, also how to split the profits and proceeds if you decide to leave the agreement. Mortgage payments should also be divided accordingly. As good as your relationship with the friend is, it is always a probability that it will not last forever. So consulting a solicitor to draw up a declaration of trust with the agreements is recommended.

If the friends share equal investment to buying a house, it is much easier to calculate the subsequent payments on expense and mortgage. However, when one of the friends has more investment, the payments and shares will have to be split accordingly, complicating the process.

Joint mortgages

The joint mortgage is designed for co-owners of the property. Everyone has different circumstances and should consider taking financial advice to go through with the mortgage. Considering income, the expense of co-owners should help decide on the amount of mortgage you can take for the house. Shared payments of mortgage should also be agreed upon to make sure they do not escalate to big arguments in the future.

Registering indifferent shares at the Land Registry

If friends invest the different amount to the purchase of property, it is possible to record unequal shares at the Land Registry. This will require some calculation and may be a solicitors help. Moreover, this will contribute to claim the share if any one of the friends decides to move. Solicitors will take care of this aspects during the conveyancing process.

Keeping records

As the house is jointly owned, it is recommended to maintain records of payments you incur for maintenance, expenses and also income if you decide to rent it out. The records will show proof of expenses if any disagreements arise between the friends. It will help keep track of shares you agreed upon before buying a house.

Keeping things simple

As joint ownership, finance is the most important aspect you have to consider. Starting a joint bank account to pay the mortgage or shared expense is recommended. Using banks help you track payments easier. It is also recommended to record and list out things you own and share.

Making sure you have a mutual understanding with the friend is the most important aspect if you want to benefit from buying a house with a friend. Setting up rules you both agree on important issues for using the property should be a priority.

Buying a house with a friend does have benefits like a less financial burden and shared expenses. However, it should be taken into consideration with many aspects including mutual agreements and legal documents to save your investment.

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.


  • 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.

Definitions of part buy part rent


The UK government has come up with various home ownership schemes that enable low-income earners to own homes. One such scheme is the part buy part rent scheme. This system is also known as shared ownership scheme. Part buy part rent involves paying a percentage of the cost of a house, with the balance of the total cost being catered for by a housing association. The buyer must pay a given amount of rent to the housing association with which he co-owns the house. The rent is usually 3% of the share that is owned by the housing association.

Criteria for inclusion

Part buy part rent scheme is not for everyone. This scheme, like many other, target low-income earners as well as people working in certain fields. Those given first priority include council and housing association tenants, key workers such as policemen and teachers, and new home buyers. Those who previously owned a home with their partners but got divorced are also invited into the scheme. You can also apply for shared ownership if you have been transferred by your boss and must relocate to a new town.

What do you get with Part buy part rent scheme?

Part buy part rent is a form of leasehold ownership. A buyer enters into a contract with a housing association that allows him to own a given amount of shares in the property for a given duration of time. The buyer can increase his share of the property by staircasing. Staircasing refers to the process of increasing shares by gradually purchasing the shares through the housing association. The buyer becomes the sole owner of the property if his shares reach 100%. He can then claim total control of the property. Till then, he will be bound by the agreement that he entered into with the housing association.

Apart from the mutual agreement that the buyer and the housing association enter into, there are state laws that also govern shared ownership schemes. These laws may or may not be included in the agreement. Either way, they must be fully complied with by all the parties to a shared ownership scheme. It is important to ask a solicitor about the laws that govern shared ownership schemes in the area.

Requirement, after being approved

The most important requirement of shared ownership is the one that determines how the property can be sold. This is because this law can lead to severe financial losses and legal battles between a buyer and the housing association. A buyer cannot sell the house without the consent of the housing association. This right is called the right of first refusal. It protects housing associations from financial losses that they could incur if the property is sold behind their backs. A buyer who breaks this law can be prosecuted in a court of law.

The right of first refusal does not prevent buyers from initiating property sales. It only obliges them to inform their housing association before selling the property. The housing association can then put the property on the market for a given period of time. If it fails to find a buyer, then their tenant can go ahead and sell the property.