If you’re looking for a new home and wondering how to get started on the property ladder, we can help. We have a number of offers available to help you take the next step in buying a property.
Shared ownership is a government scheme provided by housing associations across the country to help people who want to get on the property ladder, but aren’t ready to pay for their home outright. It gives you the opportunity to buy a share between 25% and 75% and just pay rent on the remaining share.
You’ll need to meet certain criteria to buy a home on a shared ownership basis, visit our homes for sale page or read our guide to shared ownership to find out more about whether you are able to apply. You’ll also need to think about whether you need a mortgage to pay for the share you wish to purchase in your home.
What does being a leaseholder involve?
Shared Ownership homes are always leasehold, this basically means that you have the right to occupy a property for a set period of time – the length of the lease which can be up to 999 years – but do not own the building itself.
If you buy a house then your lease will be classed as ‘full repairing’. This means that you are responsible for all repairs and maintenance to your home both inside and outside.
If you buy an apartment then you will have to pay a service charge to cover the cost of the services provided to your block or scheme such as grounds maintenance and cleaning of communal areas. The responsibility for any internal repairs will be yours but we will maintain the structure and common parts of the block. The costs of any outdoor repairs will then be included within your general service charges.
If you need help at any time understanding the terms of your lease, we’re on hand to help. Your lease is the legal contract which sets out your legal rights and responsibilities and our legal rights and responsibilities too.
Please see the attached handbook which is aimed to help you understand your rights and responsibility, and our rights and responsibilities to you. Please note that this handbook is a guide and does not replace your lease, which is the legal contract you occupy under.
We will always tell you if you break the conditions of your tenancy and try to help you to keep to your tenancy conditions. However, if the problem continues, you risk losing your home as we may be forced to take legal action to end your tenancy.
If you have any questions relating to your tenancy agreement, you should contact us.
Becoming a Freeholder
When you purchase all the additional shares in your property (known as staircasing out), you may become a freeholder which means you will have total ownership of your home and the land it sits on (this is more common in a house than an apartment).
However, some properties will always be leasehold, this most often applies to apartments or where the freehold is owned by a local authority that is not prepared to sell the land.
You may find you wish to extend the lease of your property, if you do, please visit our lease extension page to find out more about your options, rights and costs.
Thinking of selling?
If you are thinking about selling your property you’ll need to get in touch with us and let us know. We can then send you a re-sales pack which has lots of helpful information on selling your shared ownership property.
You will have the option of selling just your share or you can also sell the whole of the property – both of these routes are explained in more detail in the re-sales pack.
Once we have received your signed Re-Sales Form and fee we can get all the relevant information across to your estate agent. This process prevents any delays with the sale of your property and gives your estate agent all the information they need to sell a shared ownership property.
For more information, visit our re-sales page.
If you’re going to become a Shared Owner, ‘staircasing’ is a term that you’ll hear quite a lot. It’s an option you can choose which involves buying some or all of the remaining shares in your property. Buying all of the remaining shares is known as ‘staircasing out’ and buying just some of the shares is known as ‘partial staircasing’.
If you're interested in learning more please visit our staircasing information page.