Shared Ownership & Homebuy: General Information
What is shared ownership?
Shared ownership is a programme to help people who cannot afford to purchase a home outright.
You can buy a share in a property, usually 50%, from a Registered Provider and pay rent on the remaining share you do not own. This is designed to ensure you have realistic and affordable, rent and mortgage repayments. Gradually you may buy further shares and eventually purchase the final share so you own your home outright. This process is known as staircasing. At this point the freehold will be sold to you and the lease will expire. Please see below, for further information under Paragraph 1 “Staircasing” for further information.
Who is eligible?
For new properties it is generally people who are in housing need and cannot afford to buy a suitable home in any other way.
For properties being re-sold - This depends upon the terms of the lease under which the share of the property was sold initially as many leases require the property to be offered back to the landlord for re-purchase or for the landlord to nominate a suitable purchaser. If this is not possible then the property may be offered for sale on the open market. Please see below, under Paragraph 3 “Surrender of Lease” for further information.
How do I apply?
Unfortunately we have no new schemes under development at present. However, to register an interest in purchasing any existing shared ownership property which is being sold on please contact the Home Ownership Officer on 01606 813350 or by email email@example.com Alternatively, you can register your interest with the Cheshire West & Chester Housing Solutions Team on 0300 123 2442. Emai: firstname.lastname@example.org. They may be aware of other landlords in the area offering shared ownership properties for sale.
It is also worth registering with local estate agents as they may be offered shared ownership properties for sale.
Where are the current shared ownership schemes?
The Trust current shared ownership schemes are located at:
Flower Street, Northwich
Malpas Close, Northwich
Malpas Road, Northwich
Castle Court, Northwich
Ship Street, Frodsham
although it should be noted that these are "mixed tenure schemes" comprising shared ownership/owner occupier and tenanted properties.
The Trust currently has 31 shared ownership houses in its ownership.
What are the costs associated with shared ownership?
You will need to raise the funds to pay for the costs of buying the initial share in the property. This is normally done by arranging a mortgage.
The other costs of buying will be similar to those of any normal house purchase:
Stamp duty (if applicable)
Land Registry fee
Once you have bought your shared ownership home, you will need to consider the regular costs associated with home ownership:
Monthly mortgage payments
Water, gas, electricity
Repair and maintenance
Also remember that further costs will be incurred when you purchase additional shares in the property.
Who does the repairs?
Shared owners have the full responsibility of repairs and maintenance themselves.
For your information we can carry out an annual gas service at your property, please contact us on 01606 813503 to make an appointment.
Specific clauses within the Shared Ownership Lease
Under the terms of your lease you may gradually buy further shares and eventually purchase the final share so you own your home outright. This process is known as staircasing. At this point the freehold will be sold to you and the lease will expire.
To buy an additional share (under your lease you can buy 12.5% shares or multiples of these) you would need to write to us advising us of your request. We would then acknowledge your letter and request a cheque from you for the valuation fee. Upon receipt of the fee we would then request a valuation and would provide you with a cost within 6 weeks. You would then have a further 6 weeks from that date to either complete the purchase of the share or write to us requesting a re-valuation. If you request a re-valuation this would be requested from the District Valuer. Upon receipt of his valuation we would advise you of any change. You would have 6 weeks from that date to buy the additional share or the request would be cancelled.
You also have the opportunity to move to buying the remaining 50% and the freehold in one step. To do this you would need to make your request in writing. We would then acknowledge your letter and request a cheque from you for the valuation fee. Upon receipt of the fee we would then request a valuation and would provide you with a cost within 6 weeks. You would then have a further 6 weeks to either accept or request a re-valuation. If we had not heard from you by the end of the 6 week period the application would be cancelled. If you replied saying you wished to proceed within the 6 weeks you would have a further 6 weeks from the date of the acceptance in which to complete the purchase.
In both of these instances you would be responsible for payment of the Trust’s legal fees as well as your own.
2. Terms of lease including Insurance
I would like to draw your attention to a number of key terms of your lease which shared owners are not always familiar with but which can cause difficulties.
You are not permitted to make any structural alterations or additions without prior consent.
You are not permitted to build, erect, construct or place any new or additional building on the site or do any work without our consent.
You must only use the property as a single dwelling.
No trade or business should be carried on from the property.
You must not sub-let part of the property.
You must not sub-let or sell the whole of the property without our consent.
You must not obtain a new mortgage on the property without our consent and once the mortgage has been finalised we must be advised of this and a fee is payable.
You must insure the property in the joint names of you and the Trust and provide us with a copy of the policy on request.
3. Surrender of lease
If you are disposing of a share in the property you must first give us notice in writing. We then have 28 days in which to decide whether to re-purchase, if we say yes we then have a further 6 weeks from the date of our acceptance to complete the purchase.
You can offer us a surrender of your lease at any time. We then have 2 months in which to accept, whether to accept a surrender and a further 6 weeks from the date of our decision if we wish to exercise this option to complete. If we do not accept in 2 months it will be deemed that we have rejected your offer.
If we decide not to purchase we can then fall back to the right to nominate clause which allows us to nominate someone from our waiting list within 4 weeks. If we don’t nominate you are then free to dispose of the property on the open market.
Please note that it is important to seek independent legal advice before committing yourself to purchase under this scheme.
- Application Form (PDF, 84 KB)