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In recent years, the shared ownership market has become an increasingly popular option for those seeking affordable ways to enter the property market. Shared ownership schemes allow individuals to purchase a share of a property and pay rent on the remaining portion, providing the opportunity for home ownership to those who may have otherwise struggled to buy a property outright. However, diving into the world of shared ownership also comes with its unique legal complexities and requirements, making it essential for potential buyers to understand the conveyancing process within this specific market.

In this comprehensive guide, we will take an in-depth look at the intricacies of conveyancing in the shared ownership market, and provide invaluable insights and practical advice for buyers seeking to purchase a co-owned property. From understanding the legal framework and requirements, to selecting a conveyancer with expertise in shared ownership, and handling lease agreements, we will uncover all the necessary information you need to make informed decisions and navigate the world of shared ownership conveyancing with confidence.

Taking the plunge into property co-ownership can be both exciting and challenging, but with a robust understanding of the conveyancing process, you can streamline your shared ownership journey and enjoy all the benefits it can provide. Our guide to conveyancing in the shared ownership market will be your ultimate resource, empowering you to make wise choices and efficiently manage the legal complexities that come with this exciting opportunity. Let us be your trusted companion in your shared ownership journey as you embark on the path to achieving your property dreams.

Understanding the Legal Framework of Shared Ownership

Before delving into the conveyancing process, it is crucial to have a grasp on the legal framework of shared ownership. Shared ownership schemes, also known as part buy/part rent schemes, operate under the umbrella of a housing association, a not-for-profit organisation regulated by the government. When purchasing a shared ownership property:

1. Ownership Structure: You buy a share of the property, typically between 25% to 75%, while the housing association owns the remaining share.

2. Leasehold Ownership: Shared ownership properties are usually sold as leaseholds, meaning that the housing association retains the freehold interest in the property.

3. Rent and Service Charges: You pay a reduced rent on the share owned by the housing association, in addition to monthly service charges for the maintenance of communal areas and building insurance.

4. Staircasing: Shared ownership schemes often provide an option to acquire additional shares of the property over time through a process called "staircasing," allowing buyers to eventually own 100% of the property if they wish.

Having a clear understanding of the legal framework of shared ownership will enable you to make informed decisions when navigating the conveyancing process.

Selecting a Conveyancer with Shared Ownership Expertise

Given the unique legal complexities of shared ownership, it is crucial to select a conveyancer or solicitor with experience and expertise in this specific market. When selecting a conveyancer for your shared ownership transaction:

1. Experience: Look for a conveyancer who has performed multiple shared ownership transactions and understands the intricacies involved in co-owned property sales.

2. Relevant Accreditations: Seek conveyancers who are members of the Law Society's Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) or Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC) to guarantee adherence to high professional standards.

3. Recommendations: Obtain recommendations from friends, family, or colleagues who have successfully navigated shared ownership transactions.

4. Online Reviews: Research online reviews and testimonials to gauge the conveyancer's performance in shared ownership cases.

Choosing a conveyancer with shared ownership expertise ensures that your transaction will be handled accurately and efficiently, making the process as seamless as possible.

Negotiating and Understanding Lease Agreements

As most shared ownership properties are leasehold, you will need to fully understand the terms and implications of your lease agreement. Your conveyancer will negotiate and review the lease on your behalf, seeking to achieve favourable terms and avoiding potential pitfalls. When reviewing the lease agreement:

1. Lease Duration: Ensure the lease term is long enough to accommodate your intended ownership period, as leases with less than 80 years remaining can significantly depreciate property values and attract costly lease extensions.

2. Ground Rent and Service Charges: Confirm and assess the ground rent and service charge amounts, and ensure they are reasonable for your budget.

3. Restrictions and Obligations: Identify any restrictions or obligations within the lease, such as pet ownership, alterations, or subletting, and ensure that these terms are acceptable to you.

4. Staircasing Provisions: Check the staircasing provisions in the lease, which detail the conditions and costs involved in acquiring additional shares of the property over time.

Thoroughly understanding and negotiating the terms of your lease agreement is essential to ensuring a successful shared ownership experience.

Meeting Lender Requirements and Securing a Mortgage

Purchasing a shared ownership property often requires obtaining a shared ownership mortgage, as standard mortgages may not apply to this type of transaction. When securing a mortgage for your shared ownership property:

1. Specialised Lenders: Research lenders who specialise in shared ownership mortgages, as they will understand the unique legalities involved and provide appropriate mortgage products.

2. Lender Requirements: Check the lender's requirements for shared ownership mortgages, such as minimum deposit amounts, income thresholds, and lease terms.

3. Valuations: Most mortgage lenders require a property valuation for shared ownership transactions; ensure a thorough valuation is carried out by a qualified surveyor to satisfy lender demands.

4. Mortgage Affordability: Assess the affordability of mortgage repayments, rent, and service charges, taking into account future staircasing expenses.

By diligently addressing lender requirements and securing an appropriate mortgage, you can successfully navigate the financial aspects of your shared ownership transaction.


Shared ownership conveyancing poses unique legal complexities, but with the right information and guidance, you can confidently navigate the process. By understanding the legal framework of shared ownership, selecting a conveyancer with expertise in this niche market, thoroughly assessing lease agreements, and securing an appropriate mortgage, you can overcome potential hurdles and achieve a successful co-owned property purchase.

With the insights and guidance provided in this comprehensive guide, you will be prepared for every aspect of shared ownership conveyancing, armed with the knowledge needed to make well-informed decisions. By combining this with the accuracy and trustworthiness of Conveyancing Calculator's conveyancing fee estimations, your shared ownership property journey is bound to be a fruitful and rewarding endeavour. Embark on your path towards co-ownership with confidence and enjoy the benefits shared ownership has to offer. Contact Conveyancing Calculator today!


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