Please refer to our (CONVEYANCING PAGES) for a general guide to buying a new property. This is where you buy a newly constructed property from a Housing Association on Shared Ownership terms. You generally buy an initial share of between 25% and 75% of the property and you pay a rent on the share of the property that you do not buy which is retained by the Housing Association. Whether you buy a house or a flat you will have a Shared Ownership Lease which will set out your terms and conditions with the Housing Association relating to the ownership of the property you are buying.
All Shared Ownership Leases give you the right to increase your share in the property by a process known as (STAIRCASING). You can “staircase” up to and including owning 100% of the property which will bring the Shared Ownership Lease to an end. In all cases with the New Build/Shared Ownership Home Buy any mortgage you obtain to help you with the purchase of your property must be approved by the Housing Association before you can proceed to exchange of contracts. In addition to reporting the terms of the mortgage to you we must send a copy of your mortgage for approval by the Housing Association.
As a specialist Affordable Housing solicitor we do have good access to the Housing Association’s administrative departments to help ensure that the approval process does not cause undue delay. Please note, however, that sometimes at certain times of the year the Housing Association’s mortgage departments are under a great deal of pressure and the process can take some time.
Again, we have good relations with many specialist mortgage advisers involved in the Housing Association process and may even have been recommended to you by a mortgage adviser. We can, therefore, liaise with the mortgage adviser to try and assist with the Housing Association approval process.
In some cases on New Build properties the Housing Association may offer an incentive provided contracts are exchanged within a certain timeframe. We are used to dealing with property purchases under this type of pressure and you may rest assured that we will do all in our power to ensure the deadline is met or extended so that you obtain the incentive that has been offered to you.
Please note that Stamp Duty is considerably more complex in Affordable Housing and you may have to make certain choices as to how the stamp duty on your property is to be paid.