Selling a Shared Ownership Property: Your Guide

Shared ownership has become an increasingly popular option for people looking to get a foot on the property ladder. It allows you to buy a share of a property and pay rent on the rest, meaning there is usually a much smaller deposit required.

But what happens when you want to sell a shared ownership property? We’ve answered this question and others in this quick guide. Keep reading to find out more.

How to sell a shared ownership property

Selling a shared ownership house can sometimes become complicated, especially if you don’t yet own 100% of the property. But it can help to break down the process into stages:

1. Review your lease
Each landlord – whether this is a housing association or local authority – will have their own terms and procedures for selling shared ownership properties. So it’s important that you check your lease, as there could be restrictions or costs you weren’t aware of.

2. Let your landlord know
If you’ve checked the terms of your lease agreement and decided to go ahead and sell your property, it will be time to let your landlord know. They will then have the right to either buy the property back or find another buyer for you.

3. Get your home valued
Your next step will be to arrange a valuation of your home. This will need to be carried out by a RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) qualified surveyor. Your valuation report will be valid for three months from the date of the survey taking place.

4. Put the property on the market
After your home has been valued, there will be a nomination period where the housing association or local authority will advertise your property. If a buyer has not been found after this period, you’ll be free to appoint your own estate agent.

5. Instruct a conveyancing solicitor
When a buyer has been found, the next step will be to instruct a conveyancer or solicitor. It’s worth noting that you may be required to pay your landlord’s legal fees as well as your own. So make sure to check what your lease says on this beforehand.

6. Complete the relevant paperwork
There are a few pieces of paperwork your housing provider will ask you for when selling your property. This will include an ‘intention to sell’ form, a copy of your lease and a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).

7. Exchange and complete on the sale
When a suitable buyer is found and an offer is accepted, the next step will be to exchange contracts. You will then be provided with a completion date, which is when you’ll hand over your keys to the property.

If you own 100% of your shared ownership property, the process for selling it will be slightly different. This is because you will be able to put the property on the open market, as you would with any other house for sale (as long as there are no restrictions).

In these cases, most people will appoint an estate agent who will handle the sale of the property from start to finish.

Are shared ownership properties hard to sell?

When you’re selling a shared ownership property, your landlord will usually be responsible for finding a buyer. They will typically recommend surveyors and photographers for you to use, too. This can help to make the overall process of selling your home run more smoothly.

But there are disadvantages to selling a shared ownership property as well. For example, you’ll be required to have your property valued by a RICS chartered surveyor before it can be advertised to buyers.

You’ll also need to pay for a Leasehold Information Form, which is used to inform potential buyers of the property’s management, as well as any relevant insurance, maintenance or service charges. This form will usually cost between £200 and £300.

Selling a shared ownership property back to a housing association

If you’re finding it difficult to make your mortgage repayments, you could speak to your landlord about selling back shares in your home. This is known as ‘downward staircasing’ or ‘flexible tenure’.

It is worth noting that this method is rarely used, and will only be granted in exceptional circumstances. But it’s always worth speaking to your landlord, as they will be best placed to explain your options.

What can I do if I’m unhappy with my housing association?

If you’re not happy with the way your housing association or the local authority has acted during the sale of your property, you have the right to make a complaint. This could apply if you feel that your home was not marketed effectively, or if there were unnecessary delays.

To make a formal complaint, look for your landlord’s complaints procedure. This will outline the process you’ll need to follow to have your issues raised and hopefully resolved.

If your complaint still hasn’t been addressed after taking this step, you may need to contact your local Housing Ombudsman. This is completely free to do and, depending on your circumstances, you could be awarded compensation for your experience.

How can a solicitor help me sell my shared ownership home?

As with any house sale, it’s important that you instruct a conveyancing expert to handle the legal side of the process. Your solicitor will assist with all the paperwork involved, highlighting anything that could be a cause for concern.

We work with solicitors and conveyancers who are experienced in the handling of shared ownership properties. To find out how we could match you with a local specialist, get in touch or start your enquiry online.

Note: First4Lawyers offers this information as guidance, not advice. Before taking any action, you should seek professional assistance tailored to your personal circumstances.


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