Shared Ownership Leases
Most shared ownership leasehold properties are granted by housing associations as part of a home ownership programme. With a shared ownership lease the leaseholder can purchase a share of a property (house or flat) and pay rent on that part of the property retained by the landlord. The leaseholder will have a right to purchase additional shares in the property until they own 100% of the equity. At this point the property is no longer a shared ownership property (by definition).
Risks to be aware of
A shared ownership lease of a house does not qualify for the right to purchase the freehold, under the provisions of the Leasehold Reform Act 1967. A shared ownership leasehold of a flat only qualifies for the statutory right to extend their lease as the holder of a “long lease” if they have reached up to 100% ownership.
There are similar risks to an assured shorthold tenancy. As rent is paid on that part of the equity not owned by the leaseholder, a landlord can take action to repossess the property for rent arrears in the county court under the provisions of the Housing Act 1988.
A landlord may have their own policy of allowing lease extensions where there is less than 100% ownership. Leaseholders would need to check with their landlord.
This is an area of law that is prone to review by Government because of the political sensitivities around property ownership and lease structures. It is always worth taking legal advice and checking on any statutory changes before entering into an agreement or parting with any money in connection with a property transaction.