Worthingtons Solicitors


Co-ownership is a “Do it yourself shared ownership scheme “which is unique to Northern Ireland, set up to help those who were struggling to get on the property ladder.

The idea behind co-ownership is that you buy a share of the home (anywhere between 50%- 90%) and pay rent on the remaining share. There is an option for you to buy more shares in your home anytime after you become the owner, which is known as “stair casing”.

This type of house move can be complicated for people unfamiliar with the particular procedures involved. At Worthingtons Solicitors, we have a team of conveyancers who have dealt with this type of transaction on numerous occasions and so are highly qualified to advise you on all of the steps involved.

The Co-Ownership legal package is available for those who use the same solicitor as Co-Ownership Housing to buy the property. You choose the solicitor, but they must be on the co-ownership panel. The legal package includes a fixed rate £210 professional fee. You must also pay the£400 application fee to Co-Ownership Housing, together with any costs and outlay incurred by your solicitor.

We set out below some specific issues to think about in this type of property purchase:-

  • To buy a home with help from Co-Ownership Housing you must meet its qualifying criteria, including being able to demonstrate that you can keep up with the commitments involved in buying a property and that you do not have an alternative, unassisted, route into home ownership.
  • You will need to be formally approved by Co-ownership Housing who will share ownership of the property with you.
  • It is important that your mortgage offer is issued as soon as possible. The reason is that, co-ownership housing will need to approve the offer before you proceed to exchange of contracts and this can cause delays if the mortgage offer is not issued for a long period of time.
  • You should make clear to your mortgage broker or lender that you are buying a co-ownership property. Some lenders are not prepared to lend money on these types of properties or alternatively, It may affect the amount they are prepared to lend. The mortgage offer will also need to be changed for a co-ownership property so it is important this is made clear early on
  • Co-Ownership Housing makes the final decision on whether a property is suitable for buying and the following criteria will apply:
    •  all properties depend on a valuation and in addition must have a price of £150, 000 or less
    • new properties must have a 10 year build warranty
    • properties under 10 years old must have the balance of the original build warranty.

Throughout every stage of the co-ownership process our team of dedicated conveyancers will work with you to ensure that your dream of making it onto the property ladder becomes a reality.

Contact us for all your property needs

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