Background

Help to Buy

Our award-winning Residential Property lawyers can advise you on all aspects of Help to Buy schemes, from how best to access the support they offer to staying within the rules when you sell a property purchased through Help to Buy. We have supported hundreds of individuals and couples around the South West through this exciting but potentially confusing and stressful process. Whatever stage your transaction has reached and whichever scheme you are using, our expert team can help.

Getting onto the property ladder has become much harder in recent years, particularly in the South West where the tourism industry has such an impact on prices and employment. However, the various ‘Help to Buy’ schemes available to first time and low-income buyers can help you get started.

The terminology and rules around Help to Buy schemes are constantly changing so it’s important to understand the particular requirements of each scheme and to take advice from expert lawyers who know how to make the most of them. We work closely with Housing Associations throughout the region and have extensive experience in advising buyers, sellers and estate agents on how to navigate the complexities of all kinds of Help to Buy and affordable housing schemes.

Here at Coodes, our Help to Buy experts can help you with:

  • First-home schemes
  • Affordable-housing schemes
  • Purchasing from Housing Associations
  • Forces Help to Buy
  • Help to Buy ISAs
  • Lifetime ISAs (LISA)
  • Section 106 agreement
  • Section 157 restrictions
  • Right to Buy
  • Resale Price Covenants

What is a Section 106?

This is a planning agreement that can impose that a percentage of new properties are sold as affordable homes under different schemes. It may also impose a local occupancy covenant under which the restriction remains on the house when the property is sold. In such cases, any new owner will need to have been living or working within the defined area for three years.

What is a Section 157 restriction?

In areas where a Section 157 applies, former local authority / council houses can only be sold on to somebody who has lived or worked in Cornwall for the past three years. The Council cannot release these restrictions.

Purchasing with Help to Buy

Different schemes have different rules so it’s important to understand what you can and cannot do within the scheme you are aiming to use. With the government-backed Help to Buy ISA and Lifetime ISA schemes it is especially important to understand the rules governing how and when you can access the funds for your home purchase. These schemes are designed specifically to support home buying and long-term saving. The funds contained within them – both your savings and the government’s bonus – can only be accessed under very specific conditions that include closing your account and, if you are buying a property, the funds passing to an authorised solicitor to hold on your behalf. The details are complex but the key point to remember is that once your account has been closed, lawyers have to operate within very tightly defined timeframes to complete the transaction.

Locality restrictions

As expert Residential Property lawyers in the South West, we are very familiar with the dynamics of the local market and the pressures and challenges facing local residents in securing properties in towns and villages affected by the tourism sector. We can advise you on buying and selling properties that are reserved for individuals who satisfy certain locality restrictions.

Selling with Help to Buy

If you are selling a property that you purchased using Help to Buy scheme, it’s important to remember that there may be requirements that apply to the sale. The specific details will vary depending on the scheme you used but, in simple terms, you may be required to demonstrate that you are selling at a fair valuation, which may mean additional survey expenses, and to reimburse the scheme with a percentage of the property’s increased or decreased value. We can advise on the detail and ensure that do not incur any undue financial penalties or unnecessary delays to your property sale.

Fees for conveyancing

We recognise that you may be nervous about the legal costs of property transactions. That’s why we offer fixed fees for conveyancing, with no hidden costs. With Coodes as your new-build conveyancing lawyers, you’ll have complete certainty – about the process, the progress, and how much it’s going to cost.

First time Buyers Stamp Duty Land Tax Relief

Most property purchases are subject to a special tax called Stamp Duty Land Tax. However, if you are a first time buyer, you will only need to pay this tax if the purchase price of your property exceeds £425,000. For purchases between £425,001.00 and £625,000.00, Stamp Duty Land Tax is charged at 5% on the portion above £425,001. There is no relief for first time buyers buying over £625,000.00.

To qualify, you need to fulfil certain criteria. Call our conveyancing team for more information.

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Team

Sarah Cowley

Head of Residential Property

Kathryn Shaw

Associate

Laura Noble

Associate

Sophie Jones

Associate

Emma Pearce

Licensed Conveyancer

Hannah Knight

Paralegal

Heidi Start

Solicitor

Lianne Priest

Solicitor

Mary Wright

Chartered Legal Executive

News & Events

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Key contact

Sarah Cowley

Head of Residential Property

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We have a very clear pricing structure and ensure that you have a very clear idea of what your move will cost from the outset.

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