Help to Buy

 

 

Lead Contacts

Claire Turner

Senior Associate, Solicitor

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Carly Callaghan

Legal Director, Solicitor

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Help to Buy: Equity Loan Scheme

In 2013, The Government created the “Help to Buy Equity Loan Scheme”. The scheme involved the government providing an additional equity loan to homeowners, alongside a mortgage, so that a lower deposit (usually 5%) could be utilised, enabling more people to get onto the property ladder.

This scheme came to an end in 2023 so whilst new owners cannot benefit from the scheme, there are many properties which still have this equitable loan charged against their property which may require redemption.

Lenvi (previously Equiniti Gateway Services) have been appointed by the Homes and communities Agency [trading as Homes England] (HE) as the equity loan administrator and deal with making changes to the loan agreement or any questions borrowers may have.

As Solicitors we will assist in the process of redeeming the Help to Buy Loan. Some examples of how you could redeem your loan are below:

  1. Remortgaging
  2. Further Lending
  3. A gift from family
  4. Personal saving
  5. Selling your property

The Steps to take when redeeming the loan are:

1. Contact Help to Buy:

You will need to contact HE either by email Customerservices@myhelptobuyloan.co.uk or write to them by post at Help to Buy customer services, PO Box 5262, Lancing, BN99 9HE. You will be required to fill in some forms and pay administration fees (currently £200).

It would be at this point you should consider appointing your Solicitor so you can inform HE who will be redeeming the loan on your behalf.

2. Obtain a RICS Valuation

You will be required to obtain a Royal institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Valuation for the purpose of redeeming the loan. This will involve paying a surveyor for the valuation/survey to be carried out. You can find a surveyor in your area by searching on this website.

The valuation is only valid for 3 months and if the redemption is not completed within three months of that date, you will need to provide HE with a desktop valuation from the surveyor, re-confirming the Market Value of the property for a further 3 months. In some cases the Valuer/surveyor has the ability to extend their RICS valuation report for an extra month, provided they confirm this in writing to Home and Communities Agency/ Lenvi.

3. Engaging the services of a Solicitor

Solicitors play a crucial role in assisting clients with redeeming Help to Buy loans. We act as  intermediaries between the client and HE by facilitating communication and ensuring that all necessary information /documents is exchanged promptly.

We provide legal advice on the entire redemption process, ensuring you understand your rights, obligations, and the legal implications involved. This involves drafting a legal undertaking in letter format, also known as a solicitors promise, directly to HE confirming the intended date of payment, i.e a completion date.  If completion is delayed for any reason a new undertaking will need to be given. HE will then issue an Authority to complete once they are happy for completion to take place on the specified date.

On completion, we will send through the funds to HE to redeem the loan. This will need to be verified by HE to confirm it matches what was included with their Authority to complete. Once this has taken place, Homes and Communities Agency will remove the charge from your property register.

If you have a Help to Buy loan on your property and would like to discuss redemption or the loan generally in more detail, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the Residential Conveyancing Team.

How we can help

 

Our Residential Property team are highly experienced in dealing with these matters.  This means that we are able to guide you through the process with the minimum of fuss.

We are also accredited with the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) – the mark of excellence for the home buying process which illustrates our excellence in this field, as well as being a Lexcel Accredited firm.

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If you have any enquiries please contact any one of our specialist team who would be pleased to advise you on your options. You can also contact your lawyer individually from ‘Our People’ using the link below.

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