Shared ownership - but not a timeshare?
How Does OwnerGroups Work?
The most common response to suggestions about any business organising shared ownership and use of a property is “it must be some form of timeshare”. And everyone knows that timeshare actually doesn’t allow you much choice about anything, other than whether actually to use it or not, and is often actually rather poor value for money. But we’ve said that whatever, and wherever, your ideal holiday home, boat or aircraft may be, you can now part-own exactly what you want, on your own terms. Sound impossible? Here’s the big difference between what we do and any other form of shared ownership.
Most commercial shared ownership systems such as timeshare or fractional ownership involve an organisation which owns something, and has worked out a way to sell usage of it in small pieces to as many people as it can. Commercial “fractional” schemes give a form of ownership of the property, but not much control over it. Private owners syndicates usually start out with a few people who are already acquainted getting together to buy something, often on a fairly informal basis.
The OwnerGroups Company has a fourth method which does the direct opposite of what timeshare organisations do. We provide a professional service to create small private groups, and act as their agent to then acquire exactly what the the group’s members actually want.
We find the smallest possible number of people with similar requirements, and put together a detailed agreement between them as to what it is they are really looking for, and how they want to share it, before any specific property or asset is considered. This agreement between the members is unique to each group, and is at the heart of the concept. It is called the Shareholders’ Syndicate Agreement, and it ensures that every member of the group has his or her rights fully protected, and that the mutual obligations of the members are fully understood, before significant amounts of money change hands. It is an example of what is now being referred to as “buyer-directed commerce”.
The OwnerGroups Company eliminates the legal problems found in most other multiple ownership arrangements, and the big financial uncertainty in most timeshare schemes, by establishing each group as a separate legal entity. This entity is entirely owned and controlled by the members of the group: its objectives are those which you, the shareholders, set out and its assets are the house, boat, aircraft, or other asset which you wish to purchase. The OwnerGroups Company does not take any equity in the group. (The exact nature of this legal entity will depend on what and where the asset is: for example it could be a UK registered company, a US corporation, an SCI in France, or simply a documented syndicate).
The end result is that you have nearly as much freedom of choice and control as you would have from buying something on your own, but only pay a fraction of the price and of the running costs. The OwnerGroups Company has no interest in “pushing” any particular property, and can consequently act as an impartial “facilitator” whose only objective is to enable you to achieve what you want to do. Take a look at our “comparisons” and “problems solved” pages for more background information.
For a more detailed explanation please see our “Step by step guide” to how an OwnerGroup is formed. For answers to a few specific practical questions such as “how do you sort out the allocation of time?” and “how are minority interests protected?” go to our “Frequently Asked Questions” page.