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Owner occupiers account for a higher proportion of the housing market in England and Wales than in most other countries. The mortgage market has developed a wide range of finance products to open up home ownership to many people. The interval between agreeing to buy "subject to contract" and exchange of binding contracts allows clients to avoid the risk of ending up with two homes or none, at the cost of frequent "chains" of interdependent sales. Both buyers and sellers benefit from clear guidance on their rights and duties as property owners.
Investors in housing add to the stock of homes to rent, alongside housing provided by local authorities and registered social landlords. A clear understanding of the mutual obligations of landlord and tenant can help to prevent unwanted disputes.
Trusts and estates can hold homes on trust for beneficiaries to occupy. The terms of occupation may be set out in the trust deed or will, or may be negotiated with the trustees. Tax consequences must be considered as well as their mutual obligations in relation to the home itself.