Shared Ownership - FAQs

Shared Ownership - FAQs

 

What are the costs of purchasing?

 

You will need to be able to afford:

 

What will I pay each month?

  • Rent
  • Service charge
  • Mortgage payments
  • Household running costs, inc. insurance, council tax, repairs, utilities etc.

 

Can I view my property before I buy?

Shared ownership is a very popular product, so we sell many of our properties off plan. We work really hard to move you in quickly once we have taken handover. We always aim to get you a viewing, but it’s at the discretion of the builder; health and safety on site is really important to us.

 

What size of property can I buy?

You are able to purchase any property that you can afford; however when there is more than one qualifying applicant interested in a property household size may be taken into consideration.

 

Are properties sold freehold or leasehold?

All shared ownership properties are sold on a leasehold basis.

 

If you staircase to 100% ownership of a house it is likely that you will then own the freehold. This will be detailed in your lease. If the property is a flat you will then own the lease.

 

Can I buy further shares in my property?

You can buy more shares in your property. It’s often possible to buy your home outright; the details for your property will be set out in your lease.

 

Can I buy if I have a property to sell?

Unless you are selling a shared ownership home, we will need approval from the Local Authority to sell to you.

 

Before we offer you a home you must confirm that you have accepted an offer on your property. We require written evidence of this. Even though you are selling a property you must still meet our timeframes.

 

Can I sub-let my property?

There is a clause in your shared ownership lease that prohibits you from sub-letting your home. In some exceptional circumstances we may agree for shared owners to sub-let their home for a short period of time.

 

Can I carry out alterations or make additions to my property?

You will need to apply for permission. If your property is new it is not advisable to carry out alterations within the first 12 months as this may invalidate any guarantees. After this period you will need to check with us as there are often restrictions contained in your lease, if permission is required a fee will be payable.

 

What maintenance of the property am I responsible for?

If your property is a house then you will be responsible for the maintenance of the whole building, including the exterior. If it is a flat then you are responsible for maintenance within the flat and any services which are for your flat solely, the structure and communal areas would normally be maintained by the freeholder. This can vary according to your individual lease, if in doubt please check with us.

 

Can I re-mortgage?

If you have a fixed term mortgage rate or are considering a new mortgage deal, you’ll need to keep us informed.

 

Saxon Weald provides your mortgage lender with a guarantee (mortgage protection clause or MPC). If it is necessary for the loan to be foreclosed, the lender will receive repayment of their loan as a first priority.

 

If you are changing your mortgage arrangements, the new lender will require the MPC protection is transferred to them. We have a number of requirements - most importantly that the mortgage advance, including any fees, does not exceed your share of the property value. It is best to allow at least 3 months for the process.

 

We will appoint our solicitor to prepare the formal document, and will expect you to meet the legal fees we incur.

 

What happens if a joint owner dies?

Losing a spouse or partner is an extremely difficult time and please don’t worry, there is no rush to sort out what happens to property which is jointly owned.

 

The first thing for you to do is to let us have details of the name and address of the deceased and a copy of the death certificate. We can then amend our records e.g. Mr Jack Smith and Mrs Jane Smith would be changed to Mr Jack Smith and the Estate of Mrs Jane Smith.

 

What happens next will depend on the type of legal ownership you opted for when you bought – we can give you specific advice at that time.

 

Transferring your lease into sole/joint names

We appreciate that circumstances can change and you may want to change ownership either into joint names or into a sole name if one owner is moving out. If you wish to add (or remove) a person to your lease, you will need to contact us as this is a legal process. If you are re-mortgaging in order to facilitate this change, we will also need to approve your new mortgage.

 

Estate Management & Managing Agents

All homeowners on private developments have to pay for the upkeep of the communal areas on the estate. The communal areas may simply be private roads; but they can also include landscaped gardens, street lighting, refuse areas, sewage pumps and TV aerial systems.

 

The usual management arrangement would be for the company owning the communal areas to employ managing agents to carry out maintenance and other services. The agent then organises contracts (gardening for example) and deals with repairs.

 

Another type of arrangement on private developments is for a company to be set up that owns the communal areas. These are Resident Management Companies (RMC) and are run by residents. Where we own properties on private developments, Saxon Weald may hold voting rights in the RMC. We don’t take an active part in managing the development, believing that it is best for residents on the estate to decide how the communal areas are kept. We do review the proposals made by the RMC to ensure that they accord with our core values of; acting with integrity, treating people with respect, equality and acting fairly and valuing our customers. In most cases, we would expect the RMC to appoint a managing agent to carry out the day-to-day management.

  

How you pay for estate management will depend on the terms of your lease. In some cases Saxon Weald is billed and we then include the estate charges in your service charges. Alternatively you may be billed estate charges directly by the RMC or managing agent and pay service charges separately to Saxon Weald.

 

Can I keep a pet?

We need to check your lease so please email us with details of the pet and we can see if we can grant permission.

 

Can I run a business from home?

Please email us with details of the business you would like to run and we will need to check your lease.

 

Can I have a lodger?

The terms of your lease do not prohibit you from taking in a paying guest or a lodger, providing you are also still living in the property as your main and principle home. The provision of low cost home ownership products are intended to provide accommodation to meet your residential needs, and not business needs. Therefore we do not expect your home to be used as commercial bed and breakfast accommodation.

 

If you take in a lodger or paying guest, you must not issue them with a tenancy agreement as this may grant them rights of occupation.

 

Please tell us if it is your intention to take in a lodger or a paying guest. You should also inform your mortgage lender, your insurance company (contents), your managing agent and your local tax office.

 

More information about renting a room to a lodger is available here.

 

You can find out more about shared ownership by clicking our brochure here.

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