If you are uncertain about home ownership, we strongly encourage you to refer to your lease agreement, which outlines in detail all the essential information you should be aware of as a Shared Ownership leaseholder. To help you find what you are looking for, we have highlighted some key areas below:
Your lease will tell you exactly what conditions you’ve agreed to. Generally speaking, you have a responsibility under the lease to:
- If you are a shared owner of a house, you have the same responsibilities as a private homeowner, for example, you are responsible for all repairs and maintenance, dealing with your neighbours etc.
- A condition of shared ownership lease for houses and flats is that you do not sublet your property.
- Pay ground rent and any service charges including your share of the costs of repairing and maintaining any communal areas
- Keep your home and any fixtures and fittings in good condition
- Be a good neighbour
- Get permission from Stockport Homes before making any alterations to your home
If you do not follow the conditions of the lease, you may be taken to court and must pay for any damage or costs incurred by your landlord because of the breach of your lease.
Rent must be paid by shared owners for the percentage of the property still owned by the landlord. As a rough calculation your rent is set at approximately 2.75% of the unowned percentage per year, e.g., if your property is valued at £100,000 and you own 50%, your rent will be approximately £50,000 x 2.75% = £1,375 per year.
Ground rent is a fee you must pay to the freeholder if it is a condition of your lease.
Service Charges pay for the services provided to you by your landlord or management company. The services provided will depend on whether you live in a house or a flat and may include a contribution towards the repair and maintenance of any communal areas. For a breakdown of the components of the service charges please consult the Service Charge Breakdown tab below.
Shared Owners – Houses and Flats
Alterations or improvements to your property are not allowed under the terms of your lease and would only be approved in exceptional circumstances. We would always advise you to purchase more of your home rather than make improvements.
As you own a percentage of your property you would also only own a percentage of the value of any improvements you make regardless of whether you have paid for them. Therefore, if you decide to sell your property any improvements will disregarded regardless of whether consent for the improvements was given or not.
On new developments during an agreed defects period – usually one or two years after the development is completed - the building contractor is responsible for putting right any defects with your property and the wider development. Any alterations you make to your property during this period will invalidate your warranty. This may apply to slight changes such as adding an outside tap. Cosmetic changes are also not recommended during this period as they may also invalidate your warranty. To check if Stockport Homes will give consent to an improvement or alteration or to check if you are still in the defects period please email email@example.com
Apply to make alterations or improvements
If you wish to make any alteration or improvement, please complete the Alterations and Improvements Form, and pay the administration fee for assessing your proposed alteration/improvement by calling the Customer Finance team on 0161 217 6016, option 3. If you require a paper copy of the form, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Buying more of your shared ownership property is known as staircasing: you are taking steps up towards owning 100% of your property. Staircasing allows you to purchase additional shares in your property. As you buy more, you will pay less rent, and if you staircase to 100% you will not pay any rent at all. If you are the shared owner of a house, you may also be able to acquire the freehold for your property. If you are a shared owner of a flat, once you own 100% you will become a long leaseholder as Stockport Homes will continue to own the building you are in and provide services to you. You will not be able to staircase if you are in rent arrears.
If you are going to staircase, we recommend that you buy the maximum you can afford each time as there are costs associated with each transaction. These costs can include; valuation fees, legal fees, Stockport Homes’ administration fees, stamp duty and any fees your lender may charge.
Before deciding if you wish to buy more of your property you should ensure that you are able to finance the purchase, either with savings or by getting a mortgage in principle from a lender. If you decide to go ahead and staircase you will need to complete an ‘Intention to staircase’ form and pay Stockport Homes an administration fee. The summary of costs can be found further down on this page. To pay the administration fee please call the Customer Finance Team on 0161 217 6016 option 3 or if you wish to pay by cheque, please make cheques payable to Stockport Homes Ltd and send to The Home Ownership Team, Stockport Homes Ltd, Cornerstone, 2 Edward St, Stockport, SK1 3NQ.
Once you have paid the administration fee and returned the intention to staircase form the next step is for you to provide us with a Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) valuation of your property. An estate agent's valuation will not be sufficient. Under the shared ownership legislation your valuation will last three months before it needs to be re-assessed (usually at a lower additional cost to the original valuation). Therefore, we strongly recommend that you progress other elements of the purchase, e.g., find a solicitor, organise your mortgage etc. before your valuation so the purchase can move on efficiently.
If you would like to staircase or get a staircasing enquiry pack, please email email@example.com or call 0161 218 1524 and a member of the Home Ownership team will answer any questions that you have.
This section is to help explain the process that is involved in the resale of your shared ownership property. If you are interested in selling your property, the first thing that you need to do is contact Stockport Homes’ Home Ownership Team on 0161 218 1377. At this point we can answer any questions that you have and provide you with our resale information pack and an ‘intention to assign-resale’ form. Under the terms of your lease your landlord must consent to any sale and there are prescribed processes for you to go through: you cannot sell your shared ownership property on the open market without permission.
Before you complete the ‘Intention to resale’ form we recommend that you get a Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) valuation of your property. This is a necessary step that you must complete. It is best to do it at this stage so that the rest of the process can run smoothly. Once you have your valuation you will been to complete the ‘intention to assign-resale’ form and return it to the Home Ownership Team. To make the process run even smoother it is advised that you also supply us with EPC and photographs of your property for marketing purposes. As part of the intention to assign-resale form you will need to choose which method of selling your shared ownership property you would like to do.
There are two ways that you can sell your property:
- The first is that you sell the percentage of the property that you currently own.
- The second has two parts that happen at the same time. You purchase the remaining shares of your property (Staircase to 100%) then immediately sell 100% of the property on the open market.
If you chose the first option Stockport Homes have the right to try and sell the property as an affordable shared ownership property during an eight-week nomination period. Any new buyer will have to meet the same affordability criteria that you met on buying the property.
When you sell your home, you will be asked by purchasers to provide a LPE1 pack. You can contact the Home Ownership team to arrange to pay for the pack. A summary of costs can be found online here.
If you decide that you would like to sell your property, please complete the form at the bottom of the guide and returned it to us along with your valuation, EPC, and photographs of your property for marketing purposes. Please email the documents to firstname.lastname@example.org or post it to:
Home Ownership Team Stockport Homes Ltd, Cornerstone, 2 Edward Street, Stockport, SK1 3NQ
Alternatively, if you would like to purchase more of your property (Staircasing) please email email@example.com or call 0161 218 1524 and we will provide further information regarding this process.