Buying more shares or moving
1. How do I buy more shares?
It’s important that you read the relevant section of your shared ownership (part buy – part rent) lease before instructing anyone though, as this governs how the process will work and if there are any restrictions on the maximum share you can purchase.
Each time you staircase you will need to budget for:
- Valuation fee
- Legal expenses
- SDLT (if applicable)
- Mortgage fees
You’ll need to get a RICS Valuation (Registered Institute of Chartered Surveyors) and send this to us with written confirmation that you would like to purchase more of your home. Once we have received the documentation, we will be able to confirm how much you will need to pay to purchase any additional shares (the Premium) and how your rent will change once you’ve done so.
The cost to purchase additional shares is based on the current market value of your home. You can look at local prices for similar properties to get an idea of the cost of buying further shares, but we won’t be able to tell you how much it will cost until you have sent us the RICS Valuation.
The more equity you have in your home the lower your rent will be, and once you own 100% of the shares you will no longer have to pay rent to us. If you pay a service charge or ground rent, you will still need to pay this once you own 100% of your home.
2. How do I sell my home?
Selling your home is a very straightforward process, but it is important that you read the relevant section of your shared ownership (part buy – part rent) lease before instructing anyone as this governs how the process will work, and if there are any restrictions on selling your home.
Under a normal shared ownership (part buy – part rent) lease as the landlord heylo housing normally has a right to nominate a buyer in the first 8 weeks (the nominations period), who would buy your share of the lease and then continue to pay rent to us. If we are unable to nominate a buyer you can sell your home through any estate agent – you can either sell your share of the lease or you can sell the property outright.
To sell your home you’ll need to get a RICS Valuation (Registered Institute of Chartered Surveyors) and send this to us with written confirmation that you want to sell your home, a copy of the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) and photo identification; we’ll instruct an agent to market your home for the nominations period. If, at the end of the nominations period, we’ve not been able to find a buyer we’ll be in touch with you regarding your next steps.
We are unable to accept an estate agents’ valuation instead of a qualified RICS valuation as these are for marketing purposes and do not necessarily reflect the true market value.
Once a buyer has been found you’ll need to instruct your solicitors and we’ll instruct our solicitors to complete the legal paperwork.
You’ll need to pay an administration fee to heylo housing, your solicitors’ fees, and the surveyor who does the valuation; if you’ve instructed an agent to market the property outside the nominations period you will also need to pay them. If you scheme has a managing agent you may also need to obtain a sales pack from them.
3. What is the Nominations Period?
Almost all shared ownership leases contain a clause which states that the landlord is allowed to nominate a buyer during a set period before you are allowed to sell the property on the open market. This is to ensure that affordable homes continue to be made available to other people unable to afford on the open market.
Any buyer found during the nominations period will need to meet the standard criteria for purchasing a shared ownership property as set out by Homes England.
4. If I staircase to 100% will I obtain the freehold?
5. What restrictions are there on selling my property?
With many shared ownership leases you are required to market the home through the provider or landlord in the first instance, for a limited period of 8 weeks. During this time we will try to find you a buyer and may charge you for doing so. If we cannot find you a buyer, you are free to sell on the open market.
Adding or removing someone from the lease
6. Can I remove someone from my lease?
It is possible to remove someone from your shared ownership (part buy – part rent) lease without selling the property. We would need to undertake an affordability assessment on the person remaining to ensure that they will continue to meet the affordability criteria.
Once we have approved the changes you will need to instruct a solicitor to make the necessary changes with the Land Registry.
7. Can I add someone from my lease?
It is possible to add another person to your shared ownership (part buy – part rent) lease without selling the property. We will need to check that they are eligible for part buy – part rent, and they will also need to undertake a credit check as a new tenant. You cannot add someone to your lease who is not eligible to purchase a part buy – part rent property.
Once we have approved the changes you will need to instruct a solicitor to make the necessary changes with the Land Registry.
Improvements and Adjustments
8. What improvements, adjustments and alternations can I make without approval from heylo?
You don’t need our permission to redecorate or repair your home, but you do if you want to make any structural alterations or major changes to it.
The below provides a general guide as to what you can do with/without our agreement:
You do need our permission to:
- Make structural alterations (such as moving walls or extensions, including conservatories and loft extensions)
- Replace external doors and windows
- Install central heating systems
- Replace your boiler
- Replace or upgrade any electrics
For any work that needs our permission we’ll need to see plans for the work you want to carry out, details of any planning permission or building regulations required, and details for your building contractors with a brief explanation of what they plan to do. If your home is still under warranty you may also need consent from your builder (which we will need to see a copy of).
- Replace your kitchen / bathroom fittings (you do need our permission if you’re changing the room it’s in)
- Repair damage - any repairs being done by your builder under their warranty
9. Can I decorate?
You are able to decorate the property however you wish, and don't need our permission to do so.
10. Can I build a shed/cabin in the garden?
You can usually build a shed/cabin in your back garden, though you should confirm with your local council what the size restrictions are; if your property is on a new-build estate you should speak to the builder or managing agent to confirm whether or not there are any restrictions in the Transfer.
11. What do I need to do if I want to add an extension?
An extension will require consent under your shared ownership lease. In order to provide this we will need to see a copy of the plans for the work you want to carry out, details of any planning permission or building regulations required, and details for your building contractor with a brief explanation of what they plan to do. If you home is still under warranty you may also need consent from your builder (which we will need to see a copy of).
Paying rent and updating details
12. How do I pay my rent?
The easiest way to pay your rent is by direct debit, as the payments are taken automatically so you don’t have to worry about missing a payment. We will tell you in advance if the amount or the date of your direct debit is going to change, and your payment instruction will be automatically updated.
You should have filled out a direct debit mandate before you completed on your property which we’ll set up on completion, and confirm all of your payment details in your Welcome Letter. If we don’t have a form we’ll send you one and ask you to return it so that we can set up a direct debit.
If you don’t want to pay by direct debit please email [email protected] and we will provide the details for you to pay by standing order.
13. I have seen AllPay on my account, who is this?
AllPay are a payment services provider, who we use to manage the collection of your direct debit and debit card payments.
14. I need to update my Direct Debit details
15. I am having trouble paying my rent, what should I do?
16. Can I pay my rent over the phone?
17. Can my home be repossessed if I don’t pay my rent?
18. Why does my rent increase?
19. Is the rent capped or can this increase at any time?
20. Can I sublet?
21. Do I need to let heylo know if I am subletting a room?
Insurance and Maintenance
22. Why does heylo take out building insurance?
23. How do I get a copy of the building insurance?
24. How do I make a claim on the buildings insurance policy?
25. Do I need to send a copy of my contents insurance to heylo?
26. What happens if my boiler breaks down?
27. Who is responsible for servicing my boiler?
28. I have recently moved into the property and there some snagging issues and/or building defects, who do I talk to?
29. Can I have a pet?
30. Can I install a Sky dish on my home?
31. Can I run a business from my shared ownership home?
32. Who do I contact if I have a problem?
33. What is the Administration Fee / Lease Management Fee for?
34. Who is responsible for any service charges and ground rent due?
35. My neighbours are noisy or engaging in anti-social behaviour, can you help?
Rent Review 2022
36. What is my rent?
Your rent is a contractual agreement between yourself and heylo when you purchased your share in your home. It is paid each month on your home’s unpurchased share and in addition to your mortgage payments on the share you own (if you have a mortgage).
As per the terms of your lease, your rent will increase each year with inflation (RPI). Please refer to your rent review letter to see what your new rent and any other charges will be starting from 1 April 2022.
37. What is RPI?
The Retail Price Index (RPI) is a measure of inflation, which is the rate at which prices for goods and services are rising. It is published each month by the Office for National Statistics, the independent producer of official statistics and the recognised national statistical institute of the UK.
38. Why is my rent increasing?
As per the terms of your lease, your rent will increase each year in line with the RPI measurement of inflation alongside any other charges referenced in your rent review letter. Linking rent increases to the rate of inflation is included in the standard shared ownership lease and is normal throughout the private rented sector.
Unfortunately, inflation is currently on the rise. The reasons behind the rise in inflation are complex and linked to several global and national-level economic forces. These include a surge in worldwide demand for energy resources, shortages in supplies of goods and the Government’s Covid-19 financial support packages coming to an end.
39. How much is my rent increasing by?
Please refer to your rent review letter, which will outline in detail your rent increases alongside any other charges that may apply.
40. When does my rent increase start?
The new monthly changes due will be from 1 April 2022.
41. Do I need to do anything?
If you pay your rent via a standing order it is your responsibility to update your standing order through your bank so that the correct charges are paid from 1st April 2022. This could take several days, so please allow plenty of time.
If you pay by direct debit we will arrange to update the direct debit for you and you don’t need to do anything. If you don’t currently pay by direct debit but would like to, please contact a member of the Property Management Team.
42. I pay a service charge, do the same increases apply?
heylo do not set your service charge, this is done by your managing agent. Your service charge is based on the most recent budget received from the managing agent for your development, which would be sent to you separately to this letter. Your service charge reflects the estimated cost of providing the services you receive on your estate.
43. I also pay a Lease Management Fee, do the same increases apply?
As per the terms of your lease, your Lease Management Fee (sometimes referred to as the Admin Fee) will also increase in line with RPI.
44. What do I do if I cannot afford to pay the rent increase?
If you can make rental payments in full and on time then you should do; your rent is a priority debt, which is one that can carry the most serious consequences if you don’t pay. Your home may be at risk if you do not keep up your rent payments.
If you cannot pay your rent in full you should contact a member of the Property Management Team to discuss this further. You may be entitled to claim Universal Credit to cover some of the rent, especially if your income has decreased. Keep your rent review letter handy as this should have all the details you need from us to make a claim.
For independent advice and support you can contact:
· Citizens Advice Bureau: 0344 411 1444, www.citizensadvice.org.uk
· National Debt Line: 0808 808 4000, www.nationaldebtline.org
· Money Advice Service: 0300 500 5000, www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk
· Step Change Debt Charity: 0800 138 1111, www.stepchange.org
· Turn to Us: 0808 802 2000, www.turn2us.org