Buying more shares or moving

1. How do I buy more shares? 

You can increase your share in your home at any time after you complete your initial purchase. The process is called ‘Staircasing’, and most leases will allow you to do this until you own 100% of the property.

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.

For more information or to start the process please email [email protected] or call 020 3744 0415

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.


For more information or to start the process please email [email protected] or call 020 3744 0415

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?

This will depend on the title which heylo has for your property and the staircasing provisions in your shared ownership lease. Please email [email protected] for more information.

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. 


For more information or to start the process please email [email protected] or call 020 3744 0415

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.


For more information or to start the process please email [email protected] or call 020 3744 0415

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

Please contact the Portfolio Team by emailing [email protected] or call 020 3744 0415 and we will guide you through the process

15. I am having trouble paying my rent, what should I do?

Please contact the Portfolio Team by emailing [email protected] or call 020 3744 0415 and we can discuss the options with you. 

16. Can I pay my rent over the phone?

You can make a debit card payment through AllPay either online https://pay.allpay.net, or by calling 0330 041 6497.

You will need to have your AllPay Payment Reference Number to hand in order to make the payment; if you don’t have this please contact the Portfolio team by emailing [email protected], or by phone on 020 3744 0415.

We do not accept payment by credit card.

17. Can my home be repossessed if I don’t pay my rent?

Ultimately, yes it can, but this is subject to strict and transparent rules explained in our revenue collection and recovery process and we will work with you to avoid that happening. If we are considering this you will receive a Notice of Seeking Possession from our solicitors; if this happens you should seek some independent advice.

18. Why does my rent increase?

The rent increases each year to take into account inflation and to help us pay for the investment we have made in the property over the longer term. Our investments are often also linked to inflationary increases.

19. Is the rent capped or can this increase at any time?

The rent is not capped and is reviewed each year as per the terms of your shared ownership lease. Your shared ownership lease sets out how and when the rent is to be reviewed, in a form determined by government policy and the standard government supported model lease.

Subletting

20. Can I sublet?

Your shared ownership lease does not allow you to sublet the whole of the property. This is because part buy – part rent is designed to help people take a step on to the property ladder.


There are exceptional circumstances where we may permit you to sublet on a temporary basis, such as if you are in the Armed Forces and are deployed. We also permit renting out a room in your home under the governments’ Rent a Room scheme.


Subletting your property on short-term lets, such as via AirBnB, is not permitted under any circumstances.

21. Do I need to let heylo know if I am subletting a room?

You are able to rent a room in your home under the Governments’ Rent a Room scheme, but we do ask that you let us know you are doing so.

Insurance and Maintenance

22. Why does heylo take out building insurance?

Under the terms of your shared ownership (part buy – part rent) lease the building is insured by us as your landlord (unless you live in a flat and your managing agent insures the building). The buildings insurance policy does not cover your contents.

Our insurance policy runs from October to October each year, and the premiums are collected between the following April and March (with your Rent Review). When you move in you will pay an apportioned premium to the end of the current insurance policy, and the premium is then added to your monthly payments from the following April; you'll receive the details with your Rent Review Letter shortly before this.

The insurance policy covers the whole of the property, so you don’t need to insure your share separately. It will cover any standard insurance requirements by your mortgage lender as well.

It is not possible to have your own buildings insurance policy instead.

23. How do I get a copy of the building insurance?

You'll receive the details for the insurance policy shortly after you complete with your Welcome Letter, then each year when the policy renews (normally in November); if you need a certificate specific to your property please contact [email protected] with your property details and we will request one from the insurance company for you.

If you live in a flat and the insurance is arranged by your managing agent you should contact them to get a copy of the insurance policy.

24. How do I make a claim on the buildings insurance policy?

If your insurance is organised by heylo and you need to make a claim please contact Mason Owen, our insurance brokers, who will talk you through the process (Mason Owen will contact us where necessary). All of the details you’ll need are in your insurance policy letter.

If your insurance is organised by your managing agent please refer to your managing agent who will be able to assist.

For more information on our Building Insurance policy and how to claim – link to building insurance policy ?file location?

25. Do I need to send a copy of my contents insurance to heylo?

No, we do not need a copy of your contents insurance.

26. What happens if my boiler breaks down?

Boiler breakdown is not covered by the buildings insurance policy; as a shared owner it would be your responsibility to repair the boiler if it is no longer covered by a warranty from the builder or manufacturer.

If your boiler is beyond economic repair you do not need our permission before arranging for it to be replaced provided that the new boiler is installed in the same place as the existing one, we will need to see copies of the installation paperwork once the installation is complete and will then provide retrospective consent.

If you have or suspect a gas leak you should contact the National Gas Emergency Helpline immediately on 0800 111 999.

27. Who is responsible for servicing my boiler?

As a shared owner it is your responsibility to arrange for any servicing or repairs required to your boiler (unless these repairs are covered by a warranty from the builder or manufacturer); failure to service your boiler can void the warranty from the builder or manufacturer. You can find details of qualified gas engineers on the official Gas Safe website - www.gassaferegister.co.uk/find-an-engineer.

28. I have recently moved into the property and there some snagging issues and/or building defects, who do I talk to?

Any snagging issues should be reported back to your housebuilder, who provides the warranty on your home.

If you have any problems claiming on your warranty please email the Portfolio Team on [email protected] with a list of the outstanding issues and the details of your contact at the builder, and we will do our best to assist you.

If your property is out of warranty then it would be your responsibility as the leaseholder to undertake any necessary repairs and maintenance required; you may be able to claim on the buildings insurance policy, please speak to the insurance brokers to discuss this further.

General Enquiry

29. Can I have a pet?

If you live in a house you do not need our permission to have a pet.

If you live in a flat you will need to get permission from the managing agent for your block; once you have permission from the managing agent you should forward us a copy and we can also confirm consent under your shared ownership lease.

30. Can I install a Sky dish on my home?

If you live in a house you should check with the builder and/or the managing agent on the estate whether there are any restrictions on the estate; provided that neither objects you can go ahead and have the dish fitted.

If you live in a flat you should speak to your managing agent – you may find that your block already has a communal dish installed.

31. Can I run a business from my shared ownership home?

No, your shared ownership lease does not allow you to run a business from your home. Most new-build estate will also have a restriction in the property title which prevents anyone on the estate running a business from their home.

32. Who do I contact if I have a problem?

If you have a problem please contact the Portfolio Team by calling 020 3744 0415 or email [email protected]

33. What is the Administration Fee / Lease Management Fee for?

The Lease Management Fee (also known as the Administration Fee) is a fee charged by heylo for the management of your shared ownership lease, and for any administration required to meet the landlord’s obligations for the day-to-day management of your lease.

There are some additional fees which may be payable for certain things, such as buyer further shares in your property or selling the property, but these will be outlined at the time.

34. Who is responsible for any service charges and ground rent due?

Any service charges due for your home, which are your contribution towards the cost of maintaining the communal areas of the estate you live on, would be set by the managing agent for the scheme that you live on, and are payable by the shared owner. Your managing agent should collect any service charges due directly from you as the shared owner.

35. My neighbours are noisy or engaging in anti-social behaviour, can you help?

You should try speaking to your neighbour first – they may not realise that the noise is disturbing you. It’s always best to try and resolve disagreements with your neighbours directly before they escalate.

If you can’t resolve your dispute then please contact us, we can talk you through the next steps such as contacting your local Environmental Health Department or offering mediation. We may also ask that you keep an incident diary, which we would require if we were to look at taking any action against another resident.

We do not consider noise caused by people going about their daily lives (including DIY and building works being done during the day), playing children or crying babies to be antisocial behaviour.

If you feel threatened, harassed, or believe the behaviour in question is illegal, you should contact the police – 999 it’s an emergency, and 101 if it’s not.

36. Your question not answered?

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