Shared ownership: questions and answers

Buying more of your home

Under the majority of our shared ownership leases, you will be able to buy further shares in your home until you own the property outright. This process is known as 'staircasing'. As you increase your equity share, your rent will be reduced accordingly.

Please note that some properties have a restricted lease that does not allow the leaseholder to own the whole property.

Selling your home

You can sell your shared ownership home at any time after you have purchased it. 

Lodgers

You're allowed to take in a lodger, but as the leaseholder, you'll be responsible for your lodger and you must ensure they keep to the conditions of your lease.

Subletting

Shared ownership properties are developed for use as the leaseholder’s home and are not intended to be sublet. If your circumstances change and you would like to discuss temporarily subletting your home then please contact us. Permission may be given under certain restricted circumstances but will only be for a six month period. You will require written permission from your mortgage lender if we allow you to sublet.

Making improvements to your home

You can carry out smaller tasks, such as putting up shelves or decorating, without consulting us. If you plan to carry out any major works, however, such as structural changes or building an extension, you will need to seek permission from NCHA. We will check whether this is allowed under the terms of your lease.

Repairs

Your newly built home has a defects liability period provided by the developer. This period begins when NCHA takes handover of the completed building, and its length will vary depending on the developer. If this defects liability period has already ended by the time you complete your purchase NCHA will offer you a short period during which we will rectify defects at our own cost. Read the leaseholder handbook for more advice on repairs. 

Insurance claims

If you need to make a claim on your buildings insurance policy, you should contact Zurich Municipal direct on 0800 335 500 or 0800 028 0336 (for out of hours) or email zmpropertyclaims@uk.zurich.com, quoting policy number 'JHA-22S473-0023'. In most cases Zurich Municipal will tell you straight away whether your claim is covered by the policy. If it is covered, they will advise their preferred repairs supplier, who will contact you to arrange a time to carry out the work.

Paying your rent and service charges

Our preferred method of payment is Direct Debit on the first of every month. This is in line with the terms of your lease. If you would prefer to pay by another method, please contact us to discuss your options.

If you're struggling to make a payment, please contact us as soon as possible. We will try to reschedule your payments and advise you of your options. If you fail to make regular monthly payments, however, the Association or your mortgage lender may commence legal proceedings to take possession of your home.

If you are having problems making your payments to either NCHA or to your mortgage lender, visit the Money Advice Service website for useful information. 

In accordance with the terms of your shared ownership lease there will be a review of your rent and service charges on an annual basis. You will be given at least four weeks notice of any increase in your rent. Your lease sets out the maximum increase that NCHA can make to your rent.

All service charges are estimated when annual budgets are set. Service charge accounts for your scheme will be prepared and audited annually and any surplus will be paid back to you. It will, however, be your responsibility to make up any deficit.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage. Failure to maintain your rent and service charge payments to NCHA may result in the loss of your home by forfeiture.