Please read below for a guide on your rights and responsibilities as a leaseholder. For full details, please refer to your lease which can be obtained from your solicitor or the Land Registry. You can also contact us on 0121 766 1100 or the Citizens Advice Bureau.
Our leaseholder leaflets also provide more information:
Leaseholders Leaflet : You & Your Home
Leaseholders Leaflet : Caring for Your Home
You will be a leaseholder through the HomeBuy shared ownership scheme or through a resale. HomeBuy is a Government scheme to help people buy a property when they can’t secure a mortgage. A resale occurs when an existing leaseholder sells their share of the property though Family or an estate agent.
As stated in your lease, as a leaseholder, you will:
· Not do anything which might cause damage, be a nuisance or disturb your neighbours. This applies to anyone in the household, including visitors.
· Not put up a TV aerial or satellite dish if you live in a flat.
· Allow us access into your home if you live in a flat to carry out any repairs for which we are responsible.
· Ask our permission before improving or altering your home.
· Contact us if you wish to sell your home, so we can nominate an approved purchaser.
· Not use your home to run a business without our written consent.
Improvements and Alterations to your Home
You have the right to improve your home but you will need our written permission before you start any work. If you do not get our approval in writing we do have the right to put things back as they were and charge you the costs for doing this.
This does not apply to minor work such as redecorating but does include alterations to the structure of the building, plumbing or electrical services. You may also need planning permission and building regulations from the local council.
Repairs and Maintenance
Although you have not bought your home outright, you will have many of the normal responsibilities of a full owner-occupier under the terms of your lease.
If you live in a house, you are responsible for all the repairs, redecoration and maintenance both internally and externally.
If you live in a flat, you are responsible for all internal repairs and redecoration. Family Housing is responsible for the building in which your flat is situated and the communal areas such as the stairs and corridors. The costs of maintaining these communal areas will be included in your service charge.
If you move into a new build property we will advise you if there is a defects period. If a repair needs to be done within the defects period please let us know and we will ask the contractor who built your property to fix the repair. After the defects period has lapsed you are responsible for all repairs.
Within the lease we charge a management fee and some leaseholders are required to pay a service charge for services such as cleaning or gardening in communal areas. If you need an extra service you may also be charged an administration fee.
If you wish to re-mortgage your home, please contact us. You will need to pay for a valuation of the property and an administration charge.
Mortgage and rent payments
The amount you pay every month towards your mortgage and rent will depend on the type of mortgage you have and what share in the property you own. See our Rent Account section for more details. If you are having difficulty in meeting payments, please contact us so we can help you with advice and support.
If you do not make regular payments towards both your rent and your mortgage you are at risk of losing your home.
Buying Extra Shares (Staircasing)
Staircasing is when you buy further shares in your property and unless planning restrictions prevent you from doing so, you can eventually own the property outright.
Buying further shares will reduce the amount of rent you pay and extra shares are usually bought in quantities of 25% but this can vary. Please check your lease or contact us to check on the shares you can buy.
You must have our permission in writing if you wish to sublet your home. You should also check that your mortgage lender and insurers are happy for you to sublet.
Selling your home
Please contact us if you want to move and sell your home. You will be required to pay for an independent valuation of the property and there may be a sales fee.