Shared Owners

If you’re a shared owner, here is all the key information you need to know about your home.

Shared Owners

As one of the largest housing groups in the Midlands and East of England, Longhurst Group owns and manages over 23,000 homes. Of those, 4,000 properties are leasehold, shared ownership and retirement living homes.

With a clear set of values that unite the Group, we put our customers first and work in collaboration with partners that share our ambition and vision – Improving Lives.

We have put together some frequently asked questions relating to home ownership. The information contained here is a guide only and will not cover everything. Contact us for more information if your question is not answered here.

Can I purchase further shares of my home?

Under the shared ownership scheme and the terms of your lease you are permitted to purchase further proportions of your home to enable you to gradually build up the amount you own. This process is called staircasing. Read Steve's* story here on how he has used staircasing on his Longhurst Group home.

Please note you will continue to pay a rent on the unacquired proportion that you do not own, however if you purchase all of the remaining shares of the property you will not be required to pay rent, but in some cases you may be required to pay a service charge.

If you require further assistance with staircasing please contact our Sales Team on 0345 601 9095.

Can I rent my property out?

The Shared Ownership scheme is designed to assist lower income households and first time buyers to purchase a property. The shared ownership scheme uses public funding to build shared ownership homes and Longhurst group are expected to ensure the shared ownership homes we build are used for the purpose they are intended.

For this reason, subletting is not allowed and is a serious breach of a lease agreement.

If you have any further queries regarding this please contact us on 0300 123 1745.

What do I need to do if I want to sell my property?

If you decide to sell your home, please email: Assignments@longhurst-group.org.uk confirming your details and a member of the Sales Team will arrange for you to receive a Selling Letter and a copy of our Guidance Notes For Selling Your Home. These will provide you with all the information you will need to help you with the selling process and explain the next steps for placing your home on the market.

Our promise to you

  • We will provide you with guidance notes and selling information to help you place your property on the market.
  • We will liaise with your appointed estate agent to ensure they have the necessary information to market your property correctly, including application forms and eligibility requirements, the share available for sale, the lease term and ongoing rent/service charge costs.
  • We will provide your appointed estate agent with the information they require to help potential purchasers complete an Application Form.
  • Once you have found a buyer we will provide them with a copy of our ‘Your Lease and Your Rights’ booklet, which helps explain our responsibilities as landlord and important information regarding their own ongoing responsibilities as a Shared Owner.
  • Our dedicated Sales Team and appointed solicitor will work closely with your own solicitor to ensure they have all the necessary information to progresses your sale as smoothly as possible.

Please note you will be required to appoint a solicitor to act on your behalf and you will be responsible for your own costs and payments upon resale as detailed within your Lease.

Can I carry out home improvements?

Generally, you can carry out minor works, such as putting up shelves or decorating, without our permission.

If you plan to carry out major works such as taking down or putting up a wall, or building an extension, you may require our written permission and you should contact us before proceeding with improvements of that nature.

You will also need to ensure that any major works that we have approved are carried out by a reputable builder and meet all necessary building regulations and local authority planning requirements.

Any works that change the gas or electrical fittings must be certified that the changes comply with current regulations and certification must be provided once the works are complete.

If you carry out improvement works without our permission, you may find that you cannot sell your property.

Please click here to request permission, to make alterations to your home. 

Can I keep pets?

Usually, your lease will say whether you are allowed to keep a domestic pet at your property.

The lease requires you to seek permission from us to keep a domestic pet at your property. To submit a request for permission, please click here.

Buildings insurance – What am I covered for and how do I make a claim?

To find out more about buildings insurance, please click here.

It is your responsibility to purchase contents insurance, this is not covered in your lease.

Contents insurance is designed to help protect your possessions. No matter how careful you are, there’s always a risk that your belongings could be broken, damaged or stolen so home contents insurance can help provide peace of mind.

My rent and service charge

If you require a copy of your rent  statement/service charge budget or have a query regarding your rent or service charge please complete this online form.


How to pay your rent and service charges

We offer a wide range of payment methods to make it easy for you to pay your rent and service charge. We can also offer support to help you manage your payments if you are experiencing financial difficulty.

Payment methods

Direct Debit
If you would like to set up a direct debit please call us on 0300 123 1745 and ask for the Leasehold team, who will set this up over the phone. Alternatively you can to request a direct debit form below.

Please complete our online form to request a direct debit form. 

One-off payment
Please call us on 0300 123 1745 to make a one-off payment.

 

Do you need support?

You can call our customer service team on 0300 123 1745 if you are experiencing issues with paying your rent and service charge.

They can also help you with the following:

  • Discuss your rent and service charge account
  • Find out more about any of the ways to pay your rent and service charge
  • Get advice on benefits you may be entitled to
  • Request a rent/ service charge statement
  • Get access to independent, free organisations that can give you budgeting and debt advice.

    
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