Information for Home Owners
Why have I received a ground rent demand?
You will receive a demand if ground rent is payable under the terms of your lease. The amount you will pay is usually stated in the first few pages of your lease.
For a shared ownership property where applicable, ground rent will become payable from final staircasing to 100%.
Why do I need a gas safety certificate?
As a homeowner, you are responsible for arranging your own gas safety check. Ideally, you must have a gas safety check every year and it is important to choose a Gas Safe registered engineer to carry it out. You may also be required to provide a copy when selling your home.
For more information, please go to www.newlon.org.uk/residents/home-owners/gas-service-for-leaseholders-and-shared-owners.
To find certified engineers in your area visit the Gas Safe Register website.
Why do I have to sell my Shared Ownership home through Newlon?
Your lease states that we have a nomination period to try and find a buyer for your home. This is to help other first-time buyers get on to the housing ladder via Shared Ownership.
It also helps make sure you are given an efficient and cost-effective service. If we find a buyer for your home, you will be charged a nomination fee. This fee is determined by the terms of your lease but is generally between 0.75% and 1.25% of the full open market valuation.
If you are a 100% leaseholder, you can sell your home directly in the open market.
Why do I have to pay administration fees?
An administration fee is an amount which may be payable by you as part of or in addition to your rent/service charge, directly or indirectly. The fee you pay is payable only to the extent that the amount is reasonable to provide services eﬀectively. It covers:
- enquiries received from solicitors/lenders which relate to the management of your property.
- for or in connection with an application under the terms of your lease such as staircasing, resale, remortgage or lease extension.
- the grant of an approval under your lease.
- for or in connection with the provision of information or documents.
- in respect of your failure to make any payment due under your lease.
- in connection with a breach of a covenant or condition of your lease.
The fee is reviewed annually.
For more information please go to www.newlon.org.uk/residents/home-owners/our-charges
What is Transfer of Equity?
Transfer of equity is the legal process used to add or remove someone from the title deeds of a property (adding or removing them as an owner). You will need to instruct solicitors to act on your behalf to remove someone else from the lease. Please note that until this has been completed and relevant requirements met, all current leaseholders would continue to be legally responsible for the property.
You might transfer equity for several reasons, including:
- The breakdown of a relationship.
- Starting a new relationship.
- Buying out the equity of a joint owner.
- For tax purposes.
If you would like further information please contact email Resident.Sales@newlon.org.uk.
What is remortgaging?
Remortgaging is the process of switching your existing mortgage to a new deal. You could remortgage in order to purchase more shares in your home (staircasing), or to borrow more money to carry out home improvements.
It may lead to a change in mortgage provider or terms of a mortgage.
There are a wide range of mortgage deals available on the market and as such we would recommend you use the services of a mortgage advisor to help you decide the best deal suitable for your needs.
What is Certificate of Compliance?
A certificate of compliance is a document that is required by the Land Registry to confirm that you have complied with all the covenants of the lease or restrictions in the title.
This is usually something that will be dealt with by your solicitor and they must first check with the Land Registry to confirm if there is a restriction on the Title Register to be complied with.
If there is a restriction, please ask your solicitor to email Resident.Sales@newlon.org.uk to request a Certificate of Compliance providing a copy of title register.
Please note that there is a charge for this service.
What is an Energy Performance Certificate and why do I need it?
An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is a certificate that shows how energy-efficient your property is. The document includes estimated energy costs, as well as a summary of your home’s energy performance-related features.
You will need an EPC before you can sell your home.
An EPC lasts for a period of 10 years and you can get a copy by searching the EPC register. You can also get an EPC for your home by instructing a qualified energy assessor.
To find out more, please visit www.epcregister.com.
My solicitor says I need a Leasehold Pack to sell my property. Why is that?
The Leasehold Pack (also referred to as an LPE1) contains information about your landlord, ground rent, service charges, buildings insurance and management of the building. It forms part of the formal enquiries your solicitor will be expected to provide your buyer’s solicitor in response to management enquiries once sale has been instructed. Please note that there is a fee for providing this information.
The compiling of the Leasehold Pack can take up to 10 working days so it is imperative that your solicitor requests this in good time.
To request a pack, ask your solicitors to email Resident.Sales@newlon.org.uk.
I have received a section 20 notice. What action do I need to take?
The purpose of a Section 20 notice is to inform you that we intend to carry out major works or enter into a long-term agreement for the provision of works or services for which you, as a leaseholder, will be expected to contribute towards. It provides details of what is planned and gives you the opportunity to respond through a consultation process.
We are legally obliged to undertake section 20 consultation if any major works being carried out will cost any leaseholder affected by them more than £250. Similarly, we also need to consult if we set up any long-term agreements for works or services which will cost any leaseholder affected more than £100 a year.
The Section 20 notice should give you all the information you need to know about the plans and the consultation process. However, if you require any further information please contact our Service Centre on 020 7613 8080 or email email@example.com.
How long is my lease?
Your lease is a contract giving you the right to occupy and use the property for a set period of time. The length of the lease will usually be a standard term of 99 or 125 years from a set date and this is usually found on the first few pages of the lease document itself.
How can I change or remove a restriction on my lease?
This is usually something that will be dealt with by your solicitor. They must first check with us whether we will agree to remove a restriction under the title register.
If you would like to change or remove a restriction on your lease, please email Resident.Sales@newlon.org.uk and include the relevant excerpt from your lease, along with the reasons why you want to remove this restriction.
Please note that there is a charge for this service.
Are there any time restrictions on when I can buy more shares in my property (staircase) or sell it?
There are no time restrictions on when you can buy more shares in your home or sell it.
For more specific information relating to staircasing and selling your home visit the homeowners section of our website.
How do I get a copy of my lease?
We do not hold copies of all leases. Please contact the Service Centre who will be able to double check whether we have a copy of your lease.
You can do this by calling 020 7613 8080 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. If we do have a copy you will need to pay a £30 fee.
How can I extend my lease?
If you own 100% of your property and would like to extend a lease you can apply to do so. You need to have owned 100% of your property for two years or more. To extend a lease you will need a solicitor to serve Newlon with a Section 42 Notice and a copy of the lease. You will also need to instruct a surveyor to carry out a valuation. Once we receive the Section 42 notice we will instruct our valuers, and our solicitors will advise whether the offer has been accepted. If you have any questions about section 42 notices then you should ask your solicitor.
If you are a Shared Owner (owning less than 100% of your property), you should put your request in writing to us. You need to have owned your property for two years or more, have a clear rent account and be living at the property.
You are responsible for paying solicitors fees and the cost of a valuation. Valuation fees will need to be paid upfront and are non-refundable.
For more information about lease extensions you can visit www.lease-advice.org.uk.
How can I resell my property?
If you are a Shared Owner you can resell your property at any time regardless of how long you have lived there. There is a ‘nomination period’, usually between six to eight weeks (although the exact period is dependant on what is in your lease), in which we will try to find a suitable buyer.
In order to start the process you will need to complete our ‘Resale Instruction’ form, which can be found in the selling your home section of our website, and send it to email@example.com. When we have instructed a surveyor and received a valuation you will be required to complete the ‘Notice of Intention to Proceed’ form and provide an Energy Performance Certificate so we can begin marketing your property.
If we are unable to sell your property within the nomination period you will be permitted to sell it on the open market. You must not advertise or sell your property for under our valuation price. Any purchasers must take part in a financial assessment to ensure they are eligible for a Shared Ownership property.
How can I staircase (buy more of my Shared Ownership home)?
Increasing the share of your home that you own is called ‘staircasing’. Most Shared Owners have the right to staircase, but you should check your lease to make sure.
You can usually staircase up to a maximum of three times in addition to the initial share you purchase. Please remember to check the terms of your lease before staircasing as this can vary from scheme to scheme.
The minimum additional share you can purchase when you staircase is 10%. When you make your final allowed staircasing transaction you can only purchase the remaining share to ensure you own 100% of your home. For example, if you initially buy a 40% share and then staircase two further times, buying an additional 20% the first time and 10% the second time (so you own 70% of your home), you must purchase 30% when you staircase a third and final time.
In order to continue you must complete a Staircasing Instruction Form. You will also need to select a surveyor from our approved list and pay for a valuation. Once the valuation is received then if you decide to proceed you will need to complete a ‘Notice to Proceed form’, and instruct a solicitor. We will instruct our solicitor simultaneously.
If you would like further information about staircasing please contact our Service Centre on 020 7613 8080 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If I am a Leaseholder then what am I responsible for in my home?
As a Leaseholder you are responsible for any issues within your property and any internal items which solely service your property.
Depending on the terms of your lease then as your landlord we might be responsible for any issues with your windows, front entrance doors and any balcony or garden doors. Please consult your lease in order to find out.
To find out more please call us on 020 7613 8080 or email email@example.com.
What if I have a service charge query?
If you have a query about service charges please contact the Service Centre or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If there is a problem with the quality of services provided, such as an issue with cleaning, then details will be taken and the Service Centre will commence action to rectify the problem. If the query cannot be dealt with by the Service Centre, and it is the first time it has been reported within the last six months, the issue will be forwarded on to the Estates team to deal with. If this issue has already been raised within the last six months then this will be processed as a complaint.
As a homeowner can I sublet my property?
The terms of your lease will specify if you are allowed to sublet your property.
If you are a leaseholder (owning 100% of your property), then you can usually do so as long as you seek our permission. You will need to complete a subletting application form, which you can find below. This should be sent to email@example.com.
If you are a Shared Owner then your lease will usually not allow this. You are also not permitted to use Airbnb or any other short term rental scheme.
In exceptional circumstances we may allow Shared Owners to sublet. You should contact us to find out first, before sending in any form. If you believe you have a valid reason and want to apply then you will need to complete an application form and pay an administration fee. Once the application form and payment have been received and processed then we will make a decision within 10 working days as to whether or not to grant permission.
Whether you are a Leaseholder or Shared Owner then if you intend to sublet your property you will need to make us aware of who will be living at the property. You would still be responsible for all repairs and the behaviour of those subletting, so we must have your relevant correspondence address and all contact details.
The relevant forms are below
Can I have a lodger?
If you are a Shared Owner or Leaseholder you do not need our permission to take in a lodger. However, you must first check that your lodger can legally rent in England as you risk a heavy penalty if they can’t. You can find out more about how to do this at www.gov.uk/check-tenant-right-to-rent-documents.
How can I stop receiving a previous residents’ bills?
Firstly you should ensure you have contacted all utility suppliers and informed them you are the current resident and therefore not responsible for the old bills. You should also provide suppliers with the initial meter readings when you first move in.
If further proof is needed then we are able to contact suppliers with proof of when your tenancy started. Please contact our Service Centre on 020 7613 8080 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss. If after this you continue to receive old bills we are able to contact the supplier directly to discuss settling them.
Does Newlon provide contents insurance?
Newlon does not provide insurance for the contents of your home including your personal possessions, furniture or other household items. We therefore recommend that you take out a home contents insurance policy to cover you against risks such as theft, fire, vandalism and burst pipes.
How do I get home contents insurance?
There are some policies designed for housing association residents, including the My Home Contents Insurance Scheme, offered in conjunction with the National Housing Federation (NHF), which you can find out more about on the NHF website.
Alternatively you could search for a good deal for home contents insurance by looking on price comparison websites, or contacting insurance providers directly.
Does Newlon provide buildings insurance?
Your freeholder is responsible for insuring the structure of the building and common parts only. As a leaseholder or Shared Owner your buildings insurance is paid for through your service charge. The policy covers your main residence, outbuildings, forecourts, fixtures and fittings, garages, walls, piping, wires and any public mains that you are responsible for. If you have to make a claim against buildings insurance there is an excess to be paid for each and every loss.
Please contact email@example.com if you want to make a claim or find out more information.
How do I change my correspondence address?
If you wish to change your correspondence address then you will need to let us now the reason, and pass the necessary ID checks. Please call us on 020 7613 8080 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.