Buying a shared ownership home with settle makes you an owner-occupier and leaseholder. Being a leaseholder means you’ll usually have a lease for a set number of years, and pay service charges. As an owner-occupier, you’re responsible for any repairs and maintenance to your home after the end of your defects period.
You are free to decorate and furnish your shared ownership property as you wish – after all, it’s your home. If you’d like to make alterations or improvements that change the fabric or structure of the building (like adding an en-suite or conservatory, replacing windows and doors, or building a shed in your garden) you’ll need to ask our permission.
We know that pets are part of your family too. If you live in a house, we’re happy for you to have pets. If you live in an apartment, a request for permission must be sought as per the terms of your lease, and there will be a charge for issuing a pet licence. Further details on the conditions of keeping pets in your home can be found in your lease.
As a leaseholder, you’re required to pay a service charge – which is collected monthly along with your rent. Our service charges are determined by the upkeep cost of the communal areas and services at our developments.
On a brand-new development your service charge will initially be estimated, using information from our contractors and by analysing past costs. Service charges will vary from home to home and development to development. Every year your service charge will be reviewed, and set based on actual expenditure, and you’ll receive annual audited accounts to see the actual spend on the services.
Your service charge covers the below, and more:
Our homes are built to the highest standard, but we know that sometimes things can go wrong. During the defects period, the developer is responsible for rectifying specified defects in your property.
Here are some examples of defects (please note, a defect doesn’t include anything decorative):
Any defects you find in your home should be reported to our customer service centre, who will raise them with the developer. We recommend you live in your home for 4-6 weeks before telling us about any defects, as if there are more than one it’s easier to report them to us as a complete list. Developers will often initially deal with urgent defects, and non-urgent defects will be rectified at the end of the one-year period.
Our aftercare manager and a representative from the developer will arrange an appointment with you at the end of your defects period, to take a walk around your home to ensure all defects are raised and being dealt with.
All brand-new homes also benefit from an extended warranty period with providers such as NHBC, LABC, Premier and others. This will usually be between 10-12 years, and will mainly cover structural defects. As a shared owner you will be responsible for raising any issues directly with your warranty provider.
Apart from any defects, you’re responsible for all repairs in your new home. If you accidentally damage anything, you’ll need to rectify this yourself. Any integrated appliances within your new home are gifted to you and come with their own manufacturer guarantee, and we advise you to register all your new appliances with the manufacturer to begin your guarantee period.
For all leaseholder requests or enquiries, you can contact our friendly customer service centre who can help, or may refer your enquiry to our homeownership team.