FAQs: Responsibilities of a Shared Ownership buyer
Who is responsible for repairs of my Shared Ownership home?
As part of the existing Shared Ownership scheme, all repairs and maintenance to the home are your responsibility, regardless of the share you own. Most new homes come with a one year warranty period for defects and a longer warranty to cover any structural problems caused by poor workmanship. The housing provider you buy from can explain the warranties available on the home you want to buy.
However, as part of an updated Shared Ownership model, there has been the introduction of a 10 year repair warranty during which the shared owner will receive support from their housing provider/landlord to pay for essential repairs. This will be applicable on new build homes available through the government’s Affordable Homes Programme; you can find out more about the new Shared Ownership model on Share to Buy.
Additionally, when you buy a flat, the housing provider or manager will generally be responsible for any communal parts of the building and grounds and you will be responsible for all repairs and maintenance to your own flat. You pay a service charge to the housing provider which is used to cover the costs of maintenance and decoration to communal areas.
Can I decorate my Shared Ownership home?
You are free to decorate your Shared Ownership property as you wish, however, the housing association will not contribute to decorative improvements. Your Shared Ownership lease should have details about major alterations to the property, e.g. new flooring, structural changes, which will have to be authorised by the housing association before work commences.
Can I make adaptations / alterations to my Shared Ownership property?
You should check the terms of your lease. You must have the landlord’s permission in writing before you make any alterations to your property. However, they should not be able to withhold permission unreasonably.
Can I take a lodger or sub-let when I own a Shared Ownership property?
Shared Ownership leases do not allow you to sublet your home. This may also be a condition of the mortgage. In some cases, under exceptional circumstances, you may be able to sublet for a specified period. You will be required to obtain written permission from your housing association.
If you intend to take a lodger, you should check with the housing association you are purchasing the property from, but most Shared Ownership leases allow this. Please note, the income you will gain from taking a lodger will not be taken into account when assessing your affordability for a property, you must be able to afford to purchase the property and make the monthly costs independently of the income from a lodger.