Share to Buy Expert Sessions: Your questions about rules and responsibilities
Rules and responsibilities of an owner
Am I able to take in a lodger if I have a spare room?arrow_downward
Most Shared Ownership leases allow you to take a lodger, however, you should check with the housing association you are purchasing the property from. It’s also worth noting that the income you receive from 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.
Can I move out and rent my property to someone else?arrow_downward
Shared Ownership leases do not allow you to sublet your home. In some cases, under exceptional circumstances, you may be able to sublet for a specified period but you will be required to obtain written permission from your housing association to do so.
Can I purchase a Shared Ownership home as a buy-to-let property?arrow_downward
Response from L&Q – No, this is a government scheme for first time buyers to help them get onto the property ladder. If you plan to buy a home for investment purposes, L&Q may be able to assist and recommend other homes that will fit your criteria.
If I buy a home alone now, can my partner move in with me in the future?arrow_downward
If you are buying a property alone then only your income will be taken into consideration when buying through Shared Ownership. If you would like to have someone else move into the property once you’ve bought your home, we would recommend you letting both your housing provider and mortgage lender know. Generally speaking, this shouldn’t affect the process but will ensure that no breaches of contract are incurred.
Can I buy more than one Shared Ownership home at the same time?arrow_downward
Response from L&Q – No, you can only own one Shared Ownership property at any given time.
What if you get a partner at a later stage, and your household income goes over £80,000? Would I need to sell and leave the property?arrow_downward
No – the £90,000 maximum household income in London, or £80,000 outside of London, is only applicable when you first buy your Shared Ownership home. An increase in houshold income after you’ve bought your property won’t be in breach of the terms of your lease.
Can I have pets in a Shared Ownership home?arrow_downward
Your lease will tell you if you can keep pets in your home. If you live in a house then there aren’t usually any restrictions. However, if you live in an apartment you are unlikely to be able to keep a pet.
Can I decorate in a Shared Ownership home?arrow_downward
You are free to decorate your Shared Ownership property as you wish. However, the housing association will not contribute to decorative improvements.
Are extensions such as a new porch or conservatory allowed after property completion?arrow_downward
While you are welcome to redecorate your home as you see fit, there may be restrictions to larger works. 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.
Who is responsible for repairs in a Shared Ownership home?arrow_downward
All repairs and maintenance to the home are your responsibility, regardless of the share you own. Most brand new homes come with warranty period for defects and a longer warranty to cover any structural problems caused by poor workmanship.
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 run a business from my Shared Ownership home? Could I use a spare room as a workspace?arrow_downward
Response from SO Resi – You may be able to depending on the nature of the lease and the type of business. Check the terms of your lease or contact your housing association’s property management team for advise.
Am I at risk of eviction if I fall behind on payments on my Shared Ownership home?arrow_downward
Response from L&Q – Yes, if you are unable to meet your financial obligations with your mortgage provider and/or your housing association (landlord) you will be subject to legal action. If you are unable to meet these obligations, we recommend you speak with your mortgage adviser and housing association who may be able to assist you during this time that may avoid this action taking place.