Frequently Asked Leaseholder Questions
Frequently Asked Leaseholder Questions
For those tenants who sub-let property from us, here's all you need to know
- Sub-letting guidelines
Your lease will determine if you can sub-let your property and under what circumstances.
Normally shared owners are not allowed to sub-let their homes. If a shared owner has purchased 100% equity sub letting may be allowed subject to the sub lease entering into a formal deed of covenant to observe and perform all of the leaseholders commitments under the lease.
If you sub-let under these circumstances you will be responsible for paying The Together Housing Groups reasonable legal and administrative costs.
Leaseholders sub letting must provide The Together Housing Group with:
Your new contact address
Evidence of your mortgage lenders approval
Details of your managing agent
Details of your tenant / sub leasee
A copy of the tenancy agreement
When we carry out work for an individual leaseholder, a charge may be made. This may include changing a mortgage lender, further advances to a mortgage, or providing copies of accounts. The cost of this Admin Fee can vary and will be calculated dependent upon work required.
Other fees include:
Deed of Variation £250.00 (+ disbursements)
Permissions ( Home Improvements etc) £30
Solicitors Enquiries(Admin fee for resale or staircasing) – based on standard set of enquiries £150
Notice of Transfer (Change of ownership) £50
Notice of Charge (Change of lender) £50
Postponement of Charge (Discount priority charge) £50
Copy of Buildings Ins (full document) £10
Licence to Sublet £100
Copy of lease £30
This list is not exhaustive and other charges are available on request. Some charges may be higher if further significant work is required.
Please make cheques payable to Together Housing Group
NB: All fees subject to VAT at 20%
You will need to obtain consent from us, via your mortgage lender, if you wish to obtain a further advance on your mortgage. Permission will not be given if the advance is to consolidate other loans or debts.
We require specific information before our consent will be given, this includes:
- A valuation of the property provided by a qualified Chartered Surveyor
- Details of the amount of the advance being requested
- The reasons the advance is required
- Details of the amount outstanding under your current mortgage
- Confirmation that the further advance does not exceed the value of the share you hold in the property, and that Together Housing's interest in the property is only second to the mortgage lender’s.
- A copy of your new mortgage offer
There will be an administration fee to cover the cost associated with this consent.
- Service Charges
The details of your service charge and what you are paying for can be found within your lease. This service charge will be reviewed every year.
Service charges will be reviewed in conjunction, and in consultation, with leaseholders and shared owners. This will ensure the services provided by The Together Housing Group are to an acceptable standard and are delivering value for money.
During this consultation you will have the opportunity to make any recommendations or suggestions, such as the change of contractors. Your Leasehold Officer will work with leaseholders and shared owners throughout this process.
Additional services can be added to a scheme or block of apartments. If additional services are added, The Together Housing Group may adjust your service charge.
Any increase will be discussed with all leaseholders and shared owners, as appropriate, before any new services are introduced.
All residents will be required to contribute to the cost of the service, whether a one-off initial cost or the ongoing maintenance or running of a service, e.g. CCTV or increased specifications for communal cleaning etc.
How do we calculate service charges?
Each year service charges are estimated for the following year, starting in April. At the end of the financial year, 31 March, the service charges are checked and audited.
A copy of this audit will be sent out to all leaseholders and shared owners by 30 September unless otherwise notified. Any balances are carried forward to the following year's service charge estimate.
What is a sinking fund?
This is a contribution included within the annual service charge, which builds up funds for planned maintenance and repairs within a communal building. This ensures money is available for major items of expenditure and means service charges will not fluctuate dramatically from one year to the next.
Such items can include:
- Cyclical interior and exterior painting
- Lift replacement
- Boiler replacement
- Roof replacement
The sinking fund is reviewed annually and any changes are included within the service charge review and notification, which will be sent to you.
- Repairs and Maintenance
For shared ownership and leasehold apartments The Together Housing Group are only responsible for repairs to the fabric of the building once the Defect Liability Period (DLP) has expired.
All repairs within the DLP will be logged by our Repairs Service Team as normal and the Defect Contractor will attend to remedy any faults.
Defect Contractors will, however, only attend to repairs that are genuine faults and not damage that has been caused.
If your property is under 10 years old, you may still be covered by the original warranty from either the NHBC or Zurich.
Some repairs will need inspecting by one of our surveyors. In these cases, we will make an appointment with you for one of our Surveyors to visit your home while you’re on the phone.
If your repair doesn’t need inspecting, we will make an appointment with you for one of our contractors to call to carry out the repair.
Please note that The Together Housing Group are not responsible for any repairs on shared ownership houses or to the interior of any shared ownership apartments.
If you are a Rent Now Buy Later resident we do have a repairing obligation to your property but are not responsible for issues such as replacing lost keys, replacing light bulbs, or clearing blocked toilets.
If we are required to complete a repair on your home resulting from neglect, carelessness or misuse by either you, your family or visitors to your home, we may recharge you for the cost of carrying out that repair.
Reporting a Repair
When you call us, we will need to know the following:
Your address & telephone number.
Details of the repair including what the problem is and where is it.
- Change to lease
Your lease can be changed from a joint to sole agreement with the approval of The Together Housing Group and your mortgage lender.
This may happen if there has been a relationship breakdown.
If you have a joint mortgage, you will need to amend it from a joint to sole agreement.
The party, which has been removed from the mortgage, will then be free from further financial obligations. As this is a legal amendment you will need to appoint a solicitor.
The land title will need to be re-registered and a transfer and administration fee will be payable. You should contact your Leasehold officer.
- Financial Difficulties?
If you are having difficulty paying rent or service charges, you should contact Customer Services Team as soon as possible.
We may be able to come to an arrangement for repayment of any arrears, or direct you to your local Housing Benefit office, which may be able to assist.
You could be at risk of losing your home if you fail to take action if you have arrears.
If you require further assistance to repay your debt, the leasehold team are able to refer you to your local Welfare Rights Office or Citizens Advice Bureau.
These advisory services can ensure that you are claiming all the benefits you are entitled to, and can offer independent debt counselling. It is important you contact our Customer Services Team if you wish to be referred.
Failure to make payments on time can result in interest being charged, as per your lease and legal action being taken against you. Your mortgage lender will also be notified if you fail to pay your monthly rent and service charge.
Your rent will increase once a year and you will receive the relevant notice of any increase one month before. If you have any queries with your rent increase, please contact your Leasehold Officer.