Applying for housing with us couldn’t be easier!

Here are some frequently asked questions to help guide you through our application process.

 

  1. Who can apply?

  2. What happens after I submit my application?

  3. Is there a limit to the number of areas/properties that I can apply for?

  4. I am homeless, will I get priority?

  5. What can i do if I am excluded from the register?

  6. How long will I have to wait for a property?

  7. Do I have to ask  to keep a pet?

  8. What happens if my circumstances change?

  9. Do I have to take the first property I am offered?

  10. Will I get the opportunity to view any properties I am applying for?

  11. I am already a Johnnie Johnson tenant but I need to move home. Do I need to apply differently?

  12. Is there anything else I can do?

 

Leasehold Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is a Lease?

  2. What does 'leasehold' mean?

  3. What is a shared ownership lease?

  4. Who is responsible for repairs of my shared ownership property?

  5. Can I decorate my shared ownership home?

  6. Can I sub-let my shared ownership property?

  7. Can I take a lodger when I own a shared ownership property?

  8. Shared ownership lease – Who is responsible for repairs and maintenance of communal areas?

  9. What do I do if I have trouble paying my mortgage or rent for my shared ownership property?

  10. Can JJH increase the rent on my shared ownership property?

  11. Can I make adaptations / alterations to my shared ownership property?

  12. Can I have a cat or dog in my shared ownership property?

  13. Who is responsible for building and contents insurance for my shared ownership property?

  14. How do I know if I am eligible for shared ownership?

 

Who can apply?

Anyone over the age of 16 can apply.

Applicants between the ages of 16 and 18 will, however, be required to provide a guarantor and we strongly recommend that they seek advice from social services and/or the local authority homeless services.
Applicants looking for our Independent Living properties must normally be 55 years of age. In the case of couples, one partner should have reached 55. In certain circumstances, however, we can consider applicants under the age of 55, e.g. someone who is registered disabled and is in receipt of a relevant disability benefit. Some of our schemes have specific restrictions on who can apply. You will be advised of any restrictions on application. 
At Johnnie Johnson Housing we have a clear Equality and Diversity policy. We welcome applications from anyone regardless of age, gender, religious beliefs, ethnic or national origin, sexual orientation, marital status, physical characteristics or disability.

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What happens after I submit my application?

You will receive an acknowledgement letter and details about your chosen properties, together with an application for housing form for completion and return within 7 days.

We will have to carry out necessary checks based on the information you have provided in the Application for Housing form. These checks usually relate to previous addresses or any convictions you have referred to.
The purpose of this is to protect existing communities and to ensure that you are able to keep to the conditions of your tenancy. We may check with previous landlords or other agencies, where appropriate. We reserve the right not to re-house people who have breached previous tenancy agreements, deliberately give us false information, or who would otherwise jeopardise the stability of the existing community. As a charitable Housing Association our objectives are to provide  
housing for those most in need while at the same time achieving balanced communities in our schemes.  Many factors are taken into account when we allocate our properties including the financial position of applicants and the ability this gives to find suitable alternative accommodation in the private sector.

Once we receive and verify the details on your application form, we will let you know whether we can consider you for housing with us

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Is there a limit to the number of areas/properties that I can apply for?

There is no limit to the number of schemes you can apply for. However, some schemes are governed by a local lettings  policy, which will normally require that the applicant has a  local connection to the area.

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I am homeless, will I get priority?

Yes. Applicants accepted as homeless will be placed in our priority housing need group.

The question of who is regarded as homeless is complex but, generally speaking, we regard someone as  homeless if accepted as statutorily  homeless by the local authority.

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What can i do if I am excluded from the register?

If a decision has been made to exclude you, we will write to you giving the reasons why.

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How long will I have to wait for a property?

Some of our properties may have immediate vacancies and no waiting list, while others will have infrequent vacancies and a full waiting list. It is difficult to guarantee a time scale in which you will be offered a property, as this depends on several factors, such as how many properties become available, how many priority applicants are waiting and your own particular circumstances. We will, however, do our best to help and give you realistic advice about your prospects.

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Do I have to ask  to keep a pet?

We understand the value of pets in providing security and comfort, but we must also balance this with the comfort of our other residents. If you wish to keep a pet you must obtain permission in writing.

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What happens if my circumstances change?

You should inform us of any changes to your circumstances, as this may affect your housing need. You will also need to complete a new application. If you have changed address or wish to be removed from the housing register, you should also let us know.

 

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Do I have to take the first property I am offered?

No, you can refuse a property offered to you. We will do our best to help you find a home that you are completely happy with, but we do reserve the right to remove applicants from the housing register where they have refused three reasonable offers of accommodation.

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Will I get the opportunity to view any properties I am applying for?

If you are applying for General Let housing, we will interview you, either at home or at the property. In the case of Independent Living properties, you will usually be able  to meet one of our Independent Living  Co-Ordinators, have a look around and ask any questions you may have even before you apply!

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I am already a Johnnie Johnson tenant but I need to move home. Do I need to apply differently?

Internal transfers will only receive priority if they meet the criteria of the urgent  needs categories as outlined in the allocations policy.
You can apply for a transfer in the normal way (see ‘How do I apply?’), and we will record your application as an internal transfer.

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Is there anything else I can do?

You should also register with the local authority so that you can ‘bid’ for Johnnie Johnson properties via their Choice Based Lettings system.

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Leasehold FAQs

What is a Lease?

A Lease is an extremely important legal contract relating to the occupation and ownership of your home and sets out the legal relationship between you, the leaseholder and us, the landlord. When you sign the lease or take over an existing Lease you are agreeing to certain responsibilities and so are we. The Lease grants you a number of rights but also serious obligations which you need to understand when you buy your new home.

It is essential that you seek legal advice prior to signing the lease and make sure that your solicitor goes through each clause of the Lease with you. Ask your solicitor to provide you with a copy of your Lease when you purchase your property.

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What does 'leasehold' mean?

Leasehold ownership of a flat or house is simply a long tenancy, the right to occupation and use of the flat or house for a long period – the ‘term’ of the lease. This will usually be for 99 or 125 years and the flat or house can be bought and sold during that term. The term is fixed at the beginning and so decreases in length year by year. Thus, if it were not for inflation, the value of the flat or house would diminish over time until the eventual expiry of the lease, when the flat returns to the landlord (although an assured tenancy would then become a possibility).

The leasehold ownership of a flat usually relates to everything within the four walls of the flat, including floorboards and plaster to walls and ceiling, but does not usually include the external or structural walls. The structure and common parts of the building and the land it stands on are usually owned by the freeholder, who is also the landlord. The freeholder is responsible for the maintenance and repair of the building. The costs for doing so are recoverable through the service charges and billed to the leaseholders. A leasehold ownership of a house usually relates to the whole building both internal and external and possibly a garden and driveway. Typically a leaseholder of a house would be responsible for the repair and maintenance of the whole building.

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What is a shared ownership lease?

The shared ownership lease sets out the rights and obligations of both the landlord (i.e. JJH) and tenant (i.e. the shared owner). JJH has a contractual right to ensure that the shared owner complies with the terms of the lease. A shared ownership lease is where the leaseholder has purchased a share in the equity and pays rent on that share retained by the landlord.

Typically a shared ownership leaseholder will own 25%, 50% or 75% of the property and pay rent on that part of the property owned by the landlord. The actual proportion owned by the leaseholder and the landlord can vary from the examples above.

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Who is responsible for repairs of my shared ownership property?

All repairs and maintenance to the home are your responsibility, regardless of the share you own. Most brand new homes come with a 1 year warranty period for defects and a longer warranty to cover any structural problems caused by poor workmanship. When you buy a flat, Johnnie Johnson Housing (JJH) 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 JJH which is used to cover the costs of maintenance and decoration to communal areas.

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Can I decorate my shared ownership home?

You are free to decorate your shared ownership property. JJH 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 JJH before work commences.

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Can I sub-let my shared ownership property?

No, 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 JJH.

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Can I take a lodger when I own a shared ownership property?

You should check with JJH first when purchasing the property, 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.

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Shared ownership lease – Who is responsible for repairs and maintenance of communal areas?

If you live in a flat, you will usually be responsible for repairs inside your home, and the housing association will be responsible for repairs and maintenance of the structure of the building and any communal areas (e.g. lifts, corridors, shared external areas).

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What do I do if I have trouble paying my mortgage or rent for my shared ownership property?

If you are struggling to make your monthly payments you should let your lender and JJH know. Your housing association will try and help you manage your situation. If necessary, and if no other recourse is available, you may have to sell your property.

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Can JJH increase the rent on my shared ownership property?

Yes, the rent paid to JJH on the share not owned by you will be reviewed periodically, usually every year, and will be increased in line with any proportionate increase in the Retail Prices Index plus an amount, typically between 0.5% and 2%. Note that the rent is reviewed on an “upwards only” basis and will not go down when reviewed. You should always check the terms of your lease carefully before you purchase a shared ownership property for details of possible rent increases.

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Can I make adaptations / alterations to my shared ownership property?

 You should check the terms of your lease. You must have JJH’s permission in writing before you make any alterations to your property.

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Can I have a cat or dog in my shared ownership property?

You need to ask for permission from JJH at an early stage of the purchase process. If the property does not have a shared communal area you may be allowed to keep a pet subject to approval by JJH. If the property is in a block of flats and has shared communal areas you will not be allowed to keep pets.

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Who is responsible for building and contents insurance for my shared ownership property?

Buildings insurance is be the responsibility of the Freeholder – quite often the housing association. The cost will often be included in the service charge. Contents insurance, which covers all your furniture, carpets, white goods and personal belongings, is the responsibility of the person living in the property – it is not compulsory to purchase but it is advisable.

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How do I know if I am eligible for shared ownership?

You should always check the eligibility required with the housing association selling the property, as they may have specific criteria.

  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • Your annual household income must be less than £80,000
  • You should generally be a first time buyer, i.e. you don’t already own a home. If you do already own, you must be in the process of selling it
  • You should not be able to afford to buy a home suitable for your housing needs on the open market
  • You must show you are not in mortgage or rent arrears
  • You must be able to demonstrate that you have a good credit history (no bad debts or County Court Judgements) and can afford the regular payments and costs involved in buying a home
  • You should have savings or to be able to easily access at least £4,000 to cover the costs of buying a home. This is a guideline figure – the actual amount you need will depend on the Help to Buy option you choose
  • In most cases you will also need to have enough savings or be able to easily access a minimum 5-10% of the equity share you are buying, as a deposit.  

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