Living in one of our leasehold or shared ownership properties, the terms of your lease may have certain conditions within it.
We have set out below some of the common questions that we receive about what you can and cannot do.
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.
If your lease requires you to pay service charges ‘in advance’, an estimated service charge will be sent to you at least 30 days before the financial year begins. The estimated charge will need to be paid in the frequency and dates stated in your lease.
You should receive an actual statement within six months after the financial year-end and any over /undercharge from the previous accounting year will be taken in account.
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.
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
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.
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.
You should check the terms of your lease. You must have JJH’s permission in writing before you make any alterations to your 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 will normally 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 pets may be considered and you need to discuss this matter with us.