There are a number of ways to buy a home from us. Lots of people choose Shared Ownership as an affordable way of getting on to the property ladder. Buying a share in a property based on what they can afford, and paying rent on the remaining share that we own.
Shared ownership is not about sharing your home with someone else – if you bought your home through a shared ownership scheme, it is your home, you just share the ownership of it with us! So, you’re free to decorate it and make it your own. You can also sell your part of it too, if you need to move.
If you bought your home through the Right to Buy or Right to Acquire Scheme, or have purchased a property from someone who previously purchased through either of the schemes, you will either be a leaseholder or a freeholder. if you bought an apartment your are likely to be a leaseholder and if it was a house you are likely to be a freeholder.
If Irwell Valley Homes sells a house, or a Shared Owner goes onto buy 100% of their property, we would usually sell it as a freehold. Sometimes, for specific reasons it may be sold as a leasehold, but generally it’s a freehold. As a freeholder you will own the Deeds to the property and own the property outright. There is no time limit, like a lease.
We grant a lease under the shared ownership terms for a specific length of time (usually 99 or 125 years initially). This entitles you to live in your home as an owner-occupier, allows you to buy further shares in the property, and allows you to sell the property if you want to move.
Although you have not bought your home outright, you have the normal rights and responsibilities of a full owner-occupier and are responsible for repairing and redecorating your home.
Until your buy your home outright, you will pay service charges on the share that you own and will be charged rent on the remaining share that we own.
If you are a shared owner and want to buy more shares in your home, you can do so by staircasing. This allows you to buy additional shares or buy the remaining share in full so that you own the whole of your home. Your rent payments will reduce as you increase the share that you own but any service charges you pay will remain the same. For more information about staircasing please contact the Sales and Leasehold Team who will be happy to help.
If your property is a house and you buy it in full, you will have bought the freehold and as a result will have no further involvement with us. You will also become responsible for the building insurance.
If your property is an apartment and you buy it in full, you will have acquired 100% leasehold interest. As a result you won't pay us any rent on any shares we previously owned, but you will still pay ground rent, service charges and buildings insurance.
To apply, click here for the application form and application. For more information, please contact the Sales and Leasehold Team.
Even though you only own a ‘share’ of your home, as a shared owner you are the sole occupier and under the terms of the lease you are responsible for repairing and maintaining your home.
If you live in an apartment, or there are communal areas, we maintain these areas for you and you are charged for any repairs to them through your service charges.
You are responsible for any repairs to your home. Information about this can be found in your lease.
We are generally responsible for any repairs to the structure of the building, the communal areas and any equipment. The cost for these repairs is usually recovered by the service charge. We will look at which repairs can be claimed for through the insurance policy.
Where another leaseholder has caused damage, for example if a leak came from another leaseholder’s home, we would help you in getting the other leaseholder to arrange the repair.
If you are reporting criminal damage, please provide a crime reference number.
To report a repair to the structure or communal areas please click here
Once you buy the freehold you are responsible for all repairs and maintenance both external and internal.
As a shared owner you are able to sell your share in the property whenever you choose to. If you are thinking of selling your home, please get in touch with us first. The Shared Ownership scheme has some restrictions on who can buy a property, we will be able to help and advise you about this. In some cases, we may also nominate a buyer for your home to ensure that the sale is made to a person who is eligible for shared ownership.
There are a few ways you can sell your home. It can be sold under the Leasehold basis, this is where you sell the shares you own at the time of sale. This would involve the sale of your leasehold interest to your buyer.
Or you can Staircase and Assign. This is a preferred option for many people. This is where you buy the remaining shares in your home and then sell 100% of the property to a new buyer on the same day.
Either way, your home cannot be sold for more than the market rate (as determined by a RICS qualified surveyor). Whilst you can't sell it for more than it is worth, you can accept a lower price, but that is at your discretion.
Right to Buy and Right to Acquire
If you bought your home through the Right to Buy or Right to Acquire schemes, or purchased it from someone who had previously bought through either of the schemes, you will either be a leaseholder or a freeholder. If you bought an apartment it is likely that you are a leaseholder and if it is a house it is likely that you are a freehold.
For Leaseholders who purchased after 18 August 2005, you can sell your home at any time, however, should you sell it within five years of buying it, you will have to repay some of the discount back.
Also, leaseholders who want to sell their home within 10 years of purchasing it under the schemes have to offer it to their former landlord first at market value.
On completion of sale your lease will be assigned to the purchaser who will effectively take over your lease and existing service charges.
So, if you bought under Right to Buy or Right to Acquire please check with us before you sell!
Just like selling any home, there are costs involved if you decide to sell. These include:
Sometimes our needs can change. If you or any member of your household become disabled or need your home adapting to make life easier, you should contact your GP or Social Services who arrange for an assessment.
You may then apply to your local authority for a Disabled Facilities Grant which may pay for all or part of the cost of the adaptation.