London Borough of Camden. Social Homebuy. A new scheme for Council tenants to part-own their home. camden.gov.uk/socialhomebuy

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1 London Borough of Camden Social Homebuy A new scheme for Council tenants to part-own their home camden.gov.uk/socialhomebuy

2 Social Homebuy in the London Borough of Camden Who can apply for Social Homebuy? Camden Councils Social Homebuy scheme allows qualifying secure tenants to either own or part-own their home on shared ownership terms. You pay the council rent for the share you do not own. Social Homebuy in the London Borough of Camden The Social Homebuy scheme was piloted in Camden in 2007 and was initially only available to tenants who live in properties that do not form part of an estate. The scheme has now been extended to include properties within estates, and tenants who receive Housing and Council tax benefits may now qualify. Benefits of Social Homebuy An opportunity for you to get onto the property ladder. You can buy your home at a reduced cost. Later, if you can afford to, you can apply to buy further shares in the property. You could eventually own your own home outright within Camden where market values are quite high. Your combined rent and mortgage payment is likely to be less than the costs of buying the property outright. You pay only a fraction of the cost of major works on your property, based on the share you own. The applicant must: Be the secure tenant Have been a tenant for at least two years if they became a tenant before 18 January 2005 Have been a tenant for at least five years if they became a tenant on or after 18 January 2005 Who does not qualify for Social Homebuy? Tenants who have rent arrears. All arrears must be cleared before an application for Social Homebuy can be made Tenants who have council tax arrears. All arrears must be cleared before an application for Social Homebuy can be made You do not qualify if you are in breach of your tenancy You do not qualify if you are an un-discharged bankrupt You must not be subject to a formal creditors agreement You must not have a possession order against you You must not have a notice seeking possession against you You must not have a suspended notice seeking possession against you. If you make an application for your home under Social Homebuy, you can withdraw your application at any point in the process. 2 3

3 How much can I buy? You can purchase blocks of 25 per cent up to a maximum of 100 per cent of your home under Social Homebuy. How much discount will I receive? You may qualify for up to 16,000 discount. The amount you receive will depend on the percentage of your home that you are able to buy. Percentage of share Discount given bought 25% 4,000 50% 8,000 75% 12, % 16,000 What happens if I can buy a larger percentage of my home later? You could start by buying 25 per cent of your home and decide you wish to purchase another 25 per cent, 50 per cent or 75 per cent in a couple of years time. This is called staircasing. The property value would be reassessed (you will be charged a fee for this), as the further sale would be made on the value of the property at the time of your request. Is it only the tenant who can buy? The tenant(s) must be part of the application and completion but can include members of their family that live with them and who are known at the district housing office to be living at the property. If a family member is not on record at the district housing office as living with you they will not be included. 4 5

4 How do I find out what percentage of my home can I buy? You will have to complete an application form to claim to buy part or all of your home. This is how the process will work: 1. Complete and return your application form with all financial information we ask for, as we can not process your application without this. 2. We will confirm we have received your application. 3. We will ask your district housing office for information about your tenancy. 4. If the district housing office confirms that you are the secure tenant and that you have the right number of qualifying years, the financial information you provide with your application form will be used to calculate if you can afford to buy a percentage of your home. 5. If you qualify to purchase under the Social Homebuy scheme you will receive a form accepting your claim within three weeks. If you do not qualify, you will receive a denial notice that will inform you why this decision has been made. 6. When you receive your admission notice to Social Homebuy you will also receive information telling you what you will be responsible for if you go ahead and buy. It will inform you of the expenses you should expect such as your solicitor s fees, insurance and contributing to the cost of any work to be done on your home. It is very important that you read the information given. 7. An officer from the council s property services department will contact you to arrange an appointment to value your home. They will not give you the valuation. 8. An offer will be sent to you within six weeks. This document will tell you the market value, what percentage of the property we think you can afford and what discount you will get. It will also give you an estimate for the annual service charges you will have to pay and tell you what works to the property you may have to contribute to. Please note that you will only be offered the percentages of your home that it is considered you can afford for example, you may only receive details of how much it will cost you to purchase 25 per cent or you may be shown the figures for 25 per cent, 50 per cent, 75 per cent or 100 per cent. 6 7

5 If we think that you could afford 100 per cent, we will advise you that you can either proceed with the purchase under the Social Homebuy or change to the Right to Buy. If you decide to purchase under the Right to Buy you will have to complete an application form for that scheme. Your application would proceed from the offer stage of that scheme. 9. You will have eight weeks in which to decide if you want to go ahead with your application. 10. If you wish to continue with the purchase you will have to contact the Social Homebuy group and arrange to meet with an officer. They will go through the details of the scheme with you and answer any further questions you may have. You will be asked to complete and sign the acceptance form which acknowledges that you have read and discussed the information. 13. We will ask you to provide the name and address of the solicitor that you want to act on your behalf for your purchase. 14. We will send a copy of the proposed lease, with a floor plan to your solicitor. You will need to sign the document to confirm the floor plan is correct. It is very important that you are happy that the floor plan is correct. 15. You and your solicitor will agree a completion date with Camden Council. This will always be a Monday. 16. On the completion day your solicitor will transfer the purchase money (your mortgage money) to the Council. 11. You will have eight months from the date of your offer notice to complete the purchase of the percentage of your home. 12. It may be necessary for an officer to visit your home to draw a floor plan that will be added to the documents for your purchase (this is not always necessary as some floor plans are already held by the Council). 8 9

6 How much rent will have I to pay on the percentage of the property I do not own? Together with your offer you will receive a document explaining the amount of rent you would be paying in the first financial year after completion relating to the purchase of a 25, 50 and 75 per cent share. (Figures will only be given up to the percentage that you have been deemed eligible to purchase.) In the first year, rent is set at two per cent of the value of the landlords share, this will increase each financial year in proportion with increases in the RPI (United Kingdom General Index of Retail Prices) plus 0.5 per cent. Will I be able to let my home once I have purchased it? No you will not. The lease that you will sign will not permit this. The Council will still have a financial interest in your home. For further information and an application form, please contact: Social Homebuy team Home ownership services London Borough of Camden Bidborough House 20 Mabledon Place London WC1H 9BF Tel: What will happen when I want to sell the property? You will have to write to the Council to see if the Council wants to purchase your share of your home. You may also have to repay some or all of the discount and the equity increase in your home if you sell within the first five years. This will all be explained to you if you decide to purchase and come in for an interview

7 If you would like the Social Homebuy booklet in large print or braille, audiotape or in another language please contact Social Homebuy Team Home ownership services London Borough of Camden Bidborough House 20 Mabledon Place London WC1H 9BF Tel: Fax: Published April 2009 Produced by Camden Design Tel

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