This section is for customers who:
- Are shared owners of either an apartment or a house; or
- Own a flat that was purchased under the Government’s Right-to-Buy scheme.
As a Stockport Homes ‘home owner’ you have a legal agreement with your landlord (sometimes called the ‘freeholder’) called a ‘lease’.
Most flats or apartments are leasehold. Houses can be leasehold too and more than likely will be if they’re bought through a shared ownership scheme.
Please find lots of useful information for home owners in our handbook here or below.
Useful contacts for Stockport Homes services
For queries around your lease, home re-sales, owning more of your home, etc.
Tel: 0161 218 1364
Please advise that you are a Stockport Homes customer.
Tel: 01245 341 200 (Arthur J Gallagher Insurance Brokers Limited)
Customer Finance Team
For shared owners who wish to make a payment or have a query about their rent or service charges:
Tel: 0161 217 6016
For Right-to-Buy leaseholders who wish to make a payment or have a query about their service charges:
Tel: 0161 217 6016
Repairs and maintenance
For flat or apartment owners who wish to report a repair in communal areas or get a quote for work within their home please report your repair online.
For home owners for any neighbourhood issues and/or new keys / fobs.
Tel: 0161 217 6016
Please report any ASB issues online.
Rights and responsibilities
Your lease will tell you exactly what conditions you’ve agreed to. In general you have a responsibility under the lease to:
- Pay ground rent and any service charges including your share of the costs of repairing and maintaining any communal areas;
- Keep your home and any fixtures and fittings in good condition;
- Be a good neighbour;
- Get permission from Stockport Homes before making any alterations to your home;
- If you are a shared owner of a house, you have the same responsibilities as a private home owner, for example, you are responsible for all repairs and maintenance, dealing with your neighbours etc.
If you don’t follow the conditions of the lease you may be taken to court and have to pay for any damage or costs incurred by your landlord as a result of the breach of your lease.
You have the right to:
- Live peaceably in your home;
- Be consulted about certain maintenance and running costs;
- Challenge certain charges under some circumstances.
A condition of shared ownership houses and flats is that you do not sublet your property. It is a criminal offence to do so.
Leasehold flats bought under the Right-to-Buy may be sublet. However, as leaseholder the flat and associated charges remain your responsibility. You are also responsible for ensuring that your tenants act as good neighbours.
Rent and service charges
Ground rent is a fee you must pay to the freeholder as a condition of your lease.
Service Charges reflect the services provided to you by your landlord or management company. The services provided will depend on whether you live in a house or a flat and may include a contribution towards the repair and maintenance of any communal areas.
Rent must be paid by shared owners for the percentage of the property still owned by the landlord.
You can pay your rent and service charges by calling Customer Finance on 0161 217 6016. You may be able to spread your housing costs by paying by direct debit. Ask our Customer Finance Team for your options.
Your landlord has to provide buildings insurance. This covers the structure and common parts of the building. It does not cover the contents of your home.
If you have any queries about your buildings insurance, or would like to make a claim please ring Arthur J Gallagher Insurance Brokers Limited on 01245 341 200 explaining that you are a Stockport Homes customer.
If you need a copy of the Buildings Insurance Schedule for your mortgage provider please email email@example.com
If you would like Stockport Homes to arrange contents insurance please visit the Home Contents Insurance page
Repairs and maintenance
If you live in a flat
Your individual repair obligations are outlined in your lease.
However, you will usually be responsible for:
- The window glazing (but not the frame);
- The ceilings (but not the joists or beams or concrete floors);
- All plaster and other surfaces to all floors, walls and ceilings in your property.The entrance door and frame to the property and any other external doors and frames (within the property);
- All plumbing, electrical services and wiring within and servicing solely your property;
- All fixtures and fittings in the property (this usually includes window handles and locks);
- All internal decoration.
You can pay for Stockport Homes’ Repair 1st team to do a repair inside your property. Visit our repairs page for more details.
Stockport Homes is usually responsible for:
- Repairs outside your property;
- The communal areas (if any);
- The structure of the building, for example, the roof, window frames, and common use service pipes.
Your lease will contain a plan showing the ‘development’ around your property. You are usually responsible for paying your share of any repairs, maintenance and improvement works within the development. These form part of your service charges.
If you live in a house
Your repair obligations are outlined in your lease or freehold transfer. However in most circumstances you will be responsible for all internal and external repairs.
Major works to blocks of flats
As your landlord, we have to maintain the building which contains your flat. You have to pay your share of the costs of maintaining the building.
A ‘Major Work’ is any large piece of building or engineering work to a block of flats. Major works ensure and prolong the life of buildings and may add value to your home. Examples include repair or replacement of roofs, windows, balconies, lifts and door entry systems.
Long-term contracts are contracts that we take out for longer than 12 months. Examples of long-term contracts might include grounds maintenance or lift servicing.
You have the right to be consulted about charges for running or maintaining the building if you have to pay more than:
- £250 for major works
- £100 per year for work and services lasting more than 12 months
There are steps we must follow when they consult you, known as a ‘Section 20’ consultation. Contact the Leasehold Advisory Service for advice.
Costs of Major Works are shared equally between the properties in the building. Leaseholders are obliged to pay their share of the cost directly. Council tenants pay their share of the cost via their rent payments.
Leaseholders’ share of the cost of works can be quite large. If you are worried about paying for major works, please contact the Leasehold Officer on 0161 218 1364.
Click here for Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council’s application to the First Tier Property Tribunal (Property): SMBC v various leaseholders, Application under S20ZA Landlord and Tenant Act 1985.
The application is for dispensation from parts of the Section 20 Consultation process and relates to major works to be carried out at various Council owned schemes that contain leasehold properties purchased under the Right to Buy scheme.
Home improvements and alterations
As a homeowner, you may want to improve or alter your home. However, your lease may prohibit all or some alterations or you may have to get your landlord’s consent to any work.
Examples of work that usually require consent include:
- Installing new windows;
- Replacing kitchen units and bathroom suites;
- Replacing a boiler or central heating system;
- Changing the existing internal layout of your property;
- Removing walls or creating new openings;
- Building an extension or conservatory;
- Laying a patio.
To apply for consent please complete an Alterations Application Form and provide any relevant supporting documents. If you need a paper copy of the form by post please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0161 218 1364. You can pay the administration fee for assessing your proposed alteration/improvement fee by calling the Customer Finance team on 0161 474 2846. Information on fees can be found below.
Once we have received your application, supporting documents and administration fee we will assess your application and let you know if a site inspection is necessary. There may be an additional fee for a site inspection.
If you have carried any improvements or alterations to your property without the landlord’s consent you will need to make a retrospective application. Please contact us to discuss this process. Information on fees to assess your application can be found below.
If you do not obtain all relevant permissions, you may be in breach of lease or freehold transfer and we will take action against you. Action may include you having to undo any works completed at your own cost.
Other permissions you may need to apply for
As well as consent from your landlord you may also need to get planning permission from the local planning authority. You may also need approval from Building Control.
Before applying for Landlord's Consent, we recommend you contact your local Council’s Planning Department and Building Control. It is your responsibility to obtain such consents.
If you want to build an extension, put up a conservatory or convert a loft space you need to check that you own the space you want to alter, for example, you cannot build on a shared garden and loft spaces are not usually owned by the flat below.
If you are unsure whether you own the space you want to alter, your lease or transfer plans will show exactly what you own. You can obtain a copy of your lease/headlease from Stockport Homes for an small fee or directly from the Land Registry
Selling your leasehold property
If you are selling your property your purchaser’s solicitor will request a leasehold management pack. We can only supply this pack to you or your appointed legal representative.
There is a fee for supplying this information. Upon receipt of the payment we will aim to provide your pack within 10 working days.
Our standard pack contains key information including:
- Current balance of service charge account
- Last three years’ service charges including invoices for minor communal repairs
- Details of any planned major or cyclical works to be carried out in the next two years
- Buildings Insurance Schedule
- Details of any asbestos or fire risk assessment carried out (if applicable)
- Details of any known alterations or breaches of the lease
Should you require additional information we may charge a further fee.
You can pay for your leasehold management pack using your credit or debit card by calling the Customer Finance team on 0161 474 2846. If you wish to pay by cheque please make cheques payable to Stockport Homes Ltd.
Selling your shared ownership property
If you wish to sell your shared ownership property there are two options:
Sell your part-share to a new shared owner
Sell the whole of the property, even though you only own a part-share. This is known as back-to-back staircasing.
Under option 1 you will sell your part-share and your landlord will retain their share of the property. Any new purchaser will need to meet the relevant affordability and eligibility criteria for shared ownership. They will continue to be a shared owner and pay rent and service charges just as you do. There will be costs associated with selling your property. Please contact us for more information.
With option 2 you and Stockport Homes will sell your part-shares of the property together on the same day. The new purchaser will own the property outright. The purchaser won’t have to meet shared ownership criteria and won’t have to pay any rent. The freehold of the property might pass to the new owner, depending on the terms of your lease. There will be costs associated with selling your property. Please contact us for more details.
You can find more information selling your shared ownership property in the shared ownership handbook.
Buying more of your shared ownership property
Buying more shares in your home is called 'Staircasing' and most leases allow you to ‘staircase’ until you own your home outright. The price you pay for additional shares is based on the market value of your home. You may staircase in separate stages, or in one stage to 100%. The minimum additional share you can buy is usually 25%.
You are under no obligation to buy more shares in your home. However, the more equity you own, the lower your rent will be. If you get to the point where you own 100% of the shares in your home, you will own it outright and no longer pay any rent.
If your home is a house and you own it outright, you may be given the freehold and may no longer pay any service charge (this depends on the conditions of your lease). If your home is a flat or apartment, you will continue to pay the service charge and remain a leaseholder. There will be costs associated with buying more of your shared ownership property. Please contact us for more details.
You can find more information on Staircasing in the shared ownership handbook.
Summary of leasehold fees
Service Charge (including VAT) Leasehold Management Pack (required by solicitors when a leasehold property is sold) £150 Notice of Transfer (recorded by the Council when properties change hands) £5 Copy of lease / headlease £40 Desk assessment of alterations/improvements £75 Retrospective desk assessment of alterations / improvements £150 Alteration / improvement survey / inspection £45 per hour Leasehold management information for remortgage / approval of further advance etc £80 Administration fee for shared ownership staircasing / resale £125
If you own a flat bought under the Right-to-Buy scheme you can find more information in the Leaseholder Handbook.
If you own a shared ownership house or apartment you can find more information in the Shared Ownership Leaseholder Handbook.
To contact us with any queries about your lease, please email email@example.com