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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I increase the share of the property I own?

Yes! Under the majority of our Shared Ownership Leases you will be able to buy further shares in your home until you own the property outright. This process is known as “staircasing”. As you increase your equity share your rent will be reduced accordingly.

Please note that some properties have a restricted lease that does not allow the leaseholder to own the whole property.

What if I want to sell?

You can sell your share at any time after you have purchased it. This process is known as “assignment.” It is important to write and tell NCHA before you sell the property, as you will need permission before you can sell it. In some cases the Association will be able to put forward a buyer, and this could save you money in estate agents fees. If you are only selling 50% the purchaser will have to complete a simple application form. You will be responsible for the Association’s legal fees.

Can I take in a lodger?
Yes. As the leaseholder, however, you will be responsible for your lodger and you must ensure they keep to the conditions of your lease.

Can I sublet my home?
Shared ownership properties are developed for use as the leaseholder’s home and are not intended to be sublet. If your circumstances change and you would like to discuss temporarily subletting your home then please contact us. Permission may be given under certain restricted circumstances but will only be for a six month period. You will require written permission from your mortgage lender if we allow you to sublet.

Do I need NCHA’s permission to carry out improvements to my home?
You can carry out smaller tasks, such as putting up shelves or decorating, without consulting us. If you plan to carry out any major works, however, such as structural changes or building an extension, you will need to seek permission from NCHA. We will check whether this is allowed under the terms of your lease.

Who pays for repairs?
Your newly built home has a defects liability period provided by the developer. This period begins when NCHA takes handover of the completed building, and its length will vary depending on the developer. If this defects liability period has already ended by the time you complete your purchase NCHA will offer you a short period during which we will rectify defects at our own cost.

After this time, all repairs are your responsibility. If you ring the Maintenance Department you will be recharged for any works that are carried out.

How do I make a claim on my Buildings Insurance?
If you need to make a claim, you should contact Zurich Municipal direct on 0800 335 500 or 0800 028 0336 (for out of hours) or email , quoting policy number "JHA-22S473-0023". In most cases Zurich Municipal will tell you straight away whether your claim is covered by the policy. If it is covered, they will advise their preferred repairs supplier, who will contact you to arrange a time to carry out the work.

How can I pay my monthly rent & service charges?
Our preferred method of payment is Direct Debit on the 1st of every month. This is in line with the terms of your lease. If you would prefer to pay by another method, please contact the office to discuss your options.

What if I cannot pay my monthly rent & service charges?
It is important that you contact the Home Ownership Team as soon as possible. We will try to reschedule your payments and advise you of your options. If you fail to make regular monthly payments, however, the Association or your mortgage lender may commence legal proceedings to take possession of your home.

If you are having problems making your payments to either the Association or to your mortgage lender, the following sites may provide some useful advice:

Will my rent and service charges be reviewed every year?
Yes. In accordance with the terms of your Shared Ownership Lease there will be a review of your rent and service charges on an annual basis. You will be given at least four weeks notice of any increase in your rent. Your lease sets out the maximum increase that NCHA can make to your rent.

Am I responsible for any service charge shortfalls?
All service charges are estimated when annual budgets are set. Service charge accounts for your scheme will be prepared and audited annually and any surplus will be paid back to you. It will, however, be your responsibility to make up any deficit.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

Failure to maintain your rent & service charge payments to the Association may result in the loss of your home by forfeiture.