Sales and services

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If you are considering selling your home there are various issues that you need to be aware of.

You can find some of the most important information you need on this page.

For more information about selling your home, staircasing or re-mortgaging, please visit our dedicated sales website at:

www.familymosaicsales.co.uk

Alternatively you can call us on 0300 123 3456 or email us at resident.sales@familymosaic.co.uk.

Selling your shared ownership home

If you own 100% of your property, you can sell it on the open market using an estate agent.

Find out more

Your lease will still be with Family Mosaic, and we will continue to manage and collect the ground rent and service charges for the building. It’s therefore very important that you ensure your solicitor contacts us and provides us with the new owner’s details, so that we can update the ownership of the property on our register, and you won’t continue to receive letters asking for service charges from us.

Selling your owned home

You should have a copy of your lease, which is a private contract between you and your landlord, setting out the rights and duties of both the landlord and the leaseholder.

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Please make sure you’ve got a copy of your lease: it’s important. If you’ve lost it, please contact us: there will be a small fee for this service.

Your lease allows you to occupy the property for a set number of years (this is called your lease term). Most owner occupiers have long leases of 99 or 125 years. This reduces over time, from the date the lease was first granted. The outstanding term will depend on what was left on the lease when you took it over.

In the event of any query, you should first refer to the lease, preferably with professional assistance. We will always ensure that the management of your property, tenancy and rent or service charge follows the terms of the lease.

Read more on how we can explain your lease.

Potential buyers of your home

Eligibility will vary depending on which development you are looking at purchasing, the property size and whether there are any criteria imposed by the local authority. But there are some general, over-arching criteria that you must meet for every scheme.

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They will ensure any potential buyer meets the Government’s requirements for shared ownership homes. In some circumstances where it is difficult to find a buyer, we may approve a buyer to buy the whole of your home, and not just the share. In this case, they will also buy our share in the home.

Please note: it can take several months to sell your home. Prospective buyers might drop out. Or other buyers in a chain might drop out.

Read more on Shared Ownership Eligibility.

Legal issues from selling your home

During the sale of your property, a number of legal process will need to be dealt with, some of which your solicitor will ask us to deal with. Under the terms of the lease, our solicitor’s legal expenses will be paid for by you, the existing leaseholder.

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We may be asked to undertake some or all of the following, which will incur an administration fee:

  • leasehold / solicitor enquiries: through their solicitor, your prospective buyer will raise some questions about the property that we will have to answer. These might relate to, for example, service charge expenses, major works, sinking funds, ground rent or building regulations.
  • notices: the buyer’s solicitor should issue Family Mosaic with a transfer notice or charge notice informing us of the name of the new owner and lender. These are very important: without them, we won’t be able to update our records, and you will still be liable for any rent and service charge. If you’re re-mortgaging, your solicitor will issue a charge notice to advise us of the new lender. These are legal requirements that have to be checked and approved.
  • deeds of variation: occasionally, we’re asked to approve a variation of the lease so that the sale can complete. These deeds of variation, as they are called, will only be agreed if they are not to the detriment of other residents or the mortgage provider.

Read more on selling your Shared Ownership home.

Extending your lease

Your lease will probably be for a term of 99 or 125 years. Once there are 80 years or less remaining, it is known as short. When a lease becomes short, it affects the value of that lease, and may create difficulties if you want to sell or re-mortgage.

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If you own 100% of your home, then you have a statutory right to extend your lease.

If you own a share in your home, then it is not a statutory right, and you will need to apply to us for this extension. This is an informal process, but to qualify, you must satisfy two conditions:

  • the existing lease must be for an original term exceeding 21 years (it doesn’t matter how much of the term is left)
  • the leaseholder needs to have owner the property for two years

If you satisfy these conditions, then you have the right to be granted a new lease for an additional term of 90 years at peppercorn rent.

You can extend your lease in two ways (speak with your legal advisor to find the best option for you):

  • informal (for outright and shared ownership leaseholders): this may be quicker and less expensive.
  • formal (for outright leaseholders only): this is prescribed by law. To continue by this route, you will need to serve a statutory notice under section 42 of the Leasehold Reform Act 1993.

For more information, please read our we can help with lease extensions page on our sales website.

Staircasing

Buying more shares in your home is called Staircasing. After you’ve bought your initial share, you can then buy further shares. The minimum share you can buy is 10% and you can usually buy up to 100% of your home.

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The greater the share in your home you buy, the less rent you pay. If you buy 100% of your home, then you won’t pay any more rent to us (apart from ground rent).

To buy more shares, you must:

  • write to us and state that you want to buy further shares in your home
  • arrange and pay for a valuation undertaken by an independent RICS qualified vender (not an estate agent), to determine the current market value of your home – this price determines the price for calculating the premium you would pay to buy an additional share
  • ensure you don’t have any arrears on your rent and / or service charge account

You will incur some legal and administrative expenses when you buy more shares.

Read more on our sales website regarding Staircasing.

Remortgaging your home

When you originally bought a share in your home, you may have financed the purchase with a mortgage.

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If you want to re-mortgage your home – because, for example, you need to release some capital or want to make improvements – then you’ll need to write to us first. As we’ve got a financial interest in your property, it’s important that we’re aware of, and agree to, any changes in your lender or any increase in how much you’re borrowing.

There are three reasons why you may want to re-mortgage:

  • to move from your existing lender to another lender, without increasing your borrowing
  • to stay with your existing lender, but to borrow more money to pay for improvements to your home
  • to move to another lender, and to borrow more money to pay for improvements to your home

We’ll need to know about your proposed re-mortgaging: we’ll also need to be informed about the proposed improvements to your home:

  • for home improvements such as a new kitchen, bathroom or flooring, send copies of quotes and invoices, as well as professional installation certificates (for example, gas and electrical certificates)
  • for more complex improvements such as extensions, you’ll need to provide planning permission, architect’s plans and our surveyor will probably need to visit you as well

All re-mortgages will need to be approved by Family Mosaic prior to completion.

You will incur some legal and administrative expenses when you buy more shares.

Read more on re-mortgaging on our we can help with re-mortgaging webpage.

Enfranchisement – buying the freehold of a building

Enfranchisement – buying the freehold of a building – is a statutory right given to leaseholders collectively. As a charity, Family Mosaic is exempt from this right, as our properties are used for charitable purposes. We may, however, consider selling the freehold of a building if all the residents living there own their properties outright.

Information for executors

The loss of a loved one is a very distressing time, and we will do all we can to support you through the steps you need to take to deal with any shared ownership property left in their will.

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Selling or transferring a property after someone has died can be a very slow and frustrating process because of legal issues, but we aim to deal efficiently with this to try to minimise the distress it may cause you.

To do this, we will require the person with the necessary authority to deal with the deceased’s affairs to provide us with:

  • their name and correspondence address
  • a copy of the death certificate
  • confirmation of the necessary authority: this will usually take the form of a grant of representation, either as a grant of probate or a grant of letters of administration

We will inform the personal representative if the deceased owed any money for service charges, or rent.

The personal representative will need to inform Family Mosaic as soon as possible what they propose to do with the property, for example:

  • selling the property: if the property is a shared ownership property, then the process will be as outlined above
  • transferred to a family member: this might happen on intestacy or a person named in the Will as a beneficiary inherits the property
  • buy the remaining shares in the property: if the property is part owner, then the personal representative may buy the remaining shares in the property, as per the procedures outlined above in staircasing

Please note that you may incur some legal and administrative expenses when you buy more shares.

Call us for more information on 020 7089 1206.

Improving health, wealth and wellbeing through housing

Improving health, wealth and wellbeing through housing

Improving health, wealth and wellbeing through housing