Your lease is the contract between you (the Shared Owner) and us, Thrive Homes (the Landlord). Here, we set out what you can expect from a Lease agreement with Thrive Homes, what you are responsible for and information for when you come to sell your home.
Our offer to you; a fair and professionally drafted lease from an ethical landlord providing value for money.
- A compliant and transparent service, we are committed to observing the terms and conditions as outlined in your lease.
- A professional, ethical landlord who does what it says and treats you fairly. We will notify you of your service charge estimate and rent increases in advance, provide a summary of actual spend and credit your service charge account where the estimate exceeds the actual cost.
- Providing value for money, as a non-profit organisation we are committed to providing all our customers with the best value for money and only work with contractors with the same ethos.
What we ask of you: keep to the terms of your lease and make payments as laid out in your agreement.
This means you need to:
- Understand and meet your responsibilities as set out in your lease.
- Pay your rent, service charge, and ground rent in accordance with your agreement.
As a shared owner, you will own a proportion of your home and you will pay rent to Thrive for the remaining percentage that you do not own.
Each year, your rent will change and the rules for this are set out in your lease agreement. As your landlord, Thrive Homes will review the amount in accordance with the provisions of your lease and send you a letter each year to update you before the change takes place.
Where can I get a copy of my lease?
You can contact your solicitor who will be able to provide you with a copy of your lease if you don’t hold a copy. You can additionally access a copy from the Land Registry for a fee if you cannot get in touch with them.
Understanding your service charge and ground rent
Where you live in a block or part of a wider estate, you are required to pay your share of the cost to Thrive for managing and maintaining the common areas and shared services. Read more in Understanding your service charge and ground rent.
Understanding your lease
Your solicitor should have explained all the details of the lease to you when you purchased your home, including:
- the obligations, rights, and responsibilities that each party must adhere to
- particulars of what you are demised and responsible for
- the number of years left on your lease
- a Conveyance or Land Registry filed plan to illustrate the boundaries of the common or shared areas and a copy of the Lease Plan outlining your home edged in red
- the share you will pay towards all services and maintenance
- the ground rent payable.
Extending your lease
When a lease falls below a term of 80 years it can become harder to sell as any potential buyer may experience difficulties getting a mortgage for it.
Most lessees have the right to purchase a 90-year extension if you have owned the flat for the preceding two years. You will have your own valuation carried out and be prepared to pay for Thrive’s valuation to assess the premium, administration charge, and our Solicitor fees. You can check more details on your eligibility and the process with your Solicitor.
What is a Superior Landlord?
Thrive Homes own the freehold for most of our housing stock. We are therefore responsible for upkeeping the structure of the building, maintaining the internal and external communal areas and providing particular services. Each property within the building is then granted a separate contract to occupy it. We will therefore be the landlord.
In some instances, there is a Superior Landlord where a third party owns the freehold and Thrive are granted a lease for your property. Thrive have then granted you a lease which is termed an underlease. Thrive will be your landlord and we liaise with the third party as required.
In these circumstances there may be additional requirements for any queries you may have due to the third party, which could cause some delay in our response. We will always contact the Superior Landlord direct in these cases and let you know the additional requirements.
Selling your shared ownership home
When you wish to sell your Shared Ownership home you need to get in touch with us. Your lease normally states that Thrive has a nomination period in which we can find another family who would qualify for the Shared Ownership scheme, which is why we will start the sales process for you.
You will initially need to ensure that your rent and service charge account is up to date. We will collect a payment from you, including an administration fee for processing your sale and the cost of an RICS qualified valuer to value your property. If there is no available EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) for your property you will need to arrange for one to be carried out and provide this to us as soon as possible.
We will then put you in touch with our independent sales agent who will market your property, find your buyer and liaise with you and your Solicitor during the sales process through to completion. If our Agent cannot find you a buyer within the nomination period, you will then be able to instruct your own agent so that you can find a suitable buyer. You are not able to do this until the nomination period has elapsed. All prospective buyers do need to be approved by our Agent to ensure that they are eligible for the Shared ownership scheme.
Note: This process may soon be varied in shared ownership sales under a new Government model.
Your purchaser will request a Management Pack (also known as a pre-assignment pack) which covers all the information required for your Lease and block. You will need to purchase this from Thrive and we will aim to turn this around within 10 working days of receipt of payment.
As a Shared Owner, you are entitled to purchase additional shares (equity) in your home which is called Staircasing.
The process which you are required to follow will be outlined in your Lease. Further details are available in our Guide to Staircasing.
Can I sublet my property?
As a Shared Owner, your lease prohibits subletting, so your home should be your main residence.
What do Administration Fees include?
Administration charges are payments you make for ad hoc requests that arise from your lease responsibilities. These are not included in your regular service charges or management fee for example; requesting permissions or processing your sale documents.