Making adjustments

Apply-for-it.jpgAs a leaseholder or shared owner your property is managed by our Home Ownership Team. Many of our services are also available online. 

Please register with our MyAccount service to access your rent account, service charge information and to check on repairs to your building.

If you're a shared owner or leaseholder, you'll need our permission if you wish to make home improvements, get a lease extension or sublet your home. Find out more below.

If you're interested in buying a Shared Ownership home, please visit our Homes for Sale pages.
 

Home Improvements

Under the terms of your lease, you'll need our permission to carry out improvements or alterations to your home.
This includes improvements such as:
  • New kitchen or bathroom
  • New boiler or central heating
  • Replacement doors and windows
  • Conservatories or extensions
  • Electrical installation and replacement
  • Loft conversion
A full list of the works that need our permission can be found in our Home Improvements Guide, along with the fees for consent.

To apply for permission, please complete our Home Improvements application form.

You'll also need to provide us with:
  • Plans of the work you wish to carry out
  • Details of any planning permission or building regulations required
  • Explanation of how the work will be completed
  • Details of your building contractors.
Our permission isn't required for:
  • Redecoration
  • Internal doors
  • Replacing fence panels
  • Replacing broken window glass.

Home Improvements FAQ

Why do I need to get your permission for home improvements?

Under the terms of your lease you can only carry out internal alterations or improvements to your home if you have written permission from us. This is because we have to protect the structure and safety of the building. We’ll only refuse permission if we have very good reasons for doing so.

Should I talk to you before starting the work?

It’s in your best interest to discuss any home improvement plans with us before committing to the works. Solicitors will ask for landlord consents for any alterations you’ve done when you sell your leasehold property. You may also need planning permission and/or building regulations approval. Check with your local council for further details on this.

What types of work need your consent?

These are the main types of work for which you'll need our permission for:
  • „„ Any addition or alteration to the structure of your flat or house
  • Any alteration to the outside of your flat including a new vent for your boiler
  • Installation of a satellite dish
  • „„ Installation of new windows and exterior doors
  • Removal of any internal walls
  • Alterations relating to the plumbing, gas and electricity resulting in changes to internal supply pipes and circuits
  • Changing your kitchen, bathroom or flooring.

How do I apply for new windows and external doors?

If you want to install your own windows and external doors you must first get our permission to do so.
To get our consent you will need to:

  • Obtain planning permission for the work. Please contact your local council’s planning department before you do anything
  • Employ a FENSA certified company to do the work
  • Be up to date with your service charges
  • Pay an administration fee of £120 (including VAT).

To find out if you can install your own windows and doors please complete the Home Improvements Application form and follow the procedure for consent.

Who do I send my application to?

Homeownership Consents
Grosvenor House
125 High Street
Croydon
CR0 9XP

Or, scan your documents and email them to: HomeOwnership.Management@amicushorizon.org.uk

If we’re able to give you consent, we’ll request the application fee and send you consent in writing. This will be recorded so you and future owners of your home will know you were given consent for the works.

Who can I speak to about my home improvement application?

To discuss your proposals you can call us on 0800 121 60 60 and ask to speak to your Home Ownership Officer.

If I don't get consent, what will happen?

If you carry out home improvements without getting our consent where necessary, you’ll be breaking the conditions of your lease.
We have the right to ask you to re-instate your home as it was before the works were carried out. Or, we can arrange to do it ourselves and charge you the costs for this.
If, at any time, we have questions about the works you've carried out either with or without our consent, we have the right to inspect the inside of your home once we’ve given you notice.

What if I’ve already done the work?

If you’ve undertaken home improvements without permission, you must contact the Home Ownership Team to apply for landlord consent.
If the work is done to standard and we’re able to give retrospective consent, the fee will be requested along with an additional £30 (including VAT) administration charge.



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Lease Extensions

If you’re an AmicusHorizon leaseholder, you may need to extend your lease.

Many AmicusHorizon leases were originally granted in the 1980s and it’s likely the term was
granted at 99 years. The length of a lease goes down over time. If the property is sold the original lease is passed to the new owner rather than a new lease being created.

Mortgage lenders may be unwilling to provide a mortgage on a property where there are less than 80 years left on the lease.

Who can extend their lease?

A lease extension is a statutory right for 100% leaseholders, provided you meet the statutory conditions. Shared owners don't have a statutory right to extend their lease but we offer an informal Lease Extension service.

How you can extend your lease through our informal procedure:

Step 1

The first step is to get a valuation from a Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) valuer. They'll work the cost out using a formula set by law. If your valuation is undertaken by a RICS valuer, it's in line with estimates and they can send a copy of the valuation directly to us. We’re happy for you to go ahead at the cost they propose.

Once you've received the valuation back from your RICS valuer you can begin the lease extension process.

Step 2

Fill in and return the Lease Extension application form. You'll also need to pay our administration fee of £210 with a cheque made payable to AmicusHorizon Limited. Or, if you prefer you can pay by debit/credit card over the phone.

Please send to:

Home Ownership Lease Extension
Grosvenor House
125 High Street
Croydon
CR0 9XP
Tel: 0800 121 60 60
Email: Homeownership.management@amicushorizon.org.uk

Step 3

Once we receive the form, details of your solicitor and your valuation, we'll instruct our solicitors to extend the lease. You'll pay the price for the lease extension, plus our solicitors’ fees of around £650 + VAT.
Remember, you'll also need to pay your solicitor costs.

The process of extending your lease usually takes around four to six months.

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Sublet your home

If you’re a shared owner subletting your home is not allowed, apart from in rare circumstances, defined as ‘exceptional’.

This is because your home was built with government funding. We have to ensure people who benefit from this are not using their home to make money.

Further details can be found in our Subletting information leaflet.

If you sublet your home without written agreement from us you're in breach of the terms of your shared ownership lease.

Subletting without permission is very serious and, if we have to, we'll take legal action and you risk losing your home.

Subletting FAQ

How do I know if my circumstances are exceptional?

If you feel your circumstances are exceptional, we'll consider a request from you to sublet your home. We expect these requests to be rare and will consider them on a case by case basis. It's our decision as to whether we agree to the request or not and any agreement will be subject to a number of conditions.

Please complete a subletting application form to assist us in assessing your situation. We'll only grant permission if you agree to sort out the circumstances that are making occupation of your property impractical.

Examples of circumstances that we would consider exceptional would be:

• If you're moving away from the area for employment and you expect this to be for a short period of time

• If you need to move because a close family member requires you to be their primary carer.

 

What do I do if I think my circumstances are exceptional?

Please contact your Home Ownership Officer and provide us with evidence. For example, a doctor's letter confirming you're required to move to become someone's primary carer. Or a letter from your employer confirming your place of work is moving to a location outside of a reasonable daily commuting distance (a distance of at least 75 miles or 90 minutes travelling time).


 

When will you not grant permission to sublet?

Requests to sublet based upon market conditions or any reductions in the value of your property alone are not considered exceptional, so we'll not grant permission to sublet.

If you're able to say yes, how long will I be able to sublet for?

If we agree to your request to sublet your home, this will be for six months only. An extension up to a maximum of 12 months may be requested with a further application
 

What are my options when the subletting ends?

At the end of the agreed period (normally six months), you'll need to choose one of the following options:

1. Return to live in the property as your main or principal home

2. Staircase to 100% ownership (whereupon you may then be able to sublet the property without our involvement)

3. Sell your share in the property (your sales instructions to AmicusHorizon's resales team must be in place at least two months before the end of the agreed period).
 

Can you withdraw your permission?

We will withdraw any permission, regardless of the circumstances:
  • If there are any rent/service charges/sundry debt arrears on your account
  • If your tenants are causing noise, harassment to other residents of the property, building or area or are breaking the law
  • If your mortgage payments are not maintained or your mortgage lender requests us to withdraw permission for the sublet arrangements.
Permission to sublet automatically terminates at the agreed end date. If the sublet tenancy continues beyond the agreed date, then you will be in breach of your shared ownership lease and we will take action to recover the property. You risk losing your home.
 


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