Company Rights and Responsibilities
This is written for customers of Futures Housing Group, which consists of Futures Homescape Ltd, Futures Homeway Ltd (formerly Daventry & District Housing) and Five Doorways Homes Ltd. All references to “The Company” refers to all companies in Futures Housing Group
Repairs and Maintenance Rights
Flats – The Company will be responsible for repairing the structure and outside of your flat, including shared areas such as entrance hall, stairs etc. You are responsible for the internal maintenance and repairs.
Houses – You have a full repairing lease, therefore you are responsible for all repairs and maintenance.
The Company has to by law consult with leaseholders about any major works of repair or improvements which are likely to cost more than £250 per leaseholder. Failure to do so will result in any excess amounts above £250 payable by the Company. The Company also has to by law consult with leaseholders when entering into long term contracts for the provisions of services to your block which will cost the more than £100 per leaseholder. There are circumstances where the responsibility to consult can be waived, such as emergency situations.
These are funds which can be collected from the leaseholder to allow sums of money to build up in order to pay for large or infrequent items of expenditure. For example roof replacement/refurbishment, lift replacements etc. The funds are collected as part of the service charges. The Company does not propose to collect sinking funds but only charge leaseholders when the works arise.
Rights and Responsibilities
Changes to your lease
The Company must consult you about any changes to your lease. No changes can be made without your written agreement.
If your lease states that other leases in the area will be on similar terms, any change needs the agreement of all the leaseholders. If agreement cannot be obtained then the changes can only be imposed upon you by a First-Tier Tribunal.
Your right to stay in your home
You have the right to stay in your home as long as you keep to the terms set out in the lease and pay all charges due.
The Company will make every effort to help you stay in your home, but can apply to the Courts to have your home taken from you if you fail to pay service charges and/or ground rent, or knowingly made a false statement when you applied for the lease.
Antisocial Behaviour/Neighbour Nuisance
The Company policies and procedures for dealing with antisocial behaviour and neighbour nuisance apply to both leaseholders and tenants.
The Company policies and procedures for dealing with tenants/leaseholders who get in to financial difficulties apply to both leaseholders and tenants.
The Company’s policies and procedures for handling complaints apply to leaseholders.
The Company has policies and procedures for ensuring that leaseholders and tenants maintain payments due on their homes
Your lease will state whether you will be charged for services and how they are calculated. The services charges that may be charged to you are:-
- External repair/maintenance to block and communal areas
- Grounds maintenance
- Planned maintenance
- Insurance of the building
- Management costs
- Unadopted road
- Communal parking areas
- Communal landscaping
- Maintenance / repairs to communal rights of way / shared access.
The above costs would be shared equally between all leaseholders as per the terms of the lease.
The Company policy is to charge service charges on a quarterly basis.
If you believe that the service charge is unreasonable then you have a right to refer it to the First-Tier Tribunal.
Your Right to make Improvements and Alterations
Any requests should be made in writing to Futures Housing Group.
Your Right to Buy the Freehold
You may be able to buy the freehold of the property.
Flats – The rules governing buying the freehold of a flat are very complex and we recommend you take your own independent legal advice to see if you have this right. This process is known as leasehold enfranchisement.
Houses – Buying the freehold of a house can happen once you own a 100% share in your home. The staircasing process and freehold purchase can happen at the same time.
Staircasing allows you to buy further shares in your home and provides an opportunity for you to progress to outright ownership. Staircasing can take place at any time after the first 12 months of occupation.
If you decide to staircase, the cost involved to value your home will be charged to yourself. The valuation will be carried out by an independent RICS valuer. Any improvements you have made will be disregarded in the valuation.
You will be notified in writing of how much the further share will cost and upon completion your rent payment will be reduced accordingly.
If you wish to staircase (buy a further share in your home), you will need to make your request in writing to the Shared Ownership Team at: Futures Housing Group, Asher House, Asher Lane Business Park, Ripley, Derbyshire, DE5 3SW.
You will be given three months to complete the purchase of the further share. If the purchase takes longer for any reason it will be necessary to obtain an up-to-date valuation, for which you will have to pay an additional charge.
Can I sell?
Yes you can, but we have a right of first refusal on your share. If DDH does not wish to purchase your share we have a right to nominate a person within the nomination period (eight weeks). If we do not nominate anyone you then have a right to sell your share on the open market.
Can I lose out?
Yes. Unfortunately like any home owner if house prices fall you may lose out, but only on the share you own. Likewise, if the house prices rise, the increase in value of your share is yours.
The mortgage contract is between you and your bank/building society. If you begin to experience financial difficulties you should let them know immediately. They may be able to help.
If you have trouble meeting your rent and service charge, it is essential that you contact Futures Housing Group to discuss what options are available.