Frequently Asked Questions
We've compiled a list of frequently asked questions we get from new customers and existing leaseholders which we hope you find helpful. Our FAQ's range from questions regarding Peabody as an organisation, making contact with us as well as useful information regarding Shared Ownership, Help To Buy and other products that we provide. If you can't find the answer to your question, our team are on hand to help you with any queries you have, simply get in touch with us.
Shared Ownership FAQ's
What is Shared Ownership?
Shared Ownership is a part buy/part rent scheme, where you buy a share in the property and pay rent on the share you don’t own. It is designed as a stepping stone for first time buyers looking to completely own their own home.
What is a Resale Property?
Resale properties are homes that a current owner bought through Shared Ownership and now wishes to sell on. The principle is the same as buying a new build through Shared Ownership but you must purchase at least the share that the seller currently owns.
Am I eligible for Shared Ownership?
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. There are however, some general, over-arching criteria you will need to meet.
You can check your eligibility for Shared Ownership using our eligibility tool:
Will I share my home through Shared Ownership?
You won't share your home with anyone else. Shared Ownership means that the Housing Association who sells the property owns the remaining share of your home (in this case, Peabody). As well as being a leaseholder, buying through Shared Ownership means that you are an owner-occupier, with all the same rights and responsibilities. Find out more by reading our guide to Shared Ownership.
Interested in Shared Ownership. What should you do next?
Once you've found a property you are interested in, make sure you register your interest. Once you have done that, we will keep you updated on the development you have expressed an interest in including when we expect to launch, any new viewing dates and updates on pricing and availability.
Is Shared Ownership affordable?
Shared Ownership is referred to as “affordable” because you can buy a Shared Ownership home with a lower deposit than is usually the case and pay rent that is lower than the market rate.
It doesn’t mean that everyone will be able to afford a home under Shared Ownership, because every development has its own income requirements. This is to ensure that you can afford the ongoing costs as part of Shared Ownership including rent, mortgage payments and service charges.
What are the benefits of buying through Shared Ownership?
- You own as much of your home as you can afford and you can buy a larger share if and when you’re able to - the choice is yours. This process is called staircasing.
- Your monthly mortgage plus rent can work out less than renting on the open market.
- Instead of paying rent every month and having nothing to show for it, you own a part of your home.
- You'll need less in savings as you'll be putting down a deposit on a share of the property rather than the full market value.
- If you decide to sell your home, and the value of your home has increased, so too will the value of the share you own.
Is Shared Ownership only for younger buyers?
There are no age restrictions when it comes to Shared Ownership, however mortgage lenders may impose age limits when it comes to arranging a mortgage needed to buy through Shared Ownership.
How long does it take to buy a Shared Ownership property?
This will depend on a number of things. The speed at which the solicitors can process the sale, the length of time it takes to arrange a mortgage and whether the completion of the building work is on track can all have an effect.
We target exchange of contracts to six weeks after you receive your letter from us offering you a home, or within 5 days of receipt of your mortgage offer (whichever is sooner).
Completion of your purchase will take place within 10 working days of exchange of contracts or "on notice" if we're awaiting handover of your home.
We'll monitor the sale's progress, liaising with your solicitor and Mortgage Advisor to make sure exchange and completion happens.
Will my credit rating affect my ability to buy a Shared Ownership home?
A poor credit rating may rule you out of qualifying for a mortgage which is needed to buy a Shared Ownership home. If your unsure, contact an Independent Mortgage Adviser (IMA) before you book an appointment to view a home.
What costs are involved when I first buy a Shared Ownership home?
At the outset
As with any house purchase, you’ll need to have adequate funds to cover certain costs at the outset. We recommend:
- At least £4,000 in savings
- Your mortgage deposit. We’ll indicate the minimum deposit you’re likely to need based on the local authority's eligibility requirements for your chosen development.
The monthly costs
- Your monthly mortgage repayment to your lender.
- The rent on the remaining share of your home you don't own. Peabody keeps this at as an affordable level as possible.
- A service charge for the upkeep and maintenance of the buildings your home is situated in.
- Your usual monthly outgoings for household bills etc.
Can I buy a second home with Shared Ownership?
While many people who buy a home through Shared Ownership are buying for the first time, it is available to anyone who meets the eligibility criteria.
However, if you already own a home, you must be in the process of selling it as you cannot own any other property at the time you buy a Shared Ownership home.
What happens if I want to buy a bigger home?
If you need more space because of changing family circumstances, you can sell your home and apply to buy a larger home. You can find our more on selling your Shared Ownership home.
What size of home I can buy?
There are no restrictions on the size of home you can buy, however we generally prioritise larger homes to people with a larger household size i.e. families
Does my occupation matter?
Armed forces personnel and some key workers may have priority, depending on the criteria the local authority has specified when it comes to buying a Shared Ownership home.
Why should I have £4,000 in savings?
We recommend you have around £4,000 in savings to cover the costs involved in buying a new home and moving into it.
These costs include:
- £500 to reserve the property (which will be refunded if you’re unsuccessful or on completion)
- Solicitors’ fees (our Mortgage Advisor will recommend a solicitor, or you can appoint your own)
- Lender’s fees
- Valuation fee
- Removal costs
- SDLT (Stamp Duty Land Tax) – your solicitor will advise if this will apply and how much it will be (no SDLT is charged if the initial share you buy is £125,000 or less)
What will a solicitor do for me?
Your solicitor will:
- Carry out searches on the property to make sure there are no issues which will affect your new home.
- Check your lease.
- Communicate with our solicitors and your mortgage company.
- Ensure that all contracts and paperwork are in place so that your purchase can go without any problems.
What will my mortgage adviser do for me?
The Mortgage Advisor you'll be speaking to when you book an appointment will check your affodability and have knowledge of mortgage lenders and the most suitable mortgages for your needs.
They'll also explain the buying process and give a guide to the costs associated with your purchase.
Is there a minimum and maximum share I can buy?
The terms of the Shared Ownership scheme state that you should buy the maximum share you can afford. Your Mortgage Adviser will advise what this is during your financial assessment. You can buy a maximum of 75% of the share in the first instance.
There is a usually a minimum share of at least 25% that you’ll have to buy, but the actual minimum varies from home to home. You'll find details on this website, and our sales team can advise.
Can I buy any of Peabody’s homes under Shared Ownership?
Shared Ownership applies only to specific homes and developments as we also sometimes sell homes on the open market, as well as through other affordable products such as Help To Buy and Rent to Buy.
You can search for homes available through Shared Ownership on our website.
Can I buy a larger share of my home in future?
Yes. This is called 'Staircasing', where you can increase the share of your home in incremental steps. For more information about Staircasing, you can read our complete guide.
How do allocations work for Shared Ownership?
To make sure properties go to those most in need, priority will be given in the following order.
- Existing social tenants - because council and housing association tenants buying their own home will release a home to someone else who needs social housing
- Military personnel
- Applicants registered on the local authority’s housing waiting list or who are in a local priority group
- First time buyers
- Buyers with a home to sell
After the initial priority groups have been considered, applications will then be prioritised based on:
- People who live and work within the same borough of the home they wish to buy
- People on the lowest income, but still able to afford the property
- People with a larger household size i.e. families
Do I pay the council tax for a Shared Ownership home?
Yes – all owners/occupiers over the age of 18 are liable for council tax. You may be eligible for reductions if you live alone or are a disabled owner. Contact the relevant local authority for further information.
Who pays for the insurance on my home?
Buildings insurance is included in your monthly service charges for flats, whilst it is up to you as a leaseholder to organise cover for contents insurance.
Who pays for the water, electricity etc?
You'll need to pay for your utilities.
If your home is in a development with a communal heating system the supplier will be Peabody or an energy services company chosen for that development.
If you're in a house, one of the first things you do when you move in is take a meter reading. We’ll advise who your utilities are with on completion day, and you can then transfer to whichever company you wish afterwards.
How much will my service charge be?
You'll find an estimated monthly service charge on our website for each property but the final charge you'll actually pay may differ - our sales team will advise you on this.
The service charge will be specific to the development and calculated on the number of bedrooms in your home and is reviewed on an annual basis.
We make sure that any services we provide are reasonable and affordable and the charge covers costs such as:
- Maintenance of building and grounds
- Upkeep of communal areas
- Caretaking and cleaning
- Maintenance of lifts, fire alarms and door entry systems
- Buildings insurance
- A contribution to a reserve fund to cover future redecoration or refurbishment.
The service charge is reviewed on an annual basis, and if it's to change, we'll give you at least one month's notice.
NB The service charge is separate to the ground rent you may have to pay.
Who pays for repairs and maintenance to my property?
You will be responsible for any repairs and maintenance of your home and Peabody is responsible for repairs and maintenance of any communal areas. You will find more information on leaseholder repairs below:
Can I decorate my Shared Ownership home?
Absolutely, as well as being a leaseholder, buying through Shared Ownership means that you are an owner-occupier, with all the same rights and responsibilities. You are free to decorate your new home as you wish and are responsible for its maintenance and upkeep.
However if you wish to make any structural changes such as removing walls, you must get Peabody’s approval.
Can I sub-let my property?
Under normal circumstances, shared owners aren't able to sub-let.
However, if you feel that your circumstances are exceptional and you aren't in rent arrears, you may be allowed (for instance, working abroad for a short fixed period of time or requiring to be absent for a period of time to care for a partner or close family member).
If this is the case, ring Peabody Direct on 0800 022 4040 (free from landlines) or 020 7021 4444 and ask for the Rents and Service Charge team.
We'll ask you to put your request in writing to the team at 45 Westminster Bridge Road, London, SE1 7JB, along with some supporting documentation which we'll detail in a letter to you.
If sub-letting is agreed, we'll charge a fee of £150 to process the necessary paperwork.
What happens in my financial interview?
Existing Leaseholder FAQ's
Can I Re-mortgage my Peabody property?
Yes you can, if your financial situation has changed you may want to explore changing mortgage lenders. We at Peabody can assist you through this process, please have a look at Remortgaging for further information.
Can I extend my lease?
What is Staircasing?
As a leaseholder of a Shared Ownership property bought either new, as a resale or via Social HomeBuy, you can buy further shares of your property. This process is known as 'Staircasing', enabling you to own a greater proportion of your home. The greater the share you buy of your home, the less rent you pay to Peabody. If you Staircase to 100% you become an outright owner and pay no rent.
What is included in my Warranty?
Why do I pay a Service Charge?
One of the key aspects of being a Leaseholder is that you will be required to pay a service charge. This is a sum of money collected monthly which covers your share of the cost of maintaining the communal area of the development and administering the contracts, buildings insurance and major work.
Buying with Peabody FAQ's
What is Help to buy?
With the Government backed Help to Buy scheme, buyers can get assistance buying a home with an equity loan of up to 40% of the property purchase price. The Help to Buy equity loan limit was raised from 20% to 40% of the properties purchase value for homes in all London boroughs to reflect the higher property values seen across London.
Can you recommend a Solicitor/Mortgage Adviser or mortgage lender?
We provide a choice of solicitors and mortgage advisers that we’ve worked with in the past. Or you can of course appoint your own. We recommend choosing an adviser who has been personally recommended to you.
Is my new home covered by a warranty or guarantee?
All of our new build homes are covered by a 10-year NHBC or LABC warranty and insurance cover.
Do you offer support throughout the sales process?
Will I have the chance to measure up before I move in?
Yes - you'll be given the opportunity before completion takes place.
How does Peabody deal with defects?
Peabody has a reputation for dealing fairly with our customers and we want to keep it. We aim to provide a home that is decent, safe and secure for all our residents and private buyers.
Our goal is to prevent defects happening in the first place by using only the best designers, contractors and developers. If a defect does come to light, however, we will work quickly and efficiently to identify and repair it.
About Peabody FAQ's
Who is Peabody Sales?
It's the name of the team who look after the sales arm of Peabody property.
What is Peabody?
Peabody is a charitable housing organisation that helps to tackle poverty by providing affordable housing in London to those who need it. Our not-for-profit status means that the money from sales of new developments in London can be reinvested, helping us to fund the social housing and community services we provide.
For more information on Peabody, its founder, history and legacy see our About us page.
Why buy from Peabody?
Our homes are built for Londoners living busy lifestyles. The majority of our new properties are architect-designed, innovative and made to last.
Practical and attractive outside areas enhance our developments and help make places that people will want to live in for a long time and be very proud of. Search for one of our developments.
And our team of property professionals will be on hand to make the purchase process as painless as possible.
How can I contact you?
Our experienced sales team are here to help make sure the buying process is as pain-free as possible. To contact our team please call us between 9am-5pm | Mon-Fri:
New build (Private sale / Shared Ownership) : 020 7021 4842
Resales (Shared Ownership) : 020 3478 9875
Please note during busy times calls will go to our voicemail service, please leave us a message with your contact details and we will aim to get back to you the following day.
If you would like to book a viewing the quickest way will be to register your interest
How do I stop receiving emails from Peabody Sales?
Within all our marketing emails, there is the option to 'unsubscribe' which will remove you from our mailing lists. You can also contact our sales team who can help remove you from our mailing lists.