Homeownership options

As part of the decision to rebuild estates to build better homes for current residents and more new homes to help tackle Lambeth’s housing crisis, we made a commitment to enable communities to stay together.

We also want to give residents living on estates that will be rebuilt all the information and support that they need to make the best choices about their and their families' futures. As a part of this, we have published a set of 'Key Guarantees'.

For resident homeowners, the 'Key Guarantee' mean that:

  • Affordable options will be provided to enable resident homeowners to stay on the estate
  • All secure tenants and homeowners the right to be involved in shaping the masterplan for each new estate

Please click on the links below for more information.

The Key Guarantees 

Lambeth is committed to rebuilding a number of its estates to provide the better homes existing residents need, and more new homes to help tackle Lambeth’s housing crisis. No one at Lambeth Council underestimates the potential stress that rebuilding an estate could cause to the people living there.

The Key Guarantees are an important part of this as they set out what you can expect from the council.  Under the Key Guarantees, resident homeowners can either stay on the estate or sell their property to the Council and move away from the estate.

Route 1 – where a resident homeowner wishes to remain on the estate:

If you, as a resident homeowner, wish to continue to live on your new estate, you will be given the opportunity to do so. You will be offered a range of options depending on your personal financial circumstances. If none of these options are adequate to enable you to continue living on your estate, the council will explore other options with you. (This Guarantee does not apply to non-resident homeowners.)

Existing residents living on estate regeneration estates have priority for the newly built homes. The newly built homes will have a higher market value than existing homes. The council has identified various ways in which you can obtain full or partial ownership of one of these new homes and thereby remain living on your estate. You have the following options

A: Leasehold – buying a new home outright

B: Zero Rent Shared Ownership - buying a shared ownership new home – where your existing mortgage can continue or a new mortgage can be obtained

C: With Rent Shared Ownership - buying a shared ownership new home – where your existing mortgage cannot continue nor can a sufficient new mortgage be obtained

D: Other options - where home ownership is no longer a feasible option the council will explore other options with you, including a rented home on the rebuilt estate 

For more detailed information on these please click here.

Route 2 – where a resident homeowner wishes to move away from the estate:

If you, as a homeowner, do not wish to live in a home on the newly built estate, you will have to sell your home to the council for market value (plus home loss compensation) after an independent valuation and make your own new housing arrangements. (This Guarantee is the only option available to non-resident homeowners.)

  • The council will seek to reach agreement with you on the value of your home
  • The council is progressing an early buy backprogramme, so that if you need to move early you can do so
  • If you wish to sell your home to the council and do so early in the programme of redeveloping an estate, then the council will work to your preferred timescales

You can find more information on this in a booklet which you can download from here.

Valuations and independent advice

For both route 1 and route 2 the valuation of your property will be independent and based on market values and you will be compensated for having to move home.

Valuations:

  • The valuation will be carried out by a RICS Registered Valuer with experience of the local housing market
  • The valuation will be undertaken on the basis of including two special assumptions: (1) all valuations on behalf of the council will be done as if no regeneration is taking place, so that the value is not made lower or higher by the regeneration proposals; and (2) the valuations will be done on the assumption that the structure and fabric of the property is in good condition
  • The valuation will take account of historic and current sales and purchases in the surrounding area and similar council estates in London
  • The valuation will take account of whether the property is leasehold or freehold
  • You will be able to engage your own independent RICS Registered Valuer with experience of the local housing market to advise you on the value of your home. The reasonable cost of engaging this valuer will be reimbursed by the Council
  • You will be required to employ your own solicitor for the transaction and their reasonable costs will also be paid by the council
  • The council does not expect homeowners to have to pay back any Right to Buy discount
  • Where you have made permitted improvements to your home, then this will be reflected in the value of your home and you will therefore be compensated for such works

Details of valuers that have been used by homeowners to carry out their own valuation during the purchase of their home can be seen on the link below:

estateregeneration.lambeth.gov.uk/valuers

Details on how you can claim disturbance costs and what disturbance costs you are eligible for are provided in separate leaflets.

Compensation and Disturbance:

  • There are two types of compensation: home/basic loss and disturbance. Home loss is available to resident homeowners and is 10% of the value of your property, whereas basic loss is available to non-resident homeowners and is set at 7.5% of the value of your property.
  • Disturbance payments are also made to cover any costs that you might incur as a consequence of having to move home. Full details of how disturbance payments are calculated and processed will be provided in separate documentation
  • If you, as a resident homeowner, choose to stay on your current estate, but are required to move twice because of the rebuilding (or choose to move twice), then you will receive disturbance payments for both moves. However, you will only receive one home loss payment, paid on the first move.
  • If you, as a resident homeowner, choose to stay on your current estate, but are required to move twice because of the rebuilding (or choose to move twice), then you will receive disturbance payments for both moves. However, you will only receive one home loss payment, paid on the first move.

Leases for the new homes

Your lease agreement for your new home will be with Homes for Lambeth, not the council. Homes for Lambeth is a new group of companies wholly owned by the council. It will build homes at council rent, intermediate rent and market rent levels, with options for long tenancies and stable rents.

Homes for Lambeth will sell and rent some homes at market rates. This will pay for new and better homes, and allow the council through Homes for Lambeth to reinvest the 15-20% development surplus (money that private developers normally make) back into more affordable housing.

The structure of Homes for Lambeth puts its governance firmly within the council’s democratic structures. All decisions made by the council’s cabinet will be based on recommendations from a new ‘Ownership and Stewardship’ panel made up of 4 cabinet members and a tenant. Cabinet decisions will also be subject to the normal checks and balances of the council’s constitution.

Mortgages

The Council recognises that there is a great deal of concern amongst resident homeowners that they may not be able to transfer across mortgages from their existing homes. To help residents homeowners obtain advice on this, the council has briefed a selection of independent financial advisers who are familiar with this part of the housing market.

Their details are provided below:

Resident homeowners are welcome to call one of these advisers to discuss their personal circumstances. The council will cover the cost of your initial consultation; you can contact either, but you can only proceed with a consultation with just one; so you will need to choose.

The advisers will ask you a range of questions and offer advice based on your answers about your access to mortgage finance. This can be done over the telephone, by email or face to face. Their assessment and your financial circumstances will not be disclosed to the Council unless you ask for it to be. The adviser will contact us only to let us know that you have booked an assessment with them. While the Council has briefed these advisers, they are independent and the council is not responsible for the advice provided or the actions you take based upon this advice.

If, having spoken to an adviser, you have identified that you would have difficulty in taking up any of the options then please contact the Estate Regeneration for a further discussion via:

Luke Kelly 020 7926 6320 LAKelly@lambeth.gov.uk

This is so that the Council can begin to gauge how many resident homeowners might be unable to take up these options and talk to you about your personal situation.

Compensation

The Council will reimburse residents for all reasonable moving costs. This will mean that no-one should l be out of pocket for moving home. The Council will compensate resident homeowners for making them move home. This Home loss payment is 10% of the current value of their property - up to a limit of £53,000 (as at October 2015).

Recent Right to Buy purchases

Where a homeowner has bought their property through the Right To Buy process within the last three years, then they will not need to pay back the RTB discount. If a resident has special requirements for housing – such as wheelchair suitable accommodation, these can be considered if they remain on the estate.

Estimated values for your estate

Homeowners with homes on either South Lambeth or the Westbury Estate will have recently (November 2018) have been sent individual values for their homes. If a homeowner on one of these estates has not received their valuation or would like more information they should get in touch with their estate team.

 

 


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