Shared Ownership Charter for Service Charges
The Charter aims to improve satisfaction among shared ownership leaseholders by providing a set of best practice principles for Housing Providers to adopt when managing service charges.
The Homes for Londoners 2016-21 Affordable Homes Programme funding guidance challenged the affordable housing sector to create a Charter for Service Charges. The Charter has been devised through close collaboration between City Hall and a working group of Housing Providers.
Overarching themes of the Charter
- transparency - addressing the management of information relating to service charges and when and how this is communicated to leaseholders.
- affordability - focusing on measures that housing providers can use to ensure service charges are sustainable for leaseholders in the long term.
- intelligent design - strategies that can be adopted before the homes are built to minimise service charges in the future.
How can organisations sign up?
There is an expectation that all Housing Providers directly involved in the development and management of shared ownership in London will sign up to the Charter, particularly those in receipt of affordable housing grant from the GLA.
The Charter also invites Local Authorities and private house builders who are involved in the development of shared ownership to promote the Charter and sign up to it.
Organisations can sign up to the Charter by completing the signatory letter at the bottom of this section and returning to [email protected].
See the organisations that have signed up to the Charter.
How can leaseholders benefit from this?
The Charter seeks to standardise Housing Providers’ approach to service charges and is endorsed by the Mayor as an important standard for consumer protection. Key benefits include:
- Prior to purchase, new buyers will receive explanatory information in a format which is clear, concise and easy to understand.
- Housing Providers will set service charges at a realistic level and review them on a regular basis to ensure that ongoing costs to the leaseholder are minimised and where appropriate are reduced.