Selling Affordable Housing
Affordable housing or shared-ownership occurs when for instance, the buyers purchases a minimum 25 per cent of a new-build property, while a housing association, or registered social landlord (RSL), owns the rest, for which they charge a subsidised rent. The buyer can then buy more shares as he or she can afford them, generally up to 100 per cent of the property, in a process known as “staircasing”. Buying seems easy but what about selling? Well the RSL has a big role to play in selling an affordable home.
The definition of a RSL
Registered Social Landlords are government-funded not-for-profit organisations that provide affordable housing. They include housing associations, trusts and cooperatives. They work with local authorities to provide homes for people meeting the affordable homes criteria. As well as developing land and building homes, RSL undertake a landlord function by maintaining properties and collecting rent.
So you want to move from your affordable home
This may sound simple, but affordable housing or shared ownership schemes can mean that selling your home — because you want to move for a job, relationship, or you need more space for a family — can be complicated. Your lease should state any restrictions set by the housing association (all the more reason to be well advised when signing up).
The small print
Affordable-housing landlords typically require a “nomination period” of two months, during which they will try to find a buyer themselves to keep the property within the affordable housing sector. This period should start when you sign official forms expressing your desire to sell, but there have been cases when it has not applied until the property goes up on the RSL website, meaning a longer waiting period for the owner.