This section covers, selling your home, renting your home, our flexible tenure scheme, mortgage to rent and your right to buy.
Selling your home
When selling your home please ensure that you inform your solicitor that Weslo is the Estate Manager. This will allow us to update our records and make sure that future accounts are issued to the current owner.
It is the responsibility of the solicitors involved in the sale of a property within our Estates to ensure the seller and buyer are informed of their responsibilities under the Title Deeds for Estate Management costs and common repairs. We are keen to engage with solicitors to ensure they can help new owners understand their liabilities. We have information for new owners welcoming them to our Estates and ensuring they understand our involvement and their responsibilities.
Solicitors are required to request confirmation of an owner’s outstanding balance and details of the scope of our factoring service when a property is being sold. This has resulted in an increased level of administration and to ensure this cost is covered by the seller, we have decided to apply a £30 plus VAT charge to cover our costs. This is due within 21 days of receipt of the final statement. This is standard practice during a property sale and we feel it is only fair that other owners are not subsidising this service through their estate management charge.
If there has been a change in ownership during the billing period, costs for Open Space Maintenance (landscape) will be apportioned, at the date of sale. Other costs will be invoiced to the person who was the owner on the date the work was ordered. Any excess funds in the account will be refunded to the owner at final settlement.
We send letters to the Solicitors detailing the balance and requesting information on the new owner. Outstanding bills must be cleared at the point of sale. An information request form is sent to the new owners including information on our role as Estate Manager. The invoice submitted to the solicitor will contain a charge for providing the information which relates directly to the costs incurred to end an owner’s account.
New owners will receive information on us and our role within the estates, links to our website and general information to help ensure a positive relationship is instigated. Owners are encouraged to contact the Owners Liaison Officer with any general enquiries or requests for further information.
Renting your home
It is essential that you notify us if you are renting your home and your correspondence details to allow us to alert you to any common repairs or issues with your property or the Estate. Please provide the date your tenants moved in and correspondence details.
Weslo reintroduced its Flexible Tenure Scheme in 2011 whereby we will buy back ex-Weslo properties allowing owners to become Weslo tenants.
The scheme was originally introduced in 1996 to assist owners who were in financial difficulties. It ran successfully for 7 years with 45 owners converting to a tenancy. It ended in 2003 when the Government introduced the National Mortgage to Rent Scheme which made subsidies available to all Registered Social Landlords to assist in purchasing homes from owners threatened with repossession and converting their tenure to tenancies.
Under Weslo’s scheme, the company will purchase the family home, normally for 85% of the market value less the cost of any immediate repairs required, and the owner becomes a tenant with all the rights inherent in a Scottish Secure Tenancy Agreement. After two years tenants may have the right to buy back their home at any time for the same percentage of the prevailing market value, should they wish to do so.
“The Mortgage to Rent National scheme is an excellent facility” said Weslo Operations Director Mike Crozier “and Weslo has successfully purchased over 120 houses with Government assistance since its inception. But, in the current economic climate, more and more owners are approaching us to see if we would be interested in buying their property, enabling them to become Weslo tenants. These people are not necessarily under immediate threat of repossession – so don’t qualify for the Government scheme – but are just finding things tight or are undergoing divorce or separation – which brings it’s own financial pressures and again does not qualify for the subsidised scheme.
“There’s no doubt that the Government’s scheme is the best option for people under threat of repossession” concluded Mike Crozier “but for those at the margins of qualification or in circumstances which do not qualify them for the scheme, ours is a viable alternative which can help them weather the storm with a safe roof over their heads”.
Home Owners’ Support Fund
If you own your home and are in danger of having it repossessed the Scottish Government operates two schemes, as part of the Home Owners’ Support Fund, to help owners who are experiencing difficulty in paying any loans that are secured against their property. These are:
- the Mortgage to Rent scheme; and
- the Mortgage to Shared Equity scheme.
Under the Mortgage to Rent scheme they can arrange for a social landlord – such as Weslo – to buy your home and for you to continue to live there as a tenant. The Mortgage to Shared Equity scheme involves the Scottish Government taking a financial stake in your home. You will still own your home and continue to have responsibility for maintaining and insuring it. But you will be able to reduce the amount you have to pay to your lender every month. You can find out more about these schemes from the information booklet.
If you are experiencing difficulty in paying any loans that are secured against your home you should tell your lender(s) immediately. You may be able to come to an agreement with them. If not, you should seek independent advice about your financial situation. There are a range of organisations that can provide you with free impartial advice.
Before you can be considered for the Home Owners’ Support Fund you must have obtained independent advice about your financial situation from a Citizens Advice Bureau, Money Advice outlet, local authority money advice centre, or other approved adviser. In addition, you must have failed to reach agreement with your lender(s) on how to manage your arrears. A number of other eligibility criteria apply and you can find out more about these other criteria in the information booklet.