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Committed to you

Our Service Pledge to Leaseholders sets out the key areas of service that we organise and deliver on behalf of our leasehold and shared ownership customers, and the level of customer service you can expect from us. 

Our Service Pledge

Resident information

Welcome to our Residents Area, where you can find out about your lease, our services and more. You’ll probably find the answer to most of your questions here, but if not, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Change of name
To change the names on your lease, for example if you have married or separated, or if you want to add or remove a name.
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Change of name

If you need to change the names on your lease, for example if you have married or separated, please contact us.

If you have changed names following a marriage or civil partnership, we will need to see a copy of your marriage or civil partnership certificate, and our records will then be updated accordingly.

If you need to add or remove names on the property, there are certain requirements that must be met. As the lease is a legal document, we will initially need notice of the change from your solicitor.

An administration fee is also payable for this service.

Building insurance
Riverside Home Ownership has responsibility to arrange and provide buildings insurance cover on leasehold properties under our management.
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Building insurance

Riverside Home Ownership has responsibility to arrange and provide buildings insurance cover on leasehold and shared ownership properties under our management. The insurance is provided as part of Riverside’s block policy.

Leaseholders can contact the insurer directly to make a claim under the buildings insurance cover. We have produced a guide for Shared Owners & Leaseholders which gives details of how residents can claim under the policy, available to download below.

You can request a copy of the Summary of Cover from us free of charge. If you require a copy of the full policy, we can send one to you, however an administration fee will apply.

Buildings Insurance Guide for Leaseholders & Shared Owners

Home improvements
If you wish to carry out major improvements or alterations to your home we need to know about them first, before you order any work or begin any jobs.
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Home improvements

Riverside Home Ownership has responsibility to arrange and provide buildings insurance cover on leasehold and shared ownership properties under our management. The insurance is provided as part of Riverside’s block policy.

Leaseholders can contact the insurer directly to make a claim under the buildings insurance cover. We have produced a guide for Shared Owners & Leaseholders which gives details of how residents can claim under the policy, available to download below.

You can request a copy of the Summary of Cover from us free of charge. If you require a copy of the full policy, we can send one to you, however an administration fee will apply.

Buildings Insurance Guide for Leaseholders & Shared Owners

Buildings Insurance Guide for Leaseholders & Shared Owners
If you wish to carry out major improvements or alterations to your home we need to know about them first, before you order any work or begin any jobs. This is a requirement under the terms of your lease, and requires written permission from us. We also need to know whether the improvements will affect the value of your home should you wish to sell in the future or if you have an insurance claim.

If you intend to carry out home improvements, please complete the Home Improvement Request Form providing as much detail as possible, and return it to us for consideration.

You do not need to let us know if you are carrying out minor works such as decorating, replacing internal doors or having fitted bedroom cupboards.

Major improvements include:

  • Building an extension to the property
.
  • Building a conservatory or a garage.
  • 
Installing replacement windows and external doors e.g. UPVC double glazing
.
  • Carrying out internal structural alterations e.g. knocking two rooms into one
.
  • Installing a shower
  • Installing a burglar alarm (flats and retirement properties only).
  • 
Carrying out work to the gas, electricity or water supplies to your home
.
  • Replacing a fitted kitchen or bathroom suite.

We will not give permission for extensions, conservatories, sheds, etc. to be built or erected where these will encroach on communal areas i.e. on land that you do not own. For example if you live in a retirement development of bungalows with communal gardens, then you will not be given permission to extend your home.

Before work commences you should, where necessary, obtain and provide us with the following:

  • Planning permission from your local council (if permission is required)
  • Confirmation that proposed alterations and improvements conform to current Building Regulations where required.

We will not unreasonably withhold approval to your request to carry out the improvements, however, the following conditions will apply:

1. A skilled trades person or other competent person must carry out the work to a good standard. If the work is being carried out by a trades person you should ensure that they have all relevant insurances in case of accidents or mishaps.

2. An inspection may be carried out by a member of our staff before work commences and after completion. You will be advised if this is necessary.

3. In all cases you need to notify us when the work has been completed.

4. If the work has not been carried out to an acceptable standard, we reserve the right to reinstate the property back to its original condition and recover the cost from you.

5. It will be your responsibility to rectify any damage caused to fittings or the structure of your home as a result of the improvement.

6. In certain cases you may be liable for the removal of the improvement along with making good when you sell the property. You will be advised of this when approval is given.

7. If you are a shared owner, you may not recover the full cost of the improvements when you come to sell your home. Your improvements will be included in the Open Market Valuation and relevant sale price.
Riverside Home Improvement Agency

Are you a homeowner and over 60?

Do you have:

  • a disability or impairment or live on a low income?

The service is aimed primarily at those who meet the above criteria but we may be able to help you depending on your circumstances. We can help with all kinds of improvements from installing grab rails, building specially designed bathrooms to getting your roof fixed.

We’ll visit you in your home to find out what your needs are and provide free impartial advice on the adaptations, improvements and the energy efficiency of your home. If you decide you’d like to use our services further, which can include obtaining quotes from reputable contractors and supervising the project, there will be a 10% fee on the cost of all works taken. (Please note. If you decide to not use our services once we’ve started any work, there will be a cancellation fee payable.)

Our advice is free but we do charge for the extra services we can provide. This fee is used to support our services and allow us to keep providing free advice to those who need it. Don’t worry we’ll talk everything through with you, including how it all works, timescales and the costs involved before you commit yourself to any work.

Remortgage
If you wish to remortgage in order to borrow money against your property or if you are changing mortgage provider, you will need consent from us.
Read more >

Remortgage

If you need to change the names on your lease, for example if you have married or separated, please contact us.

If you have changed names following a marriage or civil partnership, we will need to see a copy of your marriage or civil partnership certificate, and our records will then be updated accordingly.

If you need to add or remove names on the property, there are certain requirements that must be met. As the lease is a legal document, we will initially need notice of the change from your solicitor.

An administration fee is also payable for this service.

Whether you are a shared owner with us or own 100% of your property, our consent is usually required if you wish to remortgage in order to borrow money against your property or if you are changing mortgage provider.

Initially we will require written notice from either your lender or solicitor. An administration fee is also payable.

Contact us for more information.

Sinking funds
Some of our developments have a ‘sinking fund’ in place for major repairs, renewals and replacements, in addition to the cyclical repairs fund.
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Sinking Funds

If you need to change the names on your lease, for example if you have married or separated, please contact us.

If you have changed names following a marriage or civil partnership, we will need to see a copy of your marriage or civil partnership certificate, and our records will then be updated accordingly.

If you need to add or remove names on the property, there are certain requirements that must be met. As the lease is a legal document, we will initially need notice of the change from your solicitor.

An administration fee is also payable for this service.

Some of our developments have a ‘sinking fund’ in place for major repairs, renewals and replacements, in addition to the cyclical repairs fund. We manage monies on behalf of residents at the development where the lease requires us to set up a sinking fund, into which residents must contribute.

A sinking fund is necessary to ensure that the cost of major repairs and replacements is paid equally by all generations of residents. It would clearly be unfair to expect future generations to pay for these big expenses.

A sinking fund will be used to help maintain the value of your asset and potential buyers’ solicitors will enquire with regard to the adequacy of the sinking fund. It is therefore in everyone’s interest to ensure that enough money is set aside.

The money in the sinking fund is held in ‘trust’ on the development’s behalf in an interest-bearing bank account. Riverside do not receive the benefit of the sinking fund, and interest is added to the fund. Depending on your lease and property, the sinking fund will be used for major repairs or replacing such things as:

  • External doors, windows, roofs, guttering, walls
  • External drains and plumbing systems
  • Footpaths, parking areas, fencing, signboards
  • Communal electrical systems, TV aerials and lighting
  • Door entry phone systems
  • Communal carpets

The amount you pay into the sinking will be dictated by the terms of your lease agreement and your solicitor should have advised you of your liability to pay when you purchased your property. You will make contributions to the sinking fund from the sales proceeds when you sell the property. Typically you will pay a percentage of the open market valuation for each year of occupancy, apportioned on a monthly basis as necessary. This figure will be irrespective of the amount of equity you own which means that all residents contribute in the same way.

If you ‘gift’ the property to somebody else (i.e. transfer ownership to another person without any money changing hands) you will still usually be liable to pay a contribution to the sinking fund. This will be based on the open market value at the time.

Buying more shares
You can buy more shares in your home from us, known as ‘staircasing’. For example if you currently own 50%, you can staircase up to a 75% or even 100% share, depending on the terms of your lease.
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Buying More Shares

If you need to change the names on your lease, for example if you have married or separated, please contact us.

If you have changed names following a marriage or civil partnership, we will need to see a copy of your marriage or civil partnership certificate, and our records will then be updated accordingly.

If you need to add or remove names on the property, there are certain requirements that must be met. As the lease is a legal document, we will initially need notice of the change from your solicitor.

An administration fee is also payable for this service.

You can buy more shares of your home from us, known as ‘staircasing’. For example if you own a 50% share of your home at the moment, you can staircase up to a 75% or even 100% share depending on the terms in your lease. You are under no obligation to staircase, so you can remain a shared owner for as long as it suits you.

If you decide to increase your share of ownership, contact us straight away.

You must firstly obtain a valuation of your property, which will determine the price of the extra shares you are buying. The valuation must be by a ‘RICS Certified’ valuer (accredited with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors). You will need to meet the cost of the valuation yourself and we will require a copy of the report.

You should ask that the valuer disregards any increase in the valuation of your property as a result of any home improvements you may have carried out that have had our approval. This is so you do not have to pay for the added value of any improvements that you have already paid for, so it works to your advantage. We will then assist you and your solicitor throughout the legal side of the staircasing process.

Selling your home
Whether your own a percentage of your property or 100% of it, you should notify us straight away if you want to sell.
Read more >

Selling your home

Selling your Shared Ownership home

If you own a percentage of your property, you should notify us straight away if you want to sell. There are conditions in your lease which must be adhered to and you will require our consent to any sale of your property.

You must also supply us with a valuation of the property. You can get valuations from property surveyors and estate agents, however you must make sure that any valuation you get is signed by a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors – what we call a ‘RICS Certified’ valuation.

You will be responsible for the cost of the valuation, our administration fees and your own legal fees.

Any potential purchaser of your property must also meet Riverside’s eligibility criteria. They must complete an application form and return it to us before we can approve the sale.

For more information please contact us.

Selling your home if you own it outright

If you are a 100% owned leaseholder, there are still requirements contained within your lease with regard to selling your property. Under the terms of the lease, the requirements must be adhered to in order for Riverside Home Ownership to grant consent for the transfer to the new owner, known as the ‘lease assignment’.

During the sale process, Riverside Home Ownership will liaise with both the buyer’s and your solicitors, and we will respond accordingly to their various legal enquiries.

We charge an administration fee for providing this service.

For more detailed information, please contact us.

Get involved
There are lots of ways you can get involved and we are constantly developing and promoting involvement opportunities for our residents.
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Get involved

As part of our commitment to improving the schemes and services we manage, we work in partnership with our residents and involve you in decision making. Your views influence the way we manage and maintain your home.

There are lots of ways you can get involved and we are constantly developing and promoting involvement opportunities for our residents.

Give as much or as little time as you want and make new friends in the process.

Contact us for more information.

 

Contact us
Find out how best to get in touch with any questions you may have and provide us with your emergency contact details.
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Contact us

Emergency contact
If you need to contact us, our Customer Service Centre is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You can reach us on 0345 155 9029.

If you would like to provide us with the details of somebody we can contact in an emergency, if we are not able to get hold of you directly, please call us with their details.

Anything else?
If you have a question you’d like to ask about your property or anything else, we’d be more than happy to help. Please fill in our simple online form and a member of our team will be in touch.

Paying Service Charges & Rent

It’s important that you keep up to date with your service charge and rent payments. If you have any queries about your rent or service charge, please contact us.

You can pay your Rent and/or Service Charge online through Allpay.

Pay now
Pay now
1
Service charges
Your service charge is set at a level to cover any expenses and services associated with your home. Riverside Home Ownership manages residents’ service charge monies on their behalf, on an individual development basis.

We charge a management fee to cover the costs of managing these services.

Residents who pay more than an insurance and management fee will receive annual budgets and accounts in accordance with the terms of their lease.

2
Rent
The amount of rent you pay depends on the share of your property you own. If you only own a 25% share of your home for example, your rent will be higher than if you own a 75% share.

You will not have to pay rent if you have taken up the option, available for some homes, of purchasing 100% of your home.

Riverside Home Ownership sets the rent at a level that allows us to provide a good-quality service but which people on a range of different incomes can afford.

3
Administration charges
Some work that we carry out or services we provide for an individual resident fall outside the duties covered by our management fee. We are allowed to charge a fee to cover our costs of doing this work, in the same way as other Landlords and Managing Agents.

For example, the work we carry out in handling the re-sales of properties, approving home improvement requests or serving of legal notices can be charged for.

Find out more
Find out more
Money advice
Helping you to manage your finances
As a leaseholder with Riverside Home Ownership you can speak to our very own Money Advisor for guidance with your finances.

Whether you currently receive benefits or not, or just think you don’t qualify for extra assistance because you’re a home owner, there may be some financial support available to you.

Our service is free and confidential.

You can call us on : 0345 155 9029 

Call us now
Call us now

Affordable warmth

Helping to reduce your heating costs or advice with boiler problems.
George is in his 60s and is a leaseholder with Riverside Home Ownership in Carlisle. Our Money Advisor helped him with his Personal Independence Payments resulting in an award of almost £2,500 and a weekly increase in his income of £139.75.
George is in his 60s and is a leaseholder with Riverside Home Ownership in Carlisle. Our Money Advisor helped him with his Personal Independence Payments resulting in an award of almost £2,500 and a weekly increase in his income of £139.75.
George
George
Riverside Home Ownership
Riverside Home Ownership

Your options

Guidance on benefits and pension credits that you might be eligible for.

Financial assistance

Advice around trust funds and applications for support.
Sally
Sally
Riverside Home Ownership
Riverside Home Ownership
Sally's boiler broke down. Living on Employment & Support Allowance meant it would be a stretch for her to replace it, but RHO helped her contact the Energy Saving Trust who secured money from her electricity supplier to help towards the cost.
Sally's boiler broke down. Living on Employment & Support Allowance meant it would be a stretch for her to replace it, but RHO helped her contact the Energy Saving Trust who secured money from her electricity supplier to help towards the cost.

Other useful resources

We’ve put together a list of organisations that we think our residents may find helpful.

Leasehold Information and Advice
Money and financial help
If you find yourself in financial difficulty, you may also find some of these services helpful:

Government Bodies and Regulators