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Housing minister asks lenders to allow sub-letting on shared ownership homes

  • 13/01/2022
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Housing minister asks lenders to allow sub-letting on shared ownership homes
Housing minister Christopher Pincher has written to mortgage lenders asking them to allow buyers of shared ownership homes delivered through the Affordable Homes scheme to sublet the properties.


He said this followed on from secretary of state Michael Gove’s statement on Monday, where he said the government would work with lenders to alleviate the burden of cladding remediation costs on leaseholders. 

Currently, subletting is restricted except for in ‘exceptional’ circumstances to prevent homes being built with public funds from being used for commercial gain. 

The government has now amended its guidance to include building safety as an exceptional circumstance. This could allow shared owners to sublet their homes, subject to the agreement of freeholders. 

To reduce costs further, Pincher has also asked lenders to consider extending the consent-to-let period, which is the length of time a shared owner can sublet their home for before needing to convert to a buy-to-let mortgage.

He wrote: “This will save shared owners money they otherwise would have had to pay to convert their mortgage.” 

Lenders have also been asked to waive the one per cent annual premium tied to the extension of the consent-to-let period. 

Pincher added: “I understand that you will need to assess your organisational risk profile when considering subletting requests from shared owners. I also appreciate you will need to consider how waiving the one per cent annual premium over the course of a consent-to-let period aligns with your responsibilities under competition law.  

“I do, however, hope that you appreciate the position that the affected shared owners have found themselves in with regards to building safety through no fault of their own, and that you will make every effort to approve their subletting requests.” 

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