Guide for homeowners and all homeowners services

This page provides a summary of services which are specifically for leaseholders where Southwark Council owns the freehold.

Advocacy service for homeowners

We provide an independent support service for homeowners with unresolved issues. We can help find solutions by carrying out independent investigations on behalf of homeowners. We'll provide progress updates throughout an investigation we carry out on your behalf and will ensure you're listened to.

The Advocacy team were based at 11 Market Place, Bermondsey, SE16 3UQ, but since 30 June 2021 the office has closed. However, this does not affect the services we provide and if we need to meet you in person we can make alternative arrangements.

You can contact us by emailing mshoadvocacy@southwark.gov.uk.

Watch a video about the homeowners’ service

Find out below how the homeowners' service can support you with issues, provide mediation and hear from residents who have used the service.

Contact centre services for homeowner repairs

We have a small customer service contact centre team that deals exclusively with homeowner repairs. The team are trained on leaseholder matters and can advise you regarding repairs to your home, and what is your and what is our responsibility as your landlord.

If the team are unable to resolve repair issues or where an agreement cannot be reached, they'll refer to the Advocacy Service to see whether the issue is suitable for an advocacy investigation. You can contact the team about repairs for free on 0800 952 4444.

Sales and acquisitions services

The sales and acquisitions team is made up of the following three specialist teams.

Specialist Home Purchase Team

The team provide services to shared owners, leaseholders rehousing options and council tenants looking for financial help to buy a home.

Social Home buy/Shared ownership

Shared ownership is an opportunity for a tenant to part buy and part rent a property usually in shares of 25%, 50% or 75%. Over time they can add further shares until they own 100% and become an outright leaseholder. Our role is to work with people who are interested in shared ownership and support them through the process. We also collect the rent and service charges for shared ownership customers.

Acquisitions team

The team support leaseholders who live on estates and need to be rehoused because of the estate being redeveloped. Our officers provide support and guidance every step of the way, helping leaseholders decide what options are best for them. They're also able to help leaseholders with severe financial circumstances such as mortgage repossession, through our financial hardship buy back scheme. Based on a financial assessment, we can pay up to 40% of the valuation of your home to help you pay off all outstanding debts and then allow you to remain in your home as a secure tenant.

Home Purchase Grant Scheme

This is a grant for council tenants who want to buy a property on the open market. We can help by providing financial assistance in the form of a grant, which helps towards the purchase. When you're ready to buy, you can give us back your council property.

Due to the popularity of the home purchase grant scheme and limited budget, we no longer accept new applications at present. We'll update this page when we're able to accept new applications.

Email us if you have any further questions about the home purchase grant scheme.

Right to Buy services

This team help our secure tenants to become homeowners. They deal with all applications under the right to buy scheme from start to finish - when an application is submitted through to dealing with solicitors until you've purchased your home.

To find out more information on buying your home if you're a secure tenant, email the Right to Buy team.

Residential Conveyancing and Compliance services

The team support leaseholders and process applications for:

  • lease extensions where a leaseholder needs to extend the terms of their lease
  • leaseholders interested in buying the freehold frames, so they become the owners/freeholders of the building their flats are situated in (often known as enfranchisement)
  • leaseholders or members of the public interested in buying an asset from the council, such as a loft space, empty laundry room or small piece of land
  • leaseholders who want to make changes to their flat that require our permission as the landlord; in this situation it's really important you contact us first as leaseholders often contact building control or planning and they get approval and go ahead with works (only to find out later that it's a breach of their lease and we have to ask them to change something back to its original condition)

We also provide deed of covenants for freehold transfers and specialist conveyancing advice to both leaseholders and internal services.

To find out more information, email our conveyancing team.

Page last updated: 05 October 2022

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