Information for Homeowners

Introduction

The regeneration of South Acton began in 1999 following consultation with residents about the condition of their homes. In 2011, Ealing Council selected Acton Gardens LLP, a collaboration between housing association L&Q and house-builder Countryside Properties, to manage the regeneration project, delivering thousands of genuinely affordable new homes in the borough.

The regeneration of South Acton involves demolishing existing council-built homes and replacing them with new homes for social rent, outright sale, private rent, shared ownership and shared equity. The regeneration is also providing new community facilities, retail opportunities and modern and improved green spaces and places to play.  

This page will explain what the regeneration plans mean for you as a homeowner living at South Acton. This includes the buy-back process for your existing home, the timescales and your future housing options.


Key steps

During the regeneration of South Acton, residents will need to move out of their existing homes and into their new homes in phases so that old blocks can be demolished and new homes can be built. 

Ealing Council will purchase your old home, and if you are a resident homeowner, you will have the option to either stay and purchase a new property on the development or purchase another home on the private market elsewhere. 

If your South Acton property has not been your principal home for the last 12 months, you are considered a non-resident homeowner and you will only have the option to purchase another home on the private market elsewhere. 

We are here to support you through the whole process from valuation to moving to your new home and answer any questions you may have. Our contact details can be found here


Moving process:

Step 1: valuation 

Step 2: buy back

Step 3: home loss and disturbance payments

Step 4 open market purchase or equity ownership (resident homeowners only)

Step 5: moving to your new home


Valuation and buy back    


Getting a valuation: 

The first stage in the purchase process - also known as a buy-back - is to have your home valued. 

Ealing Council will write to you to organise a valuation of your existing home with an independent qualified surveyor, registered with the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). The surveyor will contact you to arrange a suitable time to carry out the valuation.


Agreeing a valuation:

To reach a valuation figure, the surveyor will carry out detailed research of the local property market and analyse sales information from properties like yours.

The figure offered to you is known as the market value. It is based on the price your property would achieve if it were to change hands between a willing buyer and a willing seller. The valuation reflects the value of your property at the time of the surveyor’s assessment and assumes that you will not be better or worse off than before the regeneration proposals. Most valuations are valid for three months.

The council can pay for your own surveyor to carry out a further valuation. Please keep in mind that the surveyor must be a member of RICS. For a list of local surveyors, please call RICS on 0247 686 8555 or visit www.ricsfirms.com.

If there is any difference between the valuation figures, the two surveyors will negotiate and normally reach an agreement to produce a final valuation. In most cases an agreement has been reached at this stage.


Home loss and disturbance payments    


Home loss payments: 

In addition to the market value you receive for your property, you will also be entitled to a home loss payment. This is currently set at 10% of the market value of your property for resident homeowners and 7.5% of the market value of your property for non-resident homeowners.

This payment represents compensation for having to move from your home in order to allow the regeneration to take place.


Disturbance payments: 

The council will also pay for other reasonable costs you incur when moving home. These are known as disturbance payments and can include:

• Surveyors fees

• Legal fees incurred because of the purchase of your property by the council

• Legal fees incurred in connection with buying your new home

• Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) payable on the purchase of your new home up to the amount of SDLT the council has to pay to purchase your existing home

• Mortgage broker or lender and redemption fees

• Removal costs

• Disconnection or reconnection fees for appliances and services such as cookers, washing machines, telephones and internet

• Redirecting mail (for six months)

• Refitting special locks and alarms.


There may be other reasonable moving costs that the council will consider. These can be discussed and agreed nearer to the time of your move.


Options for homeowners 

1. Open market purchase away from the estate

You have two options to consider when you sell your existing property.  We will work with you to discuss these options and will be on hand to offer support and advice throughout the process.  


This option is for all homeowners regardless of whether you are a resident or not.


•    The council will buy back your current property as explained.

•    You will receive an additional 10% home loss payment (or a 7.5% basic loss payment if it has not been your principal home for the last 12 months). 

•    You will also receive disturbance payments to cover the costs associated with the sale of your home to the council and your onward purchase.

•    You then make your own arrangements to find a new home on the private market.


For non-resident homeowners letting out their properties: 

As a private landlord, you will be required to give back your property empty when you sell it back to the council. This is called vacant possession. It is therefore very important that you properly terminate the tenancy agreement with your tenant. You should also keep them informed of the timescale of selling your home back to the council, so that your tenant can make alternative arrangements.

If you are using a standard Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement, you must give your tenant two months’ notice. You may wish to take advice from your solicitor about how to do this. 


2.  Equity ownership at Acton Gardens   

This option is open to resident homeowners who want to move to Acton Gardens. You may be eligible for this option if you bought your home before 24 March 2011 and have lived there for at least 12 months prior to entering into a buy back agreement with the council.


•    The council will buy back your current property as explained above.

•    You will receive an additional 10% home loss payment.

•    You will also receive disturbance payments to cover the costs associated with the sale of your home to the council and your onward purchase.

•    You will purchase and move into your new shared equity property at Acton Gardens.


Shared equity ownership:

Equity ownership involves re-investing the full value of your current property into a new build home at Acton Gardens. The newly built homes are likely to be of higher value than your current home. This difference in value (between your current home and your new home) will be paid by L&Q when the property is sold to you. You will not pay any additional rent or interest payments on the share that you didn’t buy. This share (or discount) would not need to be repaid until you choose to the sell the property at a future date.

The table below shows an example of how shared equity would work for a resident leaseholder. Their old home had a market value of £300,000 and they are going to move into a new home with a market value of £400,000. They will sell that home in several years’ time when the market value has risen to £500,000. You should be aware that house prices can go down up as well as up. 

 

Amount

Equity Percentage

Payment for old home

Value of existing home

£300,000

 

Home loss @ 10%

£30,000

 

Homeowner receives

£330,000

 

Payment for new home

Total market value of new home

£400,000

100%

Homeowner pays

£300,000

75%*

L&Q’s discount

£100,000

25%

At point of resale

Future value of home

£500,000

 

Homeowner receives

£375,000

75%

L&Q receives

£125,000

25%

*The resident homeowner reinvests the full value of their existing home, but not the home loss payment. However, if preferred, the resident homeowner could invest more money. This could include any home loss compensation and would mean they would invest in a larger share of the property. In the example above, the homeowner’s share would increase to 82.5% if all £330,000 was invested. 


Applying for shared equity: 

L&Q has a number of one bed, two bed and three bed shared equity properties available on each phase. The types of properties will depend on the design of the building. If you are interested in shared equity ownership, you will need to complete an application form and provide proof of residency and identification. 


Investing in a shared equity ownership home means you will:

• Continue living at Acton Gardens – even if you can’t afford to buy a new home outright.

• Live in a warm, modern and high-quality property with better insulation.

• Benefit from any increase in value if you choose to sell your home (bear in mind that values can go down as well as up).

• Have the security of having L&Q as an equity partner.

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