Freehold

The information below is for freeholders who pay a service charge.

Can I change, improve or add to my home?

You will not normally need our permission to change your home if you live in a freehold property, but sometimes permission is needed for changes to the outside of a home. This is to protect the look of an area and might be because of planning rules. We will charge an administration fee for agreeing to any changes. Details can be found in the administration charges leaflet.

You will find details of any restrictions on the freehold transfer or title if this applies to your home. Please contact your leasehold services officer if you have any questions.

What is a service charge?

You might live in a freehold house but pay us a service charge. This charge will be for us to look after communal areas like grounds or gardens, as well as any regular maintenance you might also pay towards a fund for future maintenance.

You will pay a monthly charge based on an estimated annual cost. We will send you information on the actual costs you have incurred at the end of the financial year. You will also be given a summary of the services you receive.

Please go to the making a payment page for details of how to pay.

What do I do about repairs to communal areas?

If you live in a freehold house and pay a service charge you can report any maintenance problems through the reporting form or by calling the customer service centre.

Will I have to pay an administration charge when I ask Orbit to do something?

We might sometimes be asked to allow changes, issue a Land Registry Certificate or provide information to your solicitors or HIP providers about the sale of your home.

We will charge you for providing these services. The administration charges leaflet contains more information.

Does Orbit buy properties back?

If your property was once owned under a shared ownership lease you might not be able to sell it without first asking us if we want to buy the property back.

If this applies to you, it’ll apply for up to 21 years from the date the last shares were bought. Whether we buy back your home will depend on our plans within your area at the time that you want to sell.

You will not be able to sell your home unless we provide you with a certificate saying you’ve asked our permission. We will charge a small fee for providing this certificate.

Speak to your leasehold services officer to find out more.

Does my home have title restrictions? What does this mean if I want to sell?

You will not be able to transfer your home to another person without our permission if your home was once owned under a shared ownership lease with:

  • a clause allowing Orbit to buy back the property
  • a service charge
  • another charge you have to pay.

These conditions are called title restrictions.

We need to know when you want to sell your home, and will have to check that all the legal requirements are met.

You will not be able to transfer your home unless we’ve given you a certificate to prove you’ve asked permission. We will charge a small fee for providing this certificate.

Please contact your leasehold services officer if you want to discuss any restrictions on your title.

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