Freehold home ownership

If you have purchased the freehold of your home from us, you own the whole of your property. This gives you greater flexibility, but you are also responsible for repairs to the inside and outside of your property.

The following information relates to specific conditions (covenants) that may be included in the freehold Title Deed. Please check your Title Deed or consult with your solicitor if you are unsure.

Service charges

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, for example if a shared drive needs resurfacing.

You can find out more about service charges.

Repairs to communal areas

You are responsible for repairs to the inside and outside of your property. We also strongly recommend that you arrange an annual gas safety check if gas is supplied to your property - we are not responsible for freehold homes.

If you pay a service charge, you can let us know if a repair is needed to communal facilities or spaces included in the service charge.

Making changes to your 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 (pdf, 353KB).

You can find details of any restrictions on the freehold transfer or property title from the Land Registry. Please contact us if you have any questions.

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 fee (pdf, 353KB) for providing this certificate. Please contact us if you need more information.

My home has Title restrictions. What does this mean if I want to sell it? 

You will not be able to transfer your home to another person without our permission if the Title for your home contains covenants referring to:

  • 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. Your solicitors should liaise with us to arrange this.

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 fee (pdf, 353KB) for providing this certificate.

Please contact us if you want to discuss any restrictions on your title.

Administration charges

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

We will charge you for providing these services. The administration charges leaflet (pdf, 353KB) contains more information.

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