HomeBuy / Equity Loan
If you bought your home with an equity loan from Orbit, you will need to contact us when making changes such as arranging a new mortgage or deciding to redeem the loan.
Please contact the leasehold team if you’re an existing HomeBuy or Equity Loan customer and your question isn’t answered below.
HomeBuy was a way of buying a home at a reduced cost. The product is no longer available but you can find out about similar schemes through the Government’s Help to Buy website.
- When can I repay my equity loan?
You can repay your equity loan when you sell your home or when you’re financially able to.
The amount you pay back will be based on the value of your home. This will need to be set by an independent RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) surveyor. Any improvements that you’ve made to your home will be valued separately.
You will need to pay an administration fee for this service.
The redeeming your equity loan leaflet should tell you all you need to know about the process. When you are ready to proceed, please complete and return the 'Intention to redeem form' at the end of the leaflet along with your valuation report and the administration fee made payable to Orbit Group Limited.
- Can I change or improve my home?
You must get our permission before you change, improve or add to your home.
This is to protect our interest in the property. It is also so that we can take into account how the changes might affect the value of your home when you redeem your loan.
We will ask you to ensure that you have all the relevant planning and building regulation permissions and may need to see copies. We will not unreasonably withhold permission but some properties have certain restrictions in their lease or title documents.
Depending on the complexity of your proposals, we charge an administration fee to cover the cost of work involved in considering your application. A visit from our surveyors may be necessary.
It is important that you obtain our consent before carrying our works. If you come to sell your property and consent hasn't been granted for alterations, or if we find works have been completed in an unsafe manner, you may have to return the property to it's original state at your own cost.
Please fill in and return the alterations request form or contact your Leasehold Officer if you want to change or improve your home.
- What responsibilities do I have to repair and maintain my home?
You must keep your home in a good state of repair and you are responsible for the cost of repairs and maintenance.
We will need to formally agree if you need to take out a further advance to pay for vital repairs to your home. You might also need our permission, depending on the type of work you’re doing.
You might be able to make a claim on your buildings insurance if your building is damaged.
- Am I allowed to sublet all or part of my home?
You mustn’t let out any part of your home without our permission. This is because the HomeBuy loan was intended to help people buy a home for them to live in. You must tell us if you don’t want to live in your home any more.
We will consider allowing to you rent out your home for short agreed periods of time. This might happen if you had to move away to care for a relative, or were working away from home for a year or less.
You will be issued with a licence if we agree to let you sublet your home. We will need a copy of your tenancy agreement and your management agent’s details. There will be a charge to pay if you sublet your home.
Please read the subletting leaflet if you want to rent out your home.
- Can I re-mortgage?
If you want to change your mortgage you must get our permission.
Before anything is agreed you must give us details of the redemption figure for your current mortgage and confirm how much you’ll borrow on the new mortgage.
Once we’ve agreed to the re-mortgage your solicitors will supply the necessary paperwork.
We will charge you a small amount to agree to the re-mortgage and for completing all the paperwork.
See the further advance information if you want to borrow more money on your new mortgage than you have left on your current mortgage.
- What is a further advance? Can I get one?
Further advance is a term used when a home owner wants to borrow more money on a mortgage. This can be with their existing mortgage lender or as part of a re-mortgage.
We will need to agree if you want to borrow more money and there is an administration fee for this service.
The Homes and Communities Agency funding rules only allow us to agree further advances where the money is being used to repair or improve a home. The amount of extra borrowing that is allowed is also restricted. These restrictions help protect the public money invested in providing the equity loan.
We can agree extra borrowing if the money isn’t for repairs or improvements and/or is above the restricted amount, however this must be charged separately from your principal mortgage.
- Can I transfer my HomeBuy loan to another person?
You have to redeem your loan when you sell your home. However, there are times when the person who owns your home changes but your home hasn’t been sold. An example of this would be when a property is left to another member of the family after the home owner dies. This can also happen when there is a divorce or a relationship breaks down between home owners.
We might be able to transfer the equity loan from the current home owner to another person in these circumstances, but the rules about this are strict. You will have to redeem your loan if your situation doesn’t meet the requirements.
You will be asked to pay our solicitors’ fee if you qualify for a transfer. You can contact us to find out how much this will be.
- Will I have to pay an administration charge when I ask Orbit to do something?
We might ask you to pay a small administration charge to cover our costs:
- when you’ve asked for permission to change your lease or for something else that needs our official consent
- for supplying information or documentation.
This leaflet has more information on our administration charges.