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We've answered some our most frequently asked questions here, but if you can't find what you are looking, contact us. We're here to help!
SO Flexi is SO Resi’s name for Rent to Buy (RnTB) and London Living Rent (LLR). Both RnTB and LLR are government-funded schemes that offer the chance to rent a home at less than the market rate, while you save a deposit to buy with Shared Ownership. SO Resi is the Shared Ownership brand for MTVH.
MTVH is Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing Association. We provide affordable homes for people in London, the South East, East Midlands and East of England and believe everyone should have a home and the chance to live well. If you rent with SO Flexi, MTVH will be named as your landlord on the tenancy agreement. MTVH will also be your landlord if you choose to buy your home with Shared Ownership.
For Rent to Buy (RnTB) homes, rents are calculated at 80% of current market rates. For London Living Rent (LLR) homes, rents are around 60% of market rents, based on local ward rates. All LLR rents are published on the Homes for Londoners website. With SO Flexi, you pay your monthly rent to MTVH by Direct Debit.
Service charges will be included in your monthly rent payment. Service charges cover the costs of looking after communal areas of the building you live in. Some of these are buildings insurance, cleaning of shared areas, repairs to the building, gardening and window cleaning.
You pay a £250 reservation deposit before you move in. When you move in, you make your first rent payment, less the £250 already paid, plus a deposit equivalent to one month’s rent. The deposit is to cover any damage to the property and is held in a Deposit Protection Scheme. It is returned when your tenancy ends and you either move out, or buy your home. The amount returned will depend on the condition of the property at the time. You will also need to consider the usual household bills, and the cost of contents insurance to protect your personal belongs against loss or damage.
When you move into your SO Flexi home, an inventory will be done to assess the condition of the property. If your home is in the same condition when your tenancy ends (allowing for fair wear and tear), your deposit will be returned in full. We will explain the likely charges if you do not maintain your home as expected. These charges may be deducted from the amount of deposit you receive back.
We hope that you will have saved a large enough deposit and be ready to buy towards the end of your initial tenancy term, but if you would like to buy sooner, please contact us.
You can choose to buy another Shared Ownership home if you prefer, but buying the home you are already living in can save you time and money.
There is no penalty. Rent to Buy and London Living Rent are designed to help buyers get on the property ladder with Shared Ownership.
Yes. You will qualify to rent with SO Flexi for the whole of your initial tenancy term, even if your income goes up. If you then want to buy your home with Shared Ownership, your income will need to be below £80,000 for Rent to Buy homes and £90,000 for London Living Rent homes.
We will meet with you each year of the initial tenancy term to review whether your savings are on track for you to buy your first share. If you haven’t saved the required amount when your tenancy ends, we will consider offering a further fixed term tenancy to give you extra time to save.
That depends on whether we can see evidence of you meeting your savings commitments at your annual reviews. Your tenancy agreement will set out the requirements for saving and MTVH’s options. If you have not saved the deposit you need after five years, your tenancy will end.
No. SO Flexi is designed to help you save a big enough deposit to buy a 25% share. If you can afford to buy 100%, you will not be eligible for Shared Ownership.
Your tenancy will end and you will need to find another home.
Your landlord – MTVH. We will let you know how to get in touch with the team at MTVH when you move in.
Yes, the initial fixed tenancy term contains a clause, so that if you want to buy your home before the end of the term, you won’t be in breach of your tenancy agreement.
While you are a tenant, your landlord, MTVH, will be responsible. If you buy your home with Shared Ownership, you will become a leaseholder and will be responsible for maintaining your heating system as soon as the property is outside its initial defects liability period – this period may vary depending on where you live.
Yes. If you decide to buy a share in your home, the cost will be based on the market value of the property at that time, determined by a RICS valuation. RICS is the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.
The property will be sold at the current market value, determined by a RICS valuation. RICS is the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.
Your home will be sold at the current market value, determined by a RICS valuation. RICS is the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. If your savings are below expectations, please speak to us.
Yes. If you have saved a large enough deposit, you can buy any available Shared Ownership home when your tenancy ends.
Yes. You can use your deposit to buy any home that’s available through Shared Ownership.
When you decide to rent with SO Flexi, you will have a financial assessment with our appointed independent financial adviser (IFA). They will recommend the minimum amount you need to save each month to build up a 5% deposit for a 25% share of your home at the end of your agreed tenancy period, based on the value of the property at the time. We recommend that you commit to saving at least that amount each month – or more if you want to buy sooner.
No, you are free to save wherever you like. Please ask the IFA who carries out your financial assessment for guidance.
When you apply, we will explain how SO Flexi works and make sure you have all the information you need to make an informed decision. Once you have moved in, our New Homes Services team will be on hand to support you in your home. Our Housing Team will be there to help with any questions about your tenancy agreement.