Maintenance, alterations and insurance - new model

your home making alterations

As a shared owner, you have responsibility for the repairs and maintenance of the interior of your home, with some financial support from us.

Internal repairs

Homes built under this model of shared ownership have a 10 year internal repairs allowance, during which shared owners can claim up to £500 reimbursement per year from their housing association to help pay for essential repairs.

External repairs

The housing association is responsible for the cost of essential repairs required to the external fabric and structural repairs for the first 10 years.

Shared owners who purchase a home under the traditional model of shared ownership will still be responsible for all maintenance of their home.

Repairs and maintenance responsibilities

Who's responsible for what, and who pays the cost?

  • Decoration and home improvements

    As the leaseholder, you're responsible for:

    • - keeping your home in good condition. You can paint, decorate and refurbish your home as you wish. For new-build homes, it's better to not decorate for the first year though. This gives building materials like timber and plaster time to dry out and settle.
    • - the cost of repairs and maintenance of your home. For information on help from the association with the cost of essential repairs in the first 10 years of the lease, please read the section ‘Initial repair period’.

    Structural changes and home improvements

    • - If you want to make any structural changes to your home, you'll need our consent. Please refer to your lease for further restrictions and information, as in most cases structural alterations are not permitted.
    • - You'll need to check us what counts as a home improvement and get permission before you carry out any works.
    • - Home improvements may increase or decrease the market value of your home. How this affects you is covered in more detail in ‘Buying more shares’.
  • Maintaining the building

    In the initial repair period, we're responsible for the cost of essential repairs to:

    • the external fabric of the building
    • structural repairs to walls, floors, ceiling and stairs inside the home.

    These are limited to repairs NOT covered by the building warranty or any other guarantee. You must let us know that the repair is required before any work begins. Please see information below about new build defect periods and building warranties.

    After the initial 10-year period you are responsible of all repairs and maintenance.

  • Heating system servicing

    You are responsible for arranging and paying for a boiler service every year. The service must be carried out by an engineer on the Gas Safe Register.

  • Repairs reserve fund

    If there's a reserve fund for your scheme (also known as ‘sinking fund’), you'll need to pay into the fund.

    • - The fund covers major works, like repairing unadopted roads.
    • - There are rules about how landlords must manage these funds.
    • - You will not usually be able to get back any money you pay into them. For example, if you move home.
    • - Repairs which are the association's responsibility during the initial repair period will not be paid for using the reserve fund.
    • - The ‘Summary of costs’ document you were given when you bought your home will let you know if there's a reserve fund payment.

Initial 10-year repair period

  • What is the initial repair period?

    Homes purchased under the new Shared Ownership model benefit from an 'internal repairs allowance' of up to £500 a year for the first 10 years of the property’s life.

    This is to help you with unplanned costs which aren’t covered by any warranties associated with your new home.

    This starts from the lease start date, which applies while you own less than a 100% share in the home.

    Full details of the allowance are explained in your lease, but below is a summary of how it works.

  • Internal repairs allowance

    In the initial repair period, you'll be able to claim costs up to £500 a year from the association to help with essential repairs or replacement (if faulty) of:

    • - installations in the home for the supply of water, gas and electricity, including:
      • - basins and sinks
      • - baths and showers
      • - toilets, pipes and drainage
    • installations in the home for space heating and water heating, including:
      • - repairs for pre-installed appliances to heat your home and water, such as boilers and air source heating systems

    Any work that is covered by a warranty or guarantee must be claimed through the policy by the policyholder.

    Not included in the internal repairs allowance

    The internal repairs allowance can only be used towards costs incurred for qualifying repairs, and cannot be used for any other purpose.

    • - It does not cover fixtures, fittings and appliances for making use of the supply of water, gas or electricity. So not:
      • - ovens or washing machines
      • - radiators
      • - taps
      • - light-fittings.
    • - It does not cover regular maintenance (e.g. a boiler service)
    • - It does not cover deliberate or avoidable damage
    • - It does not cover repairs covered by an existing warranty, guarantee or insurance policy (such as your boiler’s initial warranty or your NHBC warranty)

    The amount you can claim each year and the number of years remaining in the initial repair period will have been provided in the ‘Key information about the home’ document.

    Repairs and maintenance costs over the allowance amount stated in the ‘Key information about the home’ document, or after the initial repair period ends, are your responsibility.

    If you do not claim the full repairs allowance in one year, a maximum of one year's allowance will roll over to the following year.

    The following example shows how the repairs allowance works if you claim in years two and three.


    Repairs allowance

    Allowance claimed for repairs

    Roll over to next year






    £1000 (500 + 500)




    £750 (£500 + £250)



  • External and structural repairs

    In the initial repair period, we are responsible for the cost of essential repairs to:

    • - the external fabric of the building
    • - structural repairs to walls, floors, ceiling and stairs inside the home.

    These are limited to repairs NOT covered by the building warranty or any other guarantee.

    If any external or structural repairs are needed, you must notify us that the repair is required before any work begins.

    Repairs which are the association's responsibility during the initial repair period will not be recharged through the service charge.

  • Claiming the repairs allowance

    The quickest way to claim the repairs allowance is to complete our online form (at the bottom of this page).

    We're responsible for deciding whether repairs are essential. We have the right to inspect your home when making this decision.

    When you claim for the cost of essential repairs, we will approve or reject claims in a fair and consistent manner.

    If we decline a claim, we must:

    • -tell you why in writing within seven days of receiving your information supporting the claim
    • -advise you of your right to dispute the decision
    • -set out the complaints handling process.

    If we agree to a claim, you must:

    • -must use a Trustmark approved tradesperson or professionals approved by us. Find a local tradesperson on the Trustmark website.

    Transferring the allowance to a new owner

    The repairs allowance will transfer to a new owner if you sell your home.
    However, if the new owner buys a 100% share, the repairs allowance will not transfer to them.

Improvements, alterations or additions to your home

  • Can I make alterations to my home?

    If you wish to make improvements, alterations or additions to your home, you must obtain our written permission before starting the work.

    You will be responsible for the works, all associated costs and any future repair obligations and costs.

    You'll also need our permission, and for some homes planning permission, to install a satellite dish.

    Send us an alterations request >

    We won't refuse permission without a good reason, but we may grant permission that includes special conditions attached regarding the standard of the work.

    We reserve the right to visit the property to assess the work being undertaken.

    The work may also be subject to local authority planning and building regulation consent. It’s your responsibility to ensure that these are obtained.

    Why do I need your permission?

    This is mainly to ensure the work you're about to undertake is safe, does not cause a nuisance and meets building standards. Also, if you sell your home, if any improvements/alterations haven’t been approved, we may ask you to change it back to how it was at your expense.

    What if I'm behind on my rent payments?

    If your rent account is in arrears, you'll need to pay the arrears first before we'll consider your request for any improvements or alterations.

    Are there any other improvement restrictions?

    Some developers may apply restrictive covenants on a scheme regarding making improvements (such as a conservatory or shed) and an administration fee may be charged by them to process an application. Always contact us in the first instance before making any alterations to your property.

    We do not carry out disabled adaptations on shared ownership properties.

    Can I decorate without requesting permission?

    Yes, you're free to do any cosmetic decoration, without our consent (in accordance with your lease).

    Send us an alterations request >

Building insurance and making a claim

  • Who arranges the buildings insurance and what's covered?

    We arrange the buildings insurance on your shared ownership home.

    The buildings insurance covers the structure of the property against:

    1. Fire, lightning
    2. Theft
    3. Explosion
    4. Aircraft or articles dropped from them
    5. Riot and malicious persons
    6. Earthquake
    7. Subterranean fire
    8. Storm or flood
    9. Escape of water from any tank, apparatus of pipe
    10. Impact
    11. Subsidence
    12. Accidental damage
    13. Sprinkler leakage

    There are some specific circumstances that are covered which are worth being aware of (although excess will apply):

    • Changing or repairing lock and keys to the doors of the building, if you lose the keys, they are stolen, or there is accidental damage to the locks. No excess will apply.
    • Falling trees or branches, including the cost of removing the fallen part of the tree or the complete tree if totally uprooted.
    • Accidental breakage of glass in doors or windows, ceramic hobs if fitted and sanitary ware (exclusions do apply, such as damage caused by pets).

    As with all insurance policies there are many exclusions, please take a look at the policy document for full details. Some of the exclusions to be aware of are:

    • Damage caused by an existing or hidden defect, gradual deterioration or wear and tear, frost or change in water table level, faulty design or faulty materials used in construction and faulty workmanship.
    • Damage caused by or consisting of corrosion, rust or rot, shrinkage, evaporation or loss of weight, dampness or dryness, scratching, vermin or insects, mould or fungus, change in temperature, colour, flavour, texture of finish.
    • Costs of correcting faulty workmanship or replacing faulty materials.
    • Loss or damage to fences and gates by storm or flood is limited.
      10% of the replacement cost will be deducted from each claim for each year of age of the damaged items.
      So for example, if your fence is damaged in a storm and it is 10 years or older there will be no eligible claim. However if it’s five years old then it will be a 50% pay out minus the excess (£250). The damage must be reported within 72 hours of when the it's noticed.
    • Damage caused by collapse or cracking, shrinking or settlement of any building, coastal or river erosion, defective design or inadequate construction of foundations, demolition, structural alteration or repair, settlement or movement of made up ground and damage as a result of movement of solid floor slabs.

    Policy documents

    The buildings policy number is: AWUKCDPO0522

    The policy runs from 01 October 2023 to 30 September 2024.

    Download a summary of the buildings insurance cover

    Download buildings insurance policy wording.
    The full terms and conditions are contained within the policy document.

    You'll need to arrange contents insurance

    The insurance policy does NOT cover damage or loss to the contents of your home, you’ll need to arrange your own contents insurance.

  • What is the excess on the policy?

    The excesses on this policy are:

    • the first £250 of each and every claim, except for:
    • subsidence which is £1,000 excess
    • escape of water which is £350 excess

    Please check the policy summary for further details.

  • How do I make a claim?

    If you're planning to claim against the building insurance, please get in touch with us first, as we may be able to offer advice.

    If you need to make a claim, contact Arthur J. Gallagher, 27-30 Railway Street, Chelmsford, Essex CM1 1QS or call 01245 341200.

    Our building policy number is: AWUKCDPO0522

  • Prevent further damage in an emergency

    In an emergency, you should take whatever action is necessary to prevent further damage to your property. This could be switching off the gas, water or electricity.

  • Who arranges contents insurance?

    It's your responsibility to organise your own contents insurance.

    Home contents insurance covers the cost of replacing your belongings in your home if they are damaged, destroyed or stolen.  'Contents' generally means the items you would take with if you moved home, such as furniture, kitchenware, electricals and also carpets and curtains.

    You can find out more about contents insurance on the Money Advice Service website or the Which? website.

New build defects and building warranty

  • 12-month defect period

    A new build property has a 12-month defects period. For our new builds, this starts from the day you move in.

    A defect is a building flaw or failure that's the builders responsibility to put right. The defects cover may differ with each development, but may include:

    • Problems with light fittings or switches
    • Plug sockets with no power
    • Faulty taps, leaking or no water
    • Issues with electric shower
    • Doors not shutting properly

    Please let us know of any defects as some as you become aware of them, don’t leave it to the final inspection.

    What if I have an emergency defect repair?

    For emergency repairs, where there's immediate danger to your health or the public’s safety, or a security issue that may lead to serious damage to the property, please call us on 0300 1234 009. If you call out of office hours, you'll be transferred to our out of hours service.

    What happens at the end of the 12-month period?

    At the end of the 12-month period, we’ll arrange a property inspection to identify any outstanding defects with your property and have them rectified accordingly. 

    Once the defects period has ended, the shared owner is responsible for all repairs and maintenance on your home.

    Report a defect

  • Settling in movement

    All brand new homes require a period to settle in.

    This includes allowing it to completely dry out and takes around nine months to a year.

    During this time, you may notice minor cracks in walls and gaps in joinery. These are normal signs of shrinkage which happens when timbers and other materials contract as they dry out and should not alarm you.

  • 10-year building warranty

    A building warranty is essentially an insurance policy for newly built homes. The warranty is taken out by the builder or developer, but is in place to protect you, the buyer.

    For most homes this is provided by the National House-Building Council (NHBC) or Local Authority Building Control (LABC).

    The warranty typically lasts for 10 years and is split into two periods – the defects insurance period, which covers the first two years, and the structural insurance period which covers years three to 10.

    During the structural insurance period, the builder is only responsible for major problems with the structure of the house. This includes foundations, the external render, roofs, ceilings, chimneys and load-bearing parts of the floors. It doesn’t include natural wear and tear, weather damage or any problems resulting from you not maintaining the property adequately.

    Certificate and policy booklet

    Your solicitor will give you a certificate detailing your new home warranty when you move in. This will include details of how to make a claim.

    If your home has an NHBC warranty, you can download your policy booklet on the NHBC website – you’ll need your policy number from your certificate.

    If your home has a LABC warranty, you can download a homeowners handbook on the LABC website.

    Get in touch with us

    If you're planning to claim against your building warranty, get in touch with us first, as we may be able to offer advice.

Repairs request claim form

  • Before you submit your claim

    Before you submit your claim, please check if you could be covered elsewhere:

    • If it's within the first year of you signing your lease, you can report repairs as a defect. Please let us know and we will report this for you.
    • If the repair is structural, it might be covered by your NHBC Guarantee – this was given to you when you purchased your home. Their cover is provided for 10 years.
    • It could be covered by our building insurance (see buildings insurance section above)
    • It may be covered by a component warranty/guarantee, these were given to your when you purchased your home to registered.

    If you need any help, please contact us on 0300 1234 009 or at

We'll use this to confirm we've received your request and to communicate about your request.

If this is not evidenced when you submit your invoice we will not be able to reimburse you.

If you'd like to send more photos or documents, please email them to

What happens next?

Once you've submitted your claim, we'll let you know if we've approved or rejected it within seven days. Please do not instruct the tradesperson to start work until you have received approval. Thank you