MySouthwark Home Owners Agency services
The MySouthwark Homeowners Agency (MSHO) was set up in December 2016 as a direct result of feedback from Southwark homeowners. The independent agency and independent advisory board is a brand new approach for Southwark, and new for the housing sector in general. The new, independent service, aims to improve leaseholder satisfaction, which lags behind that of its tenants.
The main drive in transforming the service has been the need to be honest about what was not working, to listen to feedback and to remain open about how services should be improved. In shaping it, the council has put a strong focus on customer service, advocacy and arbitration, rather than letting issues result in lengthy, and costly tribunals. It aims to give homeowners an independent voice to challenge value for money for their service and major works charges, the specifications of works, accuracy of bills and whether the council had fully explored the alternatives.
The agency has an advocacy service that takes internal referrals from homeowners with complex issues, to help find a resolution to a range of problems where a resolution has not yet been found. The approach is that Advocacy Officers carry out independent through investigations on behalf of individual homeowners, agreeing investigation completion dates with an emphasis is on strong communication updating on progress throughout the investigation, to ensure homeowners feel listened to.
The advocacy service can be contacted via email at MSHOadvocacy@southwark.gov.uk or by telephoning 020 7525 7065.
Contact Centre services
We have a small Customer Service Contact Centre team that deal exclusively with homeowner repairs. The team are trained on leaseholder matters and can advise you regarding repairs to your home and what is your responsibility and what is Southwark Council’s responsibility to do as your landlord.
Where the team are unable to resolve repair issues or where blockages are identified, they will refer to the Advocacy Service to see whether the issue is suitable for an advocacy investigation. You can contact the team on our repairs free contact number 0800 952 4444.
Sales and Acquisitions services
The Sales and Acquisitions Team is made up of three specialist teams:
Specialist Home Purchase Team
The team provide services to shared owners, leaseholders rehousing options and council tenants looking for financial assistance to buy a home.
Social Home buy/Shared Ownership
Shared ownership is an opportunity for a tenant to part buy and part rent a property usually in shares of 25%, 50% or 75% and then over time they can further shares until they own 100% and become an outright leaseholder. Our role is to work with people who are interested in shared ownership and support them through the process. We also collect the rent and service charges for shared ownership customers.
The team provide support to leaseholders who live on estates that are undergoing redevelopment and need to be rehoused. Our officers provide support and guidance every step helping leaseholders decide what options are best for them. They are also able to help council experiencing severe financial circumstances such as mortgage repossession through our financial hardship buy back scheme. Based on a financial assessment the council can pay up to 40% of the valuation of your home to help you pay off all outstanding debts then allow you to remain in your home as a secure tenant.
Home Purchase Grant Scheme
A Home Purchase Grant is for council tenants who would like to buy a property on the open market. We can help by providing financial assistance in the form of a grant which helps towards the purchase and when you are ready to buy you give back your council property to us.
To find out more information on any of the above you can get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Right to Buy services
This team help Southwark council’s secure tenants on their journey to becoming homeowners and deal with all applications under the right to buy scheme from start when an application is submitted through to dealing with solicitors until you have purchased your home.
To find our more information on buying your home if you are a secure tenants you can get in touch by emailing email@example.com.
Residential Conveyancing and Compliance services
The team support leaseholders and process applications for:
- lease extensions where a leaseholder needs to extend the terms of their lease
- leaseholders who are interested in buying the freehold from Southwark Council so they become the owners/freeholders of the building their flats are situated in this is often known as enfranchisement
- leaseholders or members of the public are interested in buying an asset from the council such as a loft space, empty laundry room or small piece of land
- leaseholders who want to make changes to their flat that require our permission as the landlord. In this situation it is really important you contact us first as often leaseholders contact building control or planning and they get approval and go ahead with works only to find further down the line it is a breach of their lease and we have to ask them to change something back to its original condition
We also provide deed of covenants for freehold transfers and specialist conveyancing advice to both leaseholders and internal services.
To find out more information on any of the above you can get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Service Development Team
The Service Development Team provide support to the MySouthwark Homeowners Agency and are responsible for scoping and delivering projects that improve the services we offer for homeowners. They also process financial transactions, collate statistics and provide administrative and performance reporting support.