What can I do if I need extra time to pay?
The following information is about the main options available. Lewisham Homes recommends that you seek independent financial advice before entering into any financial arrangement.
Interest free payment option
We offer ‘interest free payment option’ for leaseholders who are required to pay for Major Works as part of their service charges.
The interest free option allows resident leaseholders up to:
- 24 months interest free for bills less than £3,000; or
- 36 months interest free for bills over £3,000.
The non resident leaseholder interest free option allows up to 10 months interest free on all bills.
Borrowing from your existing lender
If you have a mortgage on your home, your mortgage lender may agree to have the cost of the works added to your mortgage.
You may wish to remortgage your home to take account of the cost of the works.
Service charge loans
Lewisham Council offers service charge loans to leaseholders. You could benefit from this option if you cannot pay the whole amount due within the interest free period. However, you may find that you can get a more competitive rate of interest from high street lenders.
The service charge loans from the Council are secured by a mortgage on your property. If you are interested in taking out a Council loan for the works please contact our leasehold caseworkers. Please note, these loans are discretionary and subject to conditions.
Right to a Loan
Some leaseholders have the Right to a Loan from the Council. This right only applies where the original purchase under the Right to Buy scheme is within the last ten years.
These loans from the Council:
- are secured as a mortgage on your property;
- charge interest throughout the term of the loan ;
- have a maximum and minimum amount for the loan; and
- have a maximum number of years over which the loan can be repaid.
These are designed to assist older homeowners release the equity value in their home, including schemes that guarantee no repossession.
Can I get help paying my Major Works charge?
If you are in receipt of certain payments from the Department for Work and Pensions, as a leaseholder you may qualify for assistance with some housing costs.
Our leasehold caseworkers can give you information about this and assist you with making a claim. Alternatively, our caseworker can make an appointment for you with our Welfare Benefit Advisor who will help you to work through different options and make sure you are claiming all the benefits your are entitled to.
For independent advice, you can contact the benefits service (run by Job Centre Plus) 0845 608 8770.