Affordable Homes Management: There Is A Better Option!

Are you selling your affordable homes at a loss? There is a better option!

Planning obligations under Section 106 (S106) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 are often used to secure affordable housing and/or financial contributions to provide affordable housing or infrastructure. In most circumstances, developers sell their S106 properties at substantial discounts to Registered Providers (RP) of social housing.

Did you know that you can often retain ownership of your S106 properties, creating an excellent long-term managed investment? S106 properties are not legally required to be owned by an RP, only managed by an RP. This helps out developers and investors who are interested in retaining ownership of their S106 properties.

What is the affordable home service?

Orchard & Shipman is a long-established private and social sector housing manager with a UK-wide property management team and 30 years of portfolio management experience. As a Registered Provider, we are authorised to manage affordable housing, including S106 properties. Managing S106 properties through an RP allows developers/investors to retain ownership of their properties, leading to higher returns on investment and a broader, more successful residential property portfolio.

What are the benefits of using the affordable home service?

There are many benefits to investing in S106 property using affordable homes management services, such as…

Building a property portfolio

Get started with or expand your residential investment portfolio using the affordable home service to secure S106 property. Large-scale build-to-rent affordable property investments boost your portfolio and profit, as well as benefitting the local community (in accordance with Section 106) by providing rented housing. It is extra beneficial to provide housing in in-demand areas, particularly in student-populated towns if student renters are part of your target market.

Increasing your income stream

You’ll benefit from ownership of an appreciating, fundable, and saleable asset. Our affordable homes service can help you achieve a steady rental income, which increases over time as you make more money with the property value increases year-on-year. If/when the time comes to sell your property in the future, affordable housing offers a higher return on investment.

Development management and maintenance

Using affordable homes management, you’ll benefit from quality estate management and greater control of the developments’ public realm and placemaking. Orchard & Shipman will support you every step of the way, including helping with S106 negotiation, drawing on 30 years of property management experience. We offer a range of bespoke services to suit the needs of our clients from tenancy and property management, to assuming full ownership risks (such as rent arrears, voids, maintenance, and cyclical repairs).

Maintain peace of mind knowing that Orchard & Shipman is a long-established, ARLA-qualified Registered Provider of social housing, regulated by Government organisation Homes England. We know what we’re doing when it comes to all things property management and offering a bespoke service designed around your requirements as a developer/investor.

Control who is involved in property development

Stay in charge of your property and gain complete control over who is involved in the development, giving you peace of mind. Whenever you feel unsure, Orchard & Shipman is available with support and advice from locally-based property management specialists.

First Time Buyers & Stamp Duty

Stamp duty land tax relief for first-time buyer’s information and useful links to government websites provided below.

Important Dates

Since 22 November 2017, if you are purchasing a residential property that costs £500,000 or less, you may be entitled to stamp duty relief. If you purchased a property that completed before this date, unfortunately the first-time buyer relief does not apply to you.

Who qualifies for first-time buyer stamp duty relief?

The relief applies to purchases made in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. There are a number of conditions that you must meet in order to be eligible for the relief. There’s a full guide provided on the website which you can access using the following link:

What relief will you get?

The amount of relief you will receive is based on the cost of the property you are purchasing. The first £300,000 of the purchase price will be exempt from stamp duty. This means, as a first-time buyer, you may not have to pay stamp duty at all. For any amount that exceeds £300,000, stamp duty will be charged at an amount of 5%. Unfortunately, if your transaction goes over £500,000, the relief won’t apply to you.

You can access a government calculator here:

How do you claim first-time buyer stamp duty relief?

As a rule of thumb it states that ‘Relief must be claimed either in a land transaction return or an amendment to that return’. We would recommend however that you read the guidance – specifically Chapter 7 for more information on this; which can be accessed via this link


How to make a space your own when you can’t put down permanent roots.

It’s important to know what the ground rules are when thinking about decorating your rented property. If you think that the space is in need of a fresh coat of paint, you should ALWAYS ask permission before you make any changes, as most landlords prefer neutral colours and may not want you to decorate their home yourself. There are ways that you can make the space your own without making any drastic changes – please see our tips below:


Investing in some signature or statement accessories such as lamps will provide your space with a bit of your personality. You could buy lamps that have interchangeable shades so you can ‘revamp’ your living space throughout your tenancy.


Accessorising your furniture with statement cushions, art work (you could even paint your own canvas). Be careful with hanging things on the walls as your agreement may prevent you doing so; you could try leaning paintings up against walls as an alternative which could give a more relaxed feel to the room. Other options could be easels or other stands that you could use to perch your paintings on!

Also changing your bed linens can completely change the feel of your room; this is probably one of the easiest ways to brighten up a neutral room.


If you aren’t keen on the flooring in your rented property then rugs are your best friend, they are great ways to add colour to a very neutral room. Or to make wooden or laminated floors a bit more cozy,


Dressing your windows with curtains can make a big difference to the room; you’ll be able to take these with you if you move as well; just remember to keep your landlords curtains in a safe place for when you’re ready to move out.


Quite often you may not have access to a garden when you are renting; especially if you are renting a flat. If this is the case then why not bring the outside indoors and accessorise your place with some plants. If you’re the type to forget to water them then you could always opt for artificial plants.

If you’re ever not sure about what you can do in your property it’s always best to check first to avoid any unnecessary costs for you later down the line.

Orchard Shipman Flowers

Energy Saving Tips

Living on your own can be expensive if you don’t budget your money. Here are some suggestions for making your money go further. The Citizens Advice Bureau may also be able to give you more advice on budgeting.

Top 10 Energy Saving Tips

  1. Switch off lights in empty rooms.
  2. Close curtains at dusk.
  3. Set thermostats correctly (hot water around 60-65°C, room thermostats between 18-21°C).

Top Tip!

If you turn your thermostat down by 1°C – this can save you as much as £60 per year! This may be the oldest trick in the book but it’s also one of the best, and after a week you won’t even notice the difference!

  1. Turn electrical appliances off rather than leaving them on standby.
  2. Only fill the kettle with as much water as you need each time you boil it.
  3. Cook with lids on pans and match ring size to saucepan size.
  4. Avoid placing furniture in front of radiators.
  5. Wait until you have a full load before using the washing machine and use a lower washing temperature. Just remember lower temperatures work for almost anything except stained clothes, underwear and bed sheets.
  6. Use a shower instead of a bath where possible.

Top Tip!

Turn the pressure down on the power shower, you’d be surprised how much water they use- sometimes even more than a bath. Power showers are luxuries for a reason in that they cost a lot.

  1. Tumble dryers cost a lot to run. Dry clothes outside, or on a clothes rail for free. Remember to open a window when drying clothes inside to stop condensation building up.

Fridges & Freezers Tips

  • Make sure there is plenty of space for air to flow around the back and top of your fridge freezer.
  • Keep the cooling fins at the back of the appliance clean and free from dust.
  • Put the appliance in a cool place away from direct sunlight and the cooker or boiler.
  • Check the inside temperature with a fridge thermometer (around £2 from any homeware shop) to make sure the fridge is the right temperature.
  • Use the fridge/freezer thermostat to keep the temperature right: the higher the setting the cooler the temperature.
  • Don’t put warm or hot items into a fridge/freezer. Let them cool down first.
  • Keep the fridge/freezer door shut to stop cold air escaping and warm air getting in. Replace damaged door seals, as they let the heat in.
  • Defrost regularly – the more ice the more electricity is needed to keep the appliance cool.

Lighting Tips

  • Switch off lights when they are not needed.
  • Use the lowest wattage light bulb that gives the light you need.
  • Make use of daylight. Keep windows clean and furniture away from windows.
  • Install energy saving light bulbs in lights used for three or more hours a day, including those kept on for security purposes and outside lights on at night.