We’ve put together a
comprehensive list with
all the key actions &
guidelines for house
builders this year.
In accordance with their contractual obligations to Homes England, Help to Buy house builders must follow the instructions set out below. Failure to meet these obligations is a serious breach of a house builder’s Help to Buy Equity Loan Funding Administration agreement.
IMS availability at Homes England year-end and payments to house builders.
From Monday 2nd March through to Monday 30th March 2020, IMS opening hours will be extended from 8am – 8pm, Monday to Friday. The 2019-20 deadline for house builders to submit payment claims on Homes England Investment Management System (IMS) is 12 noon on Tuesday 31st March 2020. IMS will then re-open at 12 noon on Wednesday 1st April 2020.
Scheduled payment claims that have been approved by Homes England by the 31st March 2020 will be
processed on that same evening. Previously approved payments made in the days before year-end will
continue to be paid against normal timescales.
Priority actions for house builders prior to 31st March 2020.
Help to Buy sales no longer achieving purchaser legal completion by 31st March 2020 (2019/20 financial year) must be reforecast and matched to a 2020/21 forecast. Here’s how:
Large house builders (house builders responsible for administering their own IMS) can amend the expected completion date in either the ‘ATP Cash Forecasting’ or the ‘Claim Timetable’ screen. Small house however builders must ask the relevant Help to Buy Agent to do this on their behalf.
RememberRe- forecasting completion dates between financial years is subject to the house builder having a confirmed forecast, with sufficient headroom. It is the house builder’s responsibility to ensure there is sufficient forecast available to cover any pending completions. It can take 6-8 weeks for Homes England to assess and approve a new forecast application.
Applying early will help to avoid delays in claiming funds for purchaser legal completions that slip into 2020-21.
House builders who plan to use Help to Buy after 31st March 2020 must apply for a 2020-21 forecast, if they have not already done so. To submit a 2020-21 forecast, login to the Help to Buy IMS Forecast Management Module: https://ims.homesengland.org.uk/ and select ‘Submit Forecast’.
Furthermore, house builders must ensure that any purchaser legal completions no longer progressing under the Help to Buy programme are terminated in IMS before 31st March 2020.
It’s essential to adhere to the approach set out above for Help to Buy programme and budget management.
Management of 2019-20 and 2020-21 forecasts
If the purchaser legal completion date is not known and will not be known by 31st March 2020, the sale must be reforecast and linked to the 2020-21 forecast.
House builders are reminded that the expected completion date on the Property Information Form (PIF) must not span over different financial years. PIFs that have an expected completion date of ‘March/April’ it will not be accepted by the Help to Buy Agent and the document will be sent back to the house builder for amendment before allowing the sale to proceed.
For purchaser legal completions due on or before the 31st March 2020, please ensure the claim is submitted in line with the terms of your Help to Buy Funding Agreement. House builders on a standard contract should submit claims no less than 12 business days before the anticipated date of completion to ensure the funds are received on time for completion.
House builders must note that misrepresentation of exchange and purchaser legal completion dates to Homes England is a serious breach of their obligations to Homes England. House builders must not claim a unit sale where the future purchaser legal completion date is not known.
2019-20 year-end transition
IMS will close at 12 noon on 31st March 2020. Un-submitted purchaser legal completions with a forecast completion date in 2019-20 will not ‘roll over’ and will remain linked to the 2019-20 forecast.
When IMS re-opens 12 noon on 1st April, the 2019-20 forecast will remain available until 30th April 2020 to allow house builders to submit any late payment claims for sales that reached purchaser legal completion by 31st March 2020. House builders making claims during this period will be asked to certify that a 2019-20 completion date applies, which Homes England will subsequently verify.
Purchaser legal completions can only be reforecast into 2020-21 if the house builder has a confirmed forecast with sufficient headroom for 2020-21. The sale will not be able to proceed until a 2020-21 forecast with sufficient headroom has been confirmed.
Any queries on the contents of this briefing should be directed to:
Claim queries, ATE extensions, cash forecasting
Annual forecasts, contracting, CPs, change of solicitor, change of entity