Frequently asked merger questions
On 1 October 2023, we are merging with Sovereign housing association and will be known as SNG, which stands for Sovereign Network Group. After forming SNG on 1 October, we’ll then fully integrate both organisations over the next 18 months.
This proposal won’t affect your right to live in your home. You’ll still have the same lease or tenancy agreement. There will be little immediate difference for residents: you’ll still contact your landlord the same way and deal with the teams you do now.
In the longer-term though, we believe that coming together will let us do more for all customers. As one organisation, we’ll be able to invest more into existing homes, into services, into local communities and into building more homes. Here are some useful questions and answers on our merger Sovereign.
About the merger
What will this mean for repairs and services?
The top priority for both associations is to deliver great services and homes - and to keep improving on this. The merger won’t distract us from focusing on this.
Because we work in different areas, we’ll still be delivering services as we currently do. You won’t see any immediate change.
Longer-term, the merger will give us more funding for repairs, maintenance, services and the communities you live in.
If you’re bigger, will we have less personal contact?
We’re committed to having a local focus so that we’re connected to residents and communities and can respond to the priorities and issues in different places. Network Homes has a local approach in its areas and Sovereign has ten locally focused teams to provide ‘on the ground’ services.
We’ve also agreed to keep our main offices, including in Basingstoke and Wembley.
What do you mean by ‘taking the best from both’?
Coming together over 18 months gives us time to learn from each other, so we can bring together the best aspects of both associations. For example, by building on Sovereign’s experience of how to assess and improve the energy-efficiency of homes and Network Homes’ experience in regenerating estates.
An integration team from both associations is in place to lead this work on bringing together key services and systems.
Will your finances be more at risk if you merge?
Both Sovereign and Network Homes are financially strong. But we each have different types of homes, and work in different areas, which means there will be less financial risk for both if we merge.
Combining our resources will let us achieve our social purpose better through access to more funding and at better rates.
Combining central teams will also let us make efficiencies (but we’ve committed to employees there will be a role for everyone who wants one until at least April 2025).
Will you try to sell higher-value homes in London to build in other areas?
While both associations look at whether it’s right and cost-effective to keep every single home, merging isn’t about selling London homes to offset other costs or activity. Because we’ll be bigger, we’ll be more attractive to lenders so we can attract more money for homes and services.
Sovereign also has a ‘Homes & Place Standard’ which means that disposing of any homes can only happen where there’s a plan to at least replace them with new local affordable homes.
Our services from 1 October
You will still contact us in the same way from 1 October. So, if you need to report a repair, make a payment, ask a question or contact us about anything else to do with your home, please continue to do so in the same way you do now. If anything does change as we integrate our services, we will let you know. We now have an SNG website, but you should continue to use this website to contact us, request services and keep updated on news and services.
Our email addresses will be changing gradually so you’ll notice some ending in @sng.org.uk from 1 October. Others will continue to end in @networkhomes.org.uk for a while, including firstname.lastname@example.org so please continue to contact us there and we will get back to you. Eventually all emails will end @sng.org.uk but you’ll still be talking to the same teams.
There will be a slight change to our text line, as our number will be changing to 0790 867 0571 in early October. This is because of a routine upgrade to our text message system, not because of our merger with Sovereign. We will text you to let you know about this change before it happens, and to confirm the new number you will receive SNG texts from once the change takes place. Please save the new number to your phone so you know it’s us when we text you.
No. Wait times will not be impacted by the merger as we have the same level of colleagues/ staff dealing with queries.
Yes, you can still contact us to report repairs in the same way as you contacted us before 1 October.
No, your existing account details are not changing. We will however be making slight changes to the design to include our new logo and company details. All other features remain the same as they are now. If anything does change as we integrate our services, we will let you know.
No. None of our offices will be closing because of the merger.
Our offices and receptions will remain open on an appointment-only basis. Please contact us to make an appointment with any member of staff that you wish to speak with in person. We can also answer your queries if you fill out our website form, email, text, call or message us on social media.
You can still contact us in the same way as you contacted us before 1 October. If you need to raise a complaint, please email email@example.com, use your My Network Homes online account, call 0300 373 3000, write a letter to us or message us on social media. Click here to out more about our complaints process.
Repairs and housing services
No. There are no immediate changes to the current repairs service because of the merger.
No, there are no immediate changes to the current repairs service because of the merger. MCP will remain our repairs contractor and reviews will take place when their contract is near expiration.
No, there will be no immediate changes to contractors because of the merger. Our contractors will remain the same and reviews will take place as contracts near expiration.
No, the Building Safety Remediation programme timescales will not be affected by the merger.
No. You should not experience delays in any planned work or cyclical maintenance due to the merger. This includes work such as replacing windows, kitchens and bathrooms, external doors and painting the outside of your home. You can find out more about this work here: Planned work | Network Homes
Your cleaning schedule will not change because of the merger. If there are any major changes to your cleaning service, such as a new contractor, you will be notified.
No, this will not change as a result of the merger but your Neighbourhood Officer or Property Manager may change as a result of normal staff turnover or a review of areas being managed.
No, this will not change as a result of the merger but your scheme manager may change as a result of normal staff turnover.
No, they will not change as a result of the merger, but we are always reviewing the most effective way of delivering services. Click here to find out more about our estate inspections.
No, they will not change as a result of the merger, but we are always reviewing the most effective way of engaging with residents.
Nothing will change as a result of the merger other than our name. You should not notice any change in service.
Rent, service charge and payments
Each year, we review your rent and we follow rules set by the Regulator of Social Housing (RSH) to ensure any changes we make are fair, and this will continue when we merge with Sovereign. Service charges are set and reviewed each year in line with your lease and tenancy agreement will this will also continue when the merger is complete. You can find out more about how this works and how rent was calculated this year on our website: Your rent increases explained | Network Homes
No, the merger will not affect the way you pay for your rent, service charges or any other charges. You can continue to pay as you do now. If anything does change as we integrate our services, we will let you know.
No, your Direct Debit will not be affected because of the merger and there is no need to set up a new one. However, when we become SNG (Sovereign Network Group) and our name is changed with our bank, you will see our new name on your bank statement when we collect your Direct Debit.
Your tenancy and/or lease
No, existing tenants will have the same tenancy agreement. The terms of the tenancy agreement will be the same for new tenants signing a tenancy from 2 October, but the name of the landlord will be Sovereign Network Homes.
No, existing leaseholders will have the same lease. The terms of the lease will be the same for new leaseholders from 2 October, but the name of the landlord will be Sovereign Network Homes.
Your rental agreement will not change and you will continue to pay rent the same way. For people signing new agreements from 2 October 2023, the agreement will be with Sovereign Network Homes.
No. The local housing registers are managed by the local authority, so this change will not impact on your position on the housing waiting list.
Yes, as a mutual exchange can happen with any social landlord or local authority across the country, so this includes homes managed by what was formerly Sovereign.
No. Our Voids and Lettings team will continue identifying appropriate homes for residents on our management transfer list. You should also continue bidding for homes as instructed.
Leases will feature our new name for sales happening after 1 October. Existing leases will not be changed.
Our new logo
As we will have a new name from 1 October, we will also have a new SNG (Sovereign Network Group) logo, which we’ll start using across much of our communications with you. You may still see our old logo around as we make the transition to the new one so please bear with us.