As a leaseholder your lease agreement will give you the right to live in your property for a specified length of time. It will also set out your responsibilities and our responsibilities as the freeholder, including the circumstances where we can end your lease.
In some circumstances you can extend or change your lease. If you want to do this, or want to make alterations or improvements, sell or sublet your home or end your lease, you’ll need to follow special procedures, some of which are set by law.
As a leaseholder, you’ll have to pay ground rent and a service charge on an annual basis.
Rights and responsibilities
Your responsibilities and rights as a leaseholder or freeholder.
If you’re a leaseholder or freeholder, your rights and responsibilities are set out in detail within your lease or transfer agreement, but in general you are responsible for:
- Paying any service charge and rents
- Getting our written permission before carrying out any alterations to your home
- Maintaining and repairing the inside of your home, including fixtures and fittings
- Allowing our contractors access to your home to carry out any necessary repairs (we must give you enough notice in writing) or immediately in an emergency.
In addition to the rights set out in your lease, you are protected by various acts of parliament. These include how we calculate your service charge, what you can do if you disagree with this and how we should consult you about major works.
We must ensure, for example, that both your actual and estimated service charges are reasonable and the work and services you are being charged for are of a reasonable standard.
We do not recommend that you withhold payment of your service charge.
First Tier Property Chamber
If you are not happy with our response, however, you do have the right to go to the First Tier Property Chamber, an independent panel of professionals with expertise in handling leasehold disagreements (there is a fee for this but you can apply yourself or in a group with other leaseholders).
For more information and advice contact:
- The Leasehold Advisory Service (LEASE), which offers free legal advice on your lease
- The Residential Property Tribunal Service
Our responsibilities as a freeholder
As the freeholder of your property, our responsibilities are set out in your lease or transfer agreement. These include:
- Cleaning and maintaining the estate
- Insuring the building (leaseholders only)
- Charging you for your yearly service charges
- We consult you in accordance with Section 20 of the Landlord and Tenant Act1985 (as amended) before entering into a contract or starting work.
Repairs to the inside of your home are your responsibility, but we are responsible for repairs to communal area of your block and estates.