Council Leaseholders, Freeholders and Shared Owners
When you buy a flat or maisonette from the council it is sold to you with a long lease and you become a leaseholder.
If you buy a house, the freehold is sold to you, however you may still receive a service towards the district heating or maintenance of any communal areas which you are liable to contribute towards through service charges.
If you buy a share of a property, you become a shared owner and so may also become liable for service charges.
Information within this part of the website referring to leaseholders includes freeholders and shared owners who are paying service charges too.
If you have any queries on the matter, please email us.
The lease is a legal contract between you and the Council, giving you ownership of the property for a fixed period of time. In this and all legal documents you will be referred to as the tenant. GOV.UK offer a comprehensive guide for leaseholders.
Your rights and responsibilities
Your lease will set out your rights and responsibilities as a leaseholder.
Leases may vary in certain details but the following are standard:
You have the right to:
- be fully consulted about building work, long-term agreements, major works and charges or anything that may affect your property (Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002)
- claim a service charge loan (conditions apply) during the first 10 years of becoming a leaseholder after completing your Right to Buy purchase
- seek advice, dispute an issue or challenge service charges at the First Tier Tribunal (Property-Chamber).
As a leaseholder it is your responsibility to:
- pay service charges and ground rent on time
- keep the internal parts of your property in a good condition
- seek our permission before carrying out any structural alterations or improvements to your property
- seek our permission before sub-letting the property
- not cause nuisance or annoy your neighbours or other people living close by
- give the Council and its operatives access to your property for us to carry out necessary work (for example, if we need to carry out work in a loft)
- not breach the buildings insurance policy.
This team provides help and advice to leaseholders across the borough via:
You can contact us in the following ways:
- email - we will respond within 10 working days.
- telephone: 020 8583 3787 - Monday to Friday 9am-5pm.