As the purchaser, or owner, of a leasehold flat, it is in your own interest to understand the legal nature of your ownership and, the associated rights and liabilities.
A lease is a contract that gives ownership of a property for a fixed period of time. It is an important document and you should ensure that you have a copy and that you understand it. If you need a replacement, there are a number of ways to get a replacement.
All lease agreements are slightly different and are written in legal language. In summary, you have the right to:
- Quiet enjoyment, which means the right to live in your home without unreasonable interference from the landlord.
- Access your home (including any shared areas) at all times
- Expect the landlord to maintain and repair the building and manage the shared areas.
- Be consulted about any long-term maintenance and improvement work
- Extend your lease
- Buy the freehold of a leasehold house
What are your responsibilities?
- Keep your home clean and redecorate when necessary
- Pay your service charges and ground rent on time
- To behave in a neighbourly manner
- Allow us or our representatives to enter, inspect or repair your home
- Keep your home free from vermin, such as mice and cockroaches
- Keep your garden neat and tidy
- Not to do certain things without the landlord’s consent, such as sublet your home or make alterations
As the leaseholder, you're responsible for how your family and visitors behave. We want you and everyone around you to enjoy your homes, so you, your family and your visitors must not:
- Use your home or any shared area for illegal activities
- Damage or graffiti the property
- Run a business from your home without our permission
- Leave things in shared areas, as this causes a fire risk
- Put up structures (such as sheds or garages) without our permission
- Park anywhere on your property, except in defined parking areas
- Do major car repairs or park an illegal or unroadworthy vehicle around your home or on the road
- Cause a nuisance or disturb other people
- Throw anything from a window or balcony
In turn, we:
- Will make sure that your building is adequately insured (please note, you should take out your own contents insurance)
- Won't change your lease without your permission
- Will tell you about any rent, service charges and ground rent you must pay
- Will tell you in advance about any changes to your rent or service charges
- Will consult you on how we manage your home and services
- Will consult you on any long-term maintenance and improvement work we want to do (as set out in Section 20 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985)
If you want more detail, check your lease. You should have a copy from when you bought your house. If you don't know where it is, you can order a copy of your lease from the Land Registry.