Leaseholders

Who is responsible?

Leaseholders' responsibilities

Your responsibilities are to:

  • Pay your ground rent, buildings insurance and service charges promptly and regularly.
  • Maintain, decorate and repair all parts of your home including all services used solely by your property.
  • Have any gas appliances in your home checked and serviced every year.
  • Send us a copy of your gas maintenance certificate every year.
  • Allow us into your home to carry out repairs you have not done (we will then charge you for doing any work).
  • Make your own arrangements to insure the contents of your home
  • Allow us into your home so that we can check the condition of the property.
  • Allow us into your home to carry out work on parts that provide services to other properties in the block such as shared heating systems.
  • Pay all taxes and charges due on the property.
  • Not cause a nuisance or annoyance to your neighbours, their family or visitors.
  • Not to harass or offend others, including our staff, on grounds of race, ethnic origin, religion, sex, or sexual orientation or disability.
  • Only use the property as a place to live, not work.
  • Provide notice to us in writing (within 21 days) of details of any change in lease ownership, or if you sub-let the property.
  • Not do anything that would make the insurers refuse to pay out on any claim which we might want to make.
  • Not make any alterations or additions to your home without our written permission.
  • Not to carry out any work that would require planning permission from the Council. To check whether your proposed works require planning permission please contact the Duty Planning Officer on 020 8496 3000 or email dcmail@walthamforest.gov.uk.
  • Not to let oil, grease, refuse or harmful substances leak into drains or sewers.

 

We will ask for access to your home in circumstances where we need to check the condition of the property and fixtures and fittings or where you have failed to carry out your repair responsibilities.

Your responsibility for repairs

You are responsible for maintaining anything inside your flat and anything that only serves your flat, including the following.

  • The surface of the floors in the flat above the joists or other supporting floor structure, and the surface of the floor of the balcony, if you have one.
  • The ceiling of the flat up to, but not including, the joists or other supporting floor structure or beams the ceiling is attached to.
  • The surfaces of all walls, windows and doors inside your flat, the glass in your windows and your front door and frame.
  • All pipes and cables and so on, laid in any part of the block that serve only your flat.

 

Please note that if there is any loft space above your flat, it belongs to the Council. If you need access to the loft space to repair pipes for example, you must get our permission first. You must not store anything in the loft space.

If your property was sold on a ‘green lease’ the lease does not specify who is responsible for window frames, so we allow leaseholders of these properties to take responsibility for them. We will only repair, maintain or replace windows to green lease properties at the leaseholders expense, if the leaseholder fails to do so.

The Council's responsibilities

Our responsibilities are to:

  • Keep your home insured for the full reinstatement value (this does not include the contents of your home),
  • Provide you with a summary of the buildings insurance policy and
  • Allow you to see the full policy on request.
  • Keep the structure and exterior of the building in reasonable repair
  • Keep services such as electricity to the building in working order
  • Maintain all common parts of the building or estate where you live.
  • Maintain proper accounts of your service charges and make these accounts available to you on request.
  • Calculate and bill service charges for services, repairs, major works and administration costs
  • Bill you the required buildings insurance premium and Ground Rent
  • Serve any legal notices required to recover ground rent and service charges

 

Our responsibility for repairs

On behalf of the Council, we are responsible for maintaining the structure of the block, the estate and all shared areas, including the following.

All outside parts of the block including the roof, supports, foundations, outside walls, window frames (except for ‘green’ lease properties) landings, steps, passages and other parts of the block that are used by other residents.  This includes drains, guttering, pipes, cables and so on, in the block, which serve more than your flat, including cisterns, tanks, and shared heating systems.

(We call them ‘shared’ heating systems because they serve more than one flat.)

We are not however, responsible for maintaining door frames if they open onto your own private garden.  This would include doors that open onto patio areas, but not French windows that open up onto a private balcony.

You must pay your share of the cost of any work we carry out.

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