Introduction to your lease
When you buy a flat or maisonette, you do not
buy the flat itself, you buy a lease from the landlord, which gives
you the right to live in the flat for an agreed period of time. So,
if you buy a council flat, the council will continue to be your
landlord but you will not have to pay rent, except a small amount
each year, known as ‘ground rent’. At the end of the lease period,
the flat will go back to the council, unless you apply to extend
The lease is a legal agreement between you
‘the leaseholder’ and the council, giving details of the flat, a
plan showing your home, the building it is in, the estate the
building is on and any garden, shed or garage included in the sale.
The lease will also explain your rights and duties and ours.
The council has two main types of lease:
Green maisonette lease
Copies of this type of lease are produced for
tenants and printed on green paper. A ‘green’ lease applies mainly
to houses that have been converted into two flats, one upstairs and
As well as ground rent and buildings
insurance, you must also pay a service charge for electricity that
is used in any shared areas (if this applies to your flat) and
repairs to shared areas such as the roof, entrance door and so on.
You must also pay a management fee for us to supervise the services
and repairs. The costs are normally divided equally between the two
flats involved unless they are very different in size.
We do not normally carry out routine services
to flats sold on this type of lease except possibly to any shared
lighting. Because of this, we do not estimate service charges in
advance. We only charge you when we know the actual costs. At the
end of each financial year we check to see whether any repairs or
improvements were carried out to your ‘block’. We also find out how
much electricity has been used in shared areas, before we charge
you your share of the cost. We will send you details of these costs
with your insurance bill in September, which is when your lease
says it should be paid.
If your property was sold on a ‘green lease’
the lease does not say 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 leaseholder’s expense, if the leaseholder
fails to do so.
We sell most council flats on this type of
lease. It applies to blocks with more than two flats in them. You
must pay a regular service charge in advance for repairs and
services we provide to the flat, the block or the estate. You also
pay a management fee for us to supervise services, deal with
enquiries and manage the account.
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