What Is Leasehold Ownership?
As the purchaser of a Council bedsit, flat or maisonette it is your own the best interests as a leaseholder to understand the legal nature of leasehold ownership.
Put in simple terms the leasehold ownership of a bedsit, flat or maisonette provides a leaseholder with a residential tenancy to occupy and use property for a long period of time – which is known as the 'term' of the lease. The term of the lease will usually be for 125 years and it is fixed from the date that the property was first sold by the Council under the Right to Buy scheme and diminishes in length year by year. The property can be bought and sold during that term.
The leaseholder is usually responsible for everything within the four walls of the property, including floorboards and plaster to walls and ceiling, but does not usually include the external or structural walls.
The structure and common parts of the building and the land it stands on will be owned by the Council as the freeholder of the block that your property is located in.
The Council will be required to maintain and repair the structure, exterior and common areas of the block, and the costs for doing so are recoverable through service charges that and are billed to leaseholders and any Council tenants living in the block in equal shares.
What Is A Lease?
It is an important legal contract and leaseholders should ensure that they have a copy and that they understand it. The wording of a lease is usually written in legal language and can vary from property to property. It sets out the contractual obligations of the two parties: what the leaseholder is contracted to do and what the Council as landlord has contracted to do.
The leaseholder's obligations will include paying an annual fee for ground rent and making a proportionate contribution to the cost of maintaining and managing the building. The lease will also place certain conditions on the leaseholder’s use and occupation of the property to protect the rights of everyone living in the block.
For further information contact Landlord Services at Deene House by telephoning 0300 1263000 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org