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Rights and responsibilities

Leaseholders and potential leaseholders have various rights and responsibilities, as does the council as a landlord which are outlined below. You can also find out more on the your lease page.

Access

We have the right to enter your flat to carry out repairs, inspections and maintenance work to the property or the services that run through it. We must give 48 hours written notice, except in emergencies.

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Alterations

You cannot make any alterations or additions to the structure or appearance of the flat or building (either internally or externally) without our written consent. This includes removing internal walls and installing double-glazing and satellite dishes. Find out more about home improvements.

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Anti-social behaviour

Clauses in the lease include:

  • not to annoy, be a nuisance to or cause damage to us or other residents
  • to keep pets under proper control
  • not to use the premises for any illegal or immoral purposes
  • to keep the floors of the flat covered with suitable material (eg carpets, underlay) to reduce noise
  • not to obstruct or leave any rubbish in any communal areas, apart from in the bins.

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Extend the lease

You have the right to extend your lease - find out more.

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Inflammable materials

You must not store materials that can catch fire easily, other than what you reasonably need for domestic use. No inflammable materials, including gas bottles may be kept in buildings with two or more floors.

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Insurance

We must arrange insurance cover for the building. This covers the structure and communal areas against any accidental damage such as fire, storm damage, vandalism, flooding (including burst pipes and roof leaks) and subsidence. You should arrange your own contents insurance.

For further information see our insurance section.

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Parking

You must not park any motor vehicle or caravan in any garden, forecourt, roadway or pathway next to or near the building, without our written permission.

For further information see our section about parking on estates.

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Payment of service charges, ground rent and other rates and charges

You must pay:

  • ground rent (set at £10 per year)
  • service charges – (your contribution towards the cost of any services or work to the building your home is in and the grounds or estate around it).
  • other amounts which may be charged for the flat (eg council tax and water rates)
  • our costs and charges in dealing with any nuisance in the flat, or breaches of the lease or in dealing with applications for granting consents (e.g. for alterations to the property).

If you fail to pay your service charges, you would be breaking the terms of your lease agreement and this could result in legal action being taken against you.

Please click here for further information on the legal action process.

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Purchasing the freehold

The right to purchase the freehold of the building is a right which is given in addition to those in the lease.

Groups of leaseholders who satisfy certain conditions (about eligibility and the number of leasehold flats in the building) can get together and purchase  the freehold. See our extending your lease page for more details.

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Repairs and maintenance

We are responsible for maintaining the outside of the block, the structure and the communal areas.

You are responsible for maintaining the inside of your home.

For further information see the Repairs and Major Works section.

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Selling

You can sell your flat whenever you wish, but if you bought your flat under the Right to Buy scheme and then sell it within the discount repayment period (currently five years), you must repay some or the entire discount.

You must also give notice of any sale or (re)mortgage within one month. The new leaseholder must also enter into a Deed of Covenant with the Council to agree to follow the conditions of the lease.

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Subletting

You can sublet your property, but you will have to register it with us and let us know your new correspondence address.

  • You will probably have to get permission from your mortgage lender.
  • You will still be responsible for paying the service charges and you will still be responsible for both the property and the way that your tenants and their family and visitors behave.
  • There are also certain conditions which you have to meet in order to comply with the buildings insurance policy.
  • You will be responsible for landlords duties under the gas safety regulations.

Find further details on our subletting page.

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Statutory rights

You have other rights in addition to those set out in the lease:

  • along with tenants, you have the right to manage your estate or area through a tenant management organisation under the Right to Manage (1994) legislation
  • you can extend the term of your lease
  • groups of leaseholders who satisfy certain conditions can get together and purchase of the freehold. This is also known as ‘collective’ or ‘leasehold’ enfranchisement
  • the right to seek recognition for a tenants' association (RTA).

You also have various legal rights in relation to service charges:

  • They must be fair and reasonable, and you have the right to challenge their reasonableness & the standard of works or services at the First Tier Tribunal.
  • We must consult you before carrying out major works to your block/estate.
  • We must consult you before entering into certain long-term agreements for works/supplies/services with outside contractors.
  • Demands for payment must be within time limits.
  • You are entitled to obtain a summary of the costs on which your service charge is calculated, and to view the accounts, receipts and other documents on which the summary is based.
  • You also have the right to appoint a qualified auditor to undertake a management audit.

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Use of premises

The property can only be used for residential purposes. You cannot:

  • use it for any illegal or immoral purpose
  • hold any sale by auction in the property
  • run a business from the property; nor
  • display outside or in the windows of the property any nameplate, notice, sign or announcement.

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Feedback

Give us feedback with your contact details for a response. Please note: we review comments once a week. Service requests must be made to Customer Services.

Page Last Updated:

28 February 2017