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Home > Housing > Leaseholders > Being a leaseholder and the lease

Being a leaseholder and the lease

When you buy a flat or maisonette from us, they are usually sold on a long lease of 125 years. We own the land and the building, and will normally remain the landlord.

Your lease gives you the right to live in the property for the term of the lease, but you may sell your property during that time.

About the lease

When you buy a flat or maisonette from the council you buy a leasehold interest in your home. We continue to own the freehold. Your lease will usually be for 125 years from the date the first lease in your block was granted.

Your lease is a complicated legal document - we cannot give a precise interpretation of the meaning of the lease because we have used various leases since the right to buy began in 1980.

You should therefore read your own lease for information about your particular situation and consider seeking further legal advice.

The lease describes the property you own, and the plan attached to your lease shows the areas that are included in your home. If your home is on an estate, this will also be defined in the lease and shown on the plan.

Landlord responsibilities 

We are responsible for the main structure of the building, the shared parts and any shared services to your building or estate.

Depending on your property this may include:

  • window frames
  • lifts
  • lofts
  • door-entry systems
  • caretaking
  • grounds maintenance
  • estate lighting
  • block lighting

We will also:

  • arrange insurance for the block
  • consult you before commencing any major work to you block

Your responsibilities 

Your full responsibilities as a leaseholder will be set out in your lease.

You are responsible for:

  • looking after everything inside your home or relating only to your home
  • insuring the contents of your home
  • paying all charges due for services, repairs, improvements, insurance and ground rent
  • keeping your home in good repair - including decoration, doors and door frames, inside walls, plasterwork, ceilings, floorboards and flooring
  • the behaviour of your children, other members of your household and any visitors
  • ensuring that neither you nor anyone else causes any form of nuisance or harassment to your neighbours or others on your estate
  • telling us if you sublet your property
  • arranging for your gas appliances to be serviced at least once a year

You must not:

  • make any structural alterations or additions to your home without our written permission