Leaseholder Rights and Responsibilities

This page contains information on the details of leases, and the rights and responsibilities of leaseholders.


Details of Leases

A set of keys with a house as a keychain

A lease is a contract between the leaseholder and the Council giving conditional ownership for a fixed period of time. The lease sets out the contractual obligations of the two parties; what the leaseholder is contracted to do and what the landlord is bound to do.

Common terms used in the lease include:

  • Leaseholder or Lessee: The owner of the flat or maisonette
  • Lessor: The Council
  • Demised Premises: The internal shell of the flat or maisonette which you have bought 

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Details of Leasehold Ownership

Leasehold ownership is simply a tenancy, the right to occupation and use of the flat or maisonette for a long period. The term of the lease is usually for 125 years and is fixed at the beginning and will decrease in length year-by-year.  The flat or maisonette can be bought and sold during the term.

When you purchase a flat or maisonette you are buying the right to occupy part of a larger building. The ownership of the flat or maisonette relates to everything within the four walls, including floorboards, plaster to walls and ceilings. This does not usually include the external or structural walls, loft and roof – which are owned by the Council, who is responsible for its maintenance and repair.

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Contractual Rights

These include the right of occupation of the flat for the term of the lease.  In addition, the leaseholder has the right to expect the Council to maintain and repair the building and manage the common areas – that is the parts of the building or grounds not specifically granted to the leaseholder but to which there are rights of access, for example, the entrance hall and stairs.

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Leasehold Property

Leaseholder Responsibilities

As a leaseholder, you must:

  • Pay your annual ground rent (£10 per year)
  • Pay the service charge
  • Abide by the terms and conditions specified in the lease
  • Not make any alterations to the property without first obtaining our agreement
  • Inform us in writing within 1 month that the lease has been sold on
  • Inform us of any change of name or address as soon as possible
  • Keep your flat clean and in good repair
  • Repay discount received under the Right to Buy, if selling within the first 5 years of the lease
  • Not use the flat for a trade or business without our agreement

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Repairs Responsibilities


As a leaseholder, you are responsible for the repairs and maintenance of:

Leaseholder Responsibilities
Structural and Decoration Fittings and Fixtures

Internal Doors

Water, gas and electrical apparatus

Interior Non-Structurally Necessary Walls

Sanitary fittings

Ceilings including Ceiling Battens

Plumbing, pipe work, internal drains, wires

Internal Decoration Including Plastering

Internal fixtures and fittings

Floor coverings including tiles and screeds

Letterboxes, handles, bells, knockers on external doors



The Council is responsible for the repairs and maintenance of:

Council Responsibilities
Structural Fixtures and Fittings

Exterior walls and doors/door frames and any glazing within

Shared main water tanks

Internal structural walls (not including plaster or wall finishes)

External fixtures and fittings (including paths and gates)


Common parts of the building and estate (including communal grounds, TV aerials etc.)


Window frames, fixtures and glazing

Water pipes up to the property


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Leaseholder Engagement

There are a number of ways in which leaseholders can influence Housing policy and procedures.

The most important of which is the Leaseholder Surgery, which is held at least once a year and will give leaseholders the opportunity to discuss any concerns or queries with a leasehold officer on a one-to-one basis.  All leaseholders will receive details of upcoming surgeries.

However, leaseholders are invited to participate in the majority of methods of engagement. Full details of these methods can be found on our Housing Engagement webpage.

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Leaseholder Services
tel: 0115 917 3935