Adur Homes' Leasehold Team

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Information for Leaseholders

All of Adur's leasehold flats were originally part of the housing stock and were occupied by Council tenants. Over 500 of these flats have now been bought by Council tenants under the 'Right to Buy' provisions and are now owned leasehold. These flats may still be owned by the original Right to Buy purchaser, or may have been sold subsequently on the open market.

The Leasehold Team is here to provide advice and assistance to all of Adur District Council's leaseholders. The service also provides advice and assistance to potential leaseholders, that is,  Council tenants who are buying through the Right to Buy provisions, and prospective purchasers of one of Adur's leasehold flats who are buying on the open market.

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What is leasehold?

Leasehold ownership is simply a long tenancy - the right to occupy the flat for the term of the lease. The flat can be bought and sold throughout the term of the lease.

Leasehold flats can be in purpose-built blocks, in converted houses, or above commercial premises.

Ownership of the flat relates to everything within the four walls of the flat, including floorboards and plaster to the walls and ceilings, but does not include the external or structural walls.

The structure and common parts of the building, and the land that it stands on is owned by Adur District Council.

Adur District Council as landlord is responsible for maintenance and repair of the building.

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What is a lease?

A lease is a contract between the leaseholder and the landlord giving ownership of the flat for a fixed period of time. Adur's leases are generally for a period of 125 years from the date of the first sale of a property in the building. 

The lease sets out the obligations of the two parties: what the leaseholder has agreed to do, and what the landlord is bound to do.

As a leaseholder you will have to pay ground rent, and a service charge, which is your contribution towards the costs of maintaining and managing the building. You will also have to keep a number of conditions on the use and occupation of the flat which are set out in the lease.

There is more detailed information about the lease and living in a leasehold property in the Leaseholders' Handbook:

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What are leaseholder's rights ...

Leaseholders have the right to expect the landlord to maintain and repair the structure of the building, and to manage the common parts.

Leaseholders have a right to access other parts of the building and other flats on reasonable notice in order to carry out any repairs to their own flat for which they are responsible.

What are leaseholder's responsibilities ...

Primarily to keep the inside of your flat in good order including: any service pipes or cables that only serve your flat, individual front/back doors including frames, internal plumbing, internal electrics, window and door furniture, water tanks, and decorative finishes.

To behave in a neighbourly manner, and not to do certain things without the landlord's consent, for example,  make alterations.

To allow the Council access to your flat for example to trace a fault or effect a repair, usually upon reasonable notice, but immediately in an emergency situation.

To pay ground rent, and a proportionate contribution to the costs of maintaining, repairing  and managing the building.

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And what are the Council's responsibilities?

The landlord is responsible for managing and maintaining the structure of the building, the exterior and common areas (entrance halls and staircases, etc), and for collecting the contributions towards the costs from leaseholders.

The landlord is also responsible for the insurance of the building and common parts, and has the right to recover a contribution towards the premium through a service charge.

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What other rights do leaseholders have?

Information

The landlord must provide its name and address within the UK which must be stated on every demand for service charges.

Consultation on major works

Where the landlord is planning to carry out major works to the building which will cost in excess of £250.00 per flat, it must first undertake a consultation procedure with leaseholders. If the landlord fails to consult it may not be able to recover all of the costs.

Consultation on long-term agreements

The landlord cannot enter into agreements or contracts over 12 months where the cost to any leaseholder will be more than £100 annually without first consulting the leaseholders. If the landlord fails to consult it may not be able to recover all of the costs.

Challenging service charges

Leaseholders can apply to the First-Tier Tribunal to seek a determination of the reasonableness of the charges, whether already paid or not.

Challenging administration charges

Leaseholders can apply to the First-Tier Tribunal to seek a determination of the reasonableness of other charges arising from the lease in addition to the service charge. For example, fees for providing information on resale.

Extending a lease

An individual leaseholder who satisfies certain conditions has a right to extend the lease, with a price to be agreed between the parties, or set by the First-Tier Tribunal.

Buying the freehold

Groups of leaseholders who satisfy certain conditions can get together and purchase the freehold of their building collectively, again with the price being agreed between the parties, or set by the First-Tier Tribunal.

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Who can I contact?

You can contact the Leasehold Team  - see the contact details in the right hand column.

You can also obtain impartial general advice and useful information on leasehold issues from:

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Contact Details
Need assistance? Get in touch:

Page last updated: 06 February 2020