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Adur Homes - Leaseholders
What is the Adur leasehold administrative service?

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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 460 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 subsequently been sold, and now may be owned by any member of the public.

The Leasehold Administration Service is here to provide advice and assistance to all of Adur's leaseholders. The service also provides advice and assistance to potential leaseholders, i.e. Council tenants living in flats and buying through the right to buy provisions, and prospective purchasers of one of Adur's leasehold flats.

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What is leasehold?

Leasehold ownership is simply a long tenancy - the right to occupation and use of the flat for the term of the lease.

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

The flat can be brought and sold throughout the term of the lease.

The value of a flat is likely to diminish significantly as the term of the lease nears expiry.

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.

The lease is an important document and leaseholders should ensure that they have a copy of their lease, and that they understand it. Leaseholders should have discussed the terms and conditions of the lease with their solicitor when they bought the flat. Some former Council tenants will have taken the advice and opportunity given during their Right to Buy application to discuss the terms and conditions of the lease with the Leasehold Properties Administrator.

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.

The leaseholder will have to pay ground rent, and a contribution towards the costs of maintaining and managing the building. The leaseholder will also have to keep a number of conditions on the use and occupation of the flat.

It is difficult to change the conditions of the lease after you buy, so make sure you understand your lease before you buy.

Read the lease - understand your rights and responsibilities.

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What are leaseholder's rights ...

Leaseholders have the right to peaceable occupation of the flat for the term of the lease, this is also known as 'quiet enjoyment'.

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

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, e.g. 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 and managing the building.

Read the lease ...

  • The Fifth Schedule of the Lease contains 23 responsibilities for leaseholders
  • The Sixth Schedule of the Lease contains a further 13 responsibilities for leaseholders!

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And 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. Leaseholders can demand summaries of service charges, details of the insurance cover and have the right to inspect account and other documents.

Consultation on major works

The landlord cannot carry out major works to the building (costing in excess of £250 per flat) without first consulting the leaseholders in the proper fashion. If the landlord fails to consult it may not be able recover all costs.

Consultation on long-term agreements

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

Challenging service charges

Leaseholders can apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to seek a determination of the reasonableness of the charges, whether already paid or not.

Challenging administration charges

Leaseholders can apply to the Leasehold Valuation 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 can demand a new lease from the landlord, with a price to be agreed between the parties, or set by the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal.

Buying the freehold

Groups of leaseholders who satisfy certain conditions can get together and enforce the purchase of the freehold, again with the price being agreed between the parties, or set by the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal.

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Who can I contact?

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

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

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