Important update: fire safety responsibilities of leaseholders
In response to recent online complaints regarding information sent to council housing tenants, leaseholders and shared owners advising them of their fire safety responsibilities, we have provided further explanation about our approach.
Read our response.
Who is a leaseholder?
A leaseholder is someone who has bought a flat or a maisonette in a council block. At the same time, the property buyer would also buy a leasehold interest and the council keeps the freehold interest.
As freeholder, the council owns the land on which the property is built and charges a ground rent as part of your service charges.
About leaseholder service charges
Service charges are payments by the leaseholder to us, the landlord, for all services provided.
The whole service charge consists of a ground rent and management charge. There may also be charges for maintenance and repairs to communal facilities and areas as well as, lighting and heating of communal areas and cleaning and landscaping (grounds maintenance) costs. We require all leaseholders to pay a reasonable amount towards these costs.
Many of our council housing blocks are home to both tenants and leaseholders. As a leaseholder, you are not charged for the cost of repairs to tenants’ homes.
You are responsible for paying your share of our costs for repairing the exterior and communal areas. The actual amount you pay will change each year.
Invoices are produced annually and are issued during August. The service charges cover the period of the financial year from the previous April to the end of the following March.
Service charge payments are due within one month of the invoice date. To help you budget, we allow payment via instalments. All instalments must be complete before the end of May.
Leaseholder service charges can be paid in different ways.
When making a payment, please have your payment reference number available. This can be found on any invoice or letter we have sent you.
If you do not know your reference number, please phone our rents team on 0300 373 0373 and select ‘option 3’.
Pay by phone
To pay by phone, call 0300 373 0373 and select ‘option 3’.
Pay instalments by standing order
If you wish to pay your service charge via instalments, please contact our income collection who can advise you on how much to pay for each instalment and also send you a standing order form.
To activate the standing order, you will need to return the completed form to your bank.
All instalments must be complete before the end of May.
Please note: if you missed an arranged monthly payment, you will be charged immediately for the full service charge.
As per the terms of your lease, most leaseholders are responsible for any day to day repairs that are needed within your property.
Report a repair within a communal area
If you notice something that needs to be repaired in one of the communal areas, such as the stairway, halls, or bin stores, these can be reported in the same way as a council tenant.
Phone: 0300 373 0373 and select ‘option 1’
Leaseholder major works
Major works are usually large one-off projects designed to extend and improve the life of your building, such as replacement windows or a replacement lift.
These types of major works may be payable under the terms of your lease. If you are liable to contribute towards the costs, you will be sent a letter with a Section 20 Notice detailing the works and the amount that you are required to pay.
We understand that major works can cost a lot of money. To assist, we provide several payment option plans. For more information on repayment options, please contact the income recovery team.
Phone: 0300 373 0373 and select option 3
If you are unsure of your rights regarding major works, or any aspect of being or becoming a leaseholder, you should contact the government run Leaseholder Advisory Service.