Types of Lease
Your lease describes your block and estate. By
signing the lease, you agree to pay a share of the cost of
maintaining and improving them. The lease also sets out your
rights and duties, and ours. It is important that you
understand these. There is more information about your rights
in the booklet ‘The Management of Flats – the rights and duties of
landlords and tenants’, which you can get from the Right to Buy and
Leasehold Services team. (‘Tenants’ also means
The Council has two main types of lease
‘Green’ maisonette leases
(Copies of this type of lease that we send to
tenants before they buy are normally printed on green paper).
A ‘green’ lease applies mainly to houses that
have been converted into two flats – one upstairs and one
As well as ground rent and buildings
insurance, you must also pay a service charge for electricity that
is used in any shared areas (if this applies to your flat) and
repairs to shared areas such as the roof, entrance door and so on.
You must also pay a management fee for us to supervise the services
and repairs. The costs are normally divided equally between the two
flats involved unless they are very different in size.
We do not normally carry out routine services
to flats sold on this type of lease except possibly to any shared
lighting. Because of this, we do not estimate service charges in
advance. We only charge you when we know the actual costs. At the
end of each financial year we check to see whether any repairs or
improvements were carried out to your ‘block’. We also find out how
much electricity has been used in shared areas. Then we charge you
your share of the cost. We will send you details of these costs
with your insurance bill in September.
If your property was sold on a ‘green lease’
the lease does not specify who is responsible for window frames, so
we allow leaseholders of these properties to take responsibility
for them. We will only repair, maintain or replace windows to green
lease properties at the leaseholders expense, if the leaseholder
fails to do so.
‘White’ block leases
We sell most Council flats on this type of
lease. It applies to blocks with more than two flats in them. You
must pay a regular service charge in advance for repairs and
services we provide to the flat, the block or the estate. You must
also pay a management fee for us to supervise services, deal with
enquiries and manage the account.
At the start of each financial year (1 April),
we will send you an estimate of how much we think it will cost to
provide services such as caretaking and cleaning and day-to-day
repairs to your block and estate for the coming financial year. We
will base your service charge bills on that estimate. So, four
times a year (just before 1 April, 1 July, 1 October and 1 January)
we will send you a bill for one quarter of the estimated charges
for the full year.
At the end of each financial year, we work out
how much it has actually cost us to provide services to your block
and estate, and compare it with what you have been charged. Then,
in September we send you a ‘Schedule of Service Charges’. This is a
statement showing the actual costs for each service. It lists the
cost of each service separately and also your share of the total
cost. If we have charged you too much over the year, we will show
your credit on the October invoice. If we have not charged you
enough, we will ask you to pay more.
Your share of the costs covers the charges for
your flat, the block it is in and the estate it is on.
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