What is a lease?
A lease is a legal agreement or contract between you and the person who owns the land and the building your home is in. The lease sets out both parties’ rights and responsibilities, this includes if you want to sell (assign) your lease, alter your home, or sublet it.
Your lease is a type of tenancy that allows you to live in your home for a set period of time, usually 125 years, starting from when the first property in your building was sold. The set period of time is known as the lease ‘term’.
If you bought your home on the open market, the seller will have transferred the rights and responsibilities to you under the lease for the rest of its term. There are a small number of properties where the Council do not own the freehold of the building. In these cases the lease between you and the council is known as the underlease, but it works in almost the same way as if the Council did own the freehold.
What is Partners responsible for?
Your lease sets out the services Partners provides on behalf of the Council, and includes how Partners can recover the cost of those services through service charges.
What if the terms of the lease are broken?
Partners are responsible for ensuring the Council meets its obligations under the terms of the lease.
If we think you have breached (broken) the terms of your lease agreement we will contact you; for example, if you are behind with your service-charge payments or have made an alteration to your home without our consent. If you do not put things right, we will take further action. As a last resort we will take legal action, which could lead to you losing your home without any financial compensation.
How to get a copy of your lease
The Land Registry will provide you with a copy of your lease for a small fee.
Or you can get a copy from us for a fee of £25. Please phone us to make a payment over the phone by debit or credit card or make cheques payable to Hyde Housing Association.
As your lease is a type of tenancy, you have to pay rent for the ground your property is built on. This is known as ground rent and is a fixed amount of £10 every year for most properties.
Your rights and responsibilities
As a leaseholder you have the right to live peacefully in your home. In return, you must meet the obligations of your lease. These include but are not limited to:
- Paying the ground rent, insurance premium and all service charges due, including your share of the costs of major repairs done to your building.
- Keeping your home in good and substantial repair as outlined within the terms of your lease. This includes repairing, renewing or replacing all the fittings, fixtures and services to your home
- Not making any alterations or additions to your home until you have our written permission. This includes moving or removing internal walls. See the section ‘Alterations and improvements’ for more information.
- Not causing a nuisance or annoyance to your neighbours. Not harassing or causing offence to others, including Partners staff.
- Using your home only as a single dwelling, private residence only.
- Informing Partners if you plan to transfer the lease or sublet your home.
- Allowing us access to communal areas within your property to complete repairs and major works that may be required.
- Allowing us into your home to do repairs to your home that are your responsibility, if you have not done them yourself within a reasonable time. We will charge you (recharge) the full cost of such work, including VAT and any administration costs.
- Being responsible for any water leaks from your property.
- Not putting up a TV aerial or satellite dish outside your flat or on the building without our permission.
- Not using your home for running a business.
- Not using your home for immoral or illegal purposes.
You are responsible for looking after everything that is inside your home or that relates only to your home.
- inside walls that are not part of the main structure (e.g. dividing walls) and plaster work
- ceilings and floorboards or flooring, but not ceiling or floor joists (beams)
decoration and general repairs to the inside your home
- doors and door frames (including your own entrance door to your home)
- window glass (but not window frames), toilet, sink and bath fixtures and fittings
- tanks, pipes, plumbing, wiring and drains supplying water, gas and electricity servicing solely your property
- individual central-heating and hot-water systems and radiators individual private garden area (if you have one).
What property do you own?
The lease plan shows the property you own, which is known as the ‘demised premises’. The plan also shows where your home is in the building and whether your property includes a private or communal garden.
Usually, the space inside the roof is not included in your property, even if access to it is only through your home. The same applies to any flat roof surface on the building.
Responsibilities not covered by your lease
There are other charges and services for your home that are not conditions of your lease but are still your responsibility. These include:
- contents insurance
- gas, water and electricity charges Council Tax
- residents’ parking charges
- garage or parking-space rent, if you rent these from the Council.
Partners’ rights and responsibilities
Partners are responsible for the main structure and exterior of the building, the shared parts and any shared services to your building. These will depend on the type of property you live in, but will include:
- external walls and inside structural walls roof, foundations, timbers, joists (beams), chimney stacks, drains and guttering
- window frames
- common parts, including shared entrance hallways, staircases and landings
- boundary walls, fences and footpaths
- communal electrical and mechanical services to the building, such as entry phones and communal lighting.
Partners, as agents for the Council, have the right to access your home to do inspections or repairs. We must do this at a reasonable time and give reasonable notice (48 hours’ notice in writing). In an emergency we may need immediate access, and if we can’t contact you we may have to force entry or get a court order allowing us access (or both).