Introduction to being a leaseholder

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Being a leaseholder

What is a leaseholder?

When you purchased your flat or maisonette under a long lease you bought the right to live in your property for a fixed number of years.

What is a lease?

Your lease is a formal contract between you and St Albans City & District Council. Both you and the Council have a duty by law to keep to this agreement.

The lease is granted to the original leaseholder who can sell that right to someone else. This is known as an "Assignment". The new leaseholder effectively buys all rights and responsibilities of that lease including any outstanding debts or credits.

By signing the lease you and we are accepting the rights and responsibilities described in the lease.
Your lease will have a plan attached showing your property and the block in which it is situated (the block is usually referred to as 'The Building'), together with any garden area and/or shed included with the property. The plan also shows any communal areas that you may be entitled to use within your estate.

Your solicitor or licensed conveyancer should give you a copy of the Lease when you complete the purchase of your leasehold property. St Albans City & District Council will make a charge for supplying a copy of the lease. This charge is currently £25.00.

It is your responsibility to read and understand your lease. You may want to get more detailed advice from a solicitor who specialises in this field.

Please note that there are many variations to St Albans City & District Council's leases and therefore your lease may be different to the lease of your neighbour or another property that the Council owns a freehold interest in.

What are my responsibilities as a leaseholder?

Your lease will set out your full responsibilites but in general you must:

  • Pay your ground rent, service charges, and buildings insurance on time

  • Keep your home in good repair

  • Not to make any structural alterations or additions to your home without our written permission

  • Use the premises only as a private dwelling. You cannot run a business from your home

  • Be responsible for the behaviour of your children, other members of your household and any visitors. You must ensure that neither you nor anyone else causes any form of nuisance or harassment to your neighbours or others on your estate

  • Allow us into your home to carry out any work that is required to the building

  • Insure the contents of your home

  • Give up the property at the end of the lease

What are my rights as a leaseholder?

Your lease will set out your full rights but in general you have the following rights:

  • To live in your property peacefully

  • To be consulted on major works to the building or estate that your flat is in

  • To use your legal rights under current legislation and your rights under the terms and conditions of your lease.

What are the landlord's responsibilities?

St Albans City & District Council is the Landlord to your home.

We are responsible for:

  •  The main structure of the building

  • The communal areas such as the hallway and gardens enjoyed by everyone

  • Shared services to your building or estate

  • Arrange buildings insurance for the block you live

  • Consult with you with regard to major works we carry out
Date of last review: 15 September 2014