Leasing a flat or house

Most flat owners will be leaseholders, even if they also own a share of the freehold. This section explains your rights as a leaseholder and how to settle disputes about service charges, among other things.

It also tells you how to extend your lease or buy the freehold, and who's responsible for arranging and paying for repairs.

Leasehold law explained

Outlines the legal rights and responsibilities leaseholders have. Most flat owners are leaseholders.

Service charges

Information on service charges, which most leaseholders have to pay, as a contribution to maintenance and repair costs.

Ground rent

As a condition of the lease, many leaseholders pay ground rent to the freeholder. The lease should also say when the ground rent can be increased.

Leasehold repairs

Repairs may become complicated if you lease your home rather than owning it outright. Both leaseholders and freeholders have responsibilities.

Extending the lease on a house

Leaseholders of houses will normally have the right to extend the lease by 50 years. But there may be costs involved and a number of things to consider.

Extending the lease on a flat

Most leaseholders have the right to extend the lease on their home for 90 years. It's easier than buying a share of the freehold, but there are rules.

Buying the freehold of a house

Leaseholders of houses normally have to buy the freehold after owing the lease for at least two years, but will have to pay all of the legal fees involved.

Buying a share of the freehold

If you're thinking of buying a share of the freehold of your building find out what you need to know, how the process works and the legal fees involved.

Sale of the freehold to a non-resident

If a freeholder wants to sell the freehold, leaseholders should get the opportunity to buy it first. Buying the freehold can give you more security.

Leasehold valuation tribunals

A Leasehold Valuation Tribunal (LVT) can help to settle certain disputes between freeholders and leaseholders. See how an LVT works and how you can apply.