Leasehold homes: responsibilities for repairs

Leaseholder responsibility for repairs

The leaseholder is usually responsible for repairs inside their flat.

This includes:

  • internal plumbing and wiring

  • plasterwork and floorboards

  • paintwork and decoration

  • furniture and appliances

  • wear and tear

Freeholder responsibility for repairs

If you live in a flat, the freeholder is usually responsible for repairs to:

  • the building's structure, including the roof and cladding

  • shared parts, such as lifts and communal stairways

The freeholder has to consult leaseholders before carrying out any work that will cost each leaseholder more than:

  • £250 in total

  • £100 per year, with work taking over a year to do

You are responsible for all repairs if you live in a leasehold house. Check your lease agreement for details about who is responsible for shared spaces like driveways and communal gardens.

How to report repair problems to the freeholder

Most freeholders do not have to check regularly for repairs.

Write to your freeholder as soon as there are any problems:

  • give details of the repairs needed

  • tell the freeholder how urgent the work is and why

  • date your letter and keep a copy

If the freeholder refuses to do repairs

Get advice from LEASE if your freeholder won't do repairs. You may be able to take the freeholder to court.

You can also report dangerous conditions to your council's environmental health department.

If the freeholder is a council or housing association, you could make a formal complaint.

Disrepair in neighbouring properties

Your neighbour might have to pay for damage to your home caused by problems in their property.

If your neighbours are tenants, their landlord is usually responsible.

If you cannot sort things out with your neighbour, talk to your freeholder. Sometimes damage from neighbouring properties is covered by the freeholder’s buildings insurance.

You may have to try legal action. You could apply for an injunction to force your neighbour to deal with the problem.

You could also make a money claim to recover the cost of repairs you’ve had to pay for yourself.

Help and legal advice

Contact LEASE if you have concerns or if your lease does not say who is responsible for a repair.

Use the Law Society website to find a solicitor.

Last updated: 21 January 2022

If you need to talk to someone, we'll do our best to help

Get help