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Leasehold property

This content applies to England & Wales

Position of a person who owns the home on a long lease, and basic rules, rights and charges relating to leasehold.

What is leasehold?

Leaseholders own property for a limited time, and must consider interests and pay charges to the landlord who owns the freehold. 

Terms of a lease

Complex written agreements contain information on a lease and leaseholder rights, with the regulated procedure to change the terms of a lease. 

Buying leasehold property

General points to note in the terms of lease and all variations, including service charges, insurance, and management of the property. 

Rules for extending house leases or buying freehold

Qualifying conditions a leaseholder must meet to buy the freehold or extend the lease, and how a freeholder can prevent such extension or sale. 

Collective enfranchisement

Leaseholders and properties that qualify for collective enfranchisement, which happens when a group of leaseholders buy the freehold to a block of flats. 

Extending leases of flats

Rights, conditions, procedure, and costs for extending the lease on flats, usually on the same terms as the old lease. 

Rights to buy freehold

Freeholder must offer leaseholders of flats the chance to buy the freehold before it is offered to anyone else. 

Rights to manage

Rights of leaseholders in some blocks of flats to form a company to manage the block, to which a landlord or other leaseholders may object. 

Service charges

Service charges are payable by tenants and leaseholders for services, repairs, maintenance, improvements, insurance, or costs of management. 

Rules for service charges

Several statutes prevent landlords from making late demands and control the level of service charges to keep them reasonable. 

Liability for service charges

Tenants must pay service charges, have the right to information about service charges, and may argue for a reduced service charge. 

Service charge demands

Landlord must provide certain information and meet the requirements of both the law and the lease for a lawful service charge demand. 

Payment and protection of service charges

Service charge amounts, methods and frequency of payments, protection of service charge money, and help for leaseholders on a low income. 

Challenging service charges

Circumstances in which it is possible to dispute a service charge and the role of the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber). 

Service charges to recover court costs

Circumstances allowing landlords to pass on the costs of court proceedings to tenants through service charges and possibilities to challenge the amount charged. 

Consultations for major works

Procedures for consulting leaseholders about qualifying works and long-term agreements, effective enforcement by¬†tenants' associations, and sanctions. 

Selling a leasehold property

Assignment of the lease to the purchaser, its effect on the original leaseholder's obligations, and restrictions on assignment. 

Repossession of leasehold property

General conditions for terminating the lease before it expires, property repossession, relief from forfeiture, and advantages of negotiating any disputes early. 

Rights to stay after lease ends

Statutory protection may allow leaseholders to remain in occupation after termination of the lease¬†and depend on the date the lease started and ended. 

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