Buying, selling or subletting a leasehold property
Becoming a leaseholder
There are two ways you can buy the lease of a
- by buying the lease from the present leaseholder (if the flat
has already been bought under the Right to Buy and is being sold
- you are currently a council tenant and living in a
flat/maisonette subject to certain criteria.
For more information about your Right to Buy
visit Right to
Buy. The Government's
Thinking of buying a council flat leaflet (pdf) also
contains useful information.
In both cases you should get a solicitor to
act for you in buying the lease. If you are buying from the present
leaseholder it is important that you know what service charges are outstanding on the
property so that you can make sure that they are cleared before you
complete the purchase. You may have to pay some charges owed by the
previous leaseholder (unless you are the first leaseholder) if they
are not cleared before the purchase.
Selling your home
You can sell the property at any time. This is
known as assigning the lease. If you bought your home under the
Right to Buy, you may need to repay all or part of the discount you
received should you sell in the early years after your original
Visit Right to
Buy for more information about discount
You must ensure that you make any prospective
purchaser aware of the leasehold nature of the property and of any
rules or conditions which apply.
For more information about selling your
leasehold property please read our
frequently asked questions.
Buying the lease of a Newcastle City Council property
If you are buying one of our
properties you should ask your solicitor to request a
‘Pre-sale enquiry pack' from the vendor’s solicitor.
The information in this pack includes:
- landlord/managing agent details
- lease details
- service charges and ground rent
- buildings insurance
- major and other works
- repairs and maintenance
- landlords permission
- sub-letting the property
- breaches of covenant
- details of notice of transfer and charge
When you become the leaseholder you will be
liable for any outstanding service charges and future liabilities.
You should ensure that you check this information and get legal
advice before purchasing the property.
All new purchases must be registered within
one month. Your solicitor needs to send us the notice of
All notices should be served to:
Head of Legal Services
Newcastle City Council
And sent to:
Your Homes Newcastle
Benton Park Road
Newcastle upon Tyne
The Council’s charges are currently £85 per document. Cheques
should be made payable to Newcastle City Council.
A Deed of Covenant is not required under the
terms of the Lease.
Selling the lease of a Newcastle City Council property
If you are selling your home your purchaser’s
solicitor will request a pre-sale enquiry pack. Our fee for this is
£75. This pack includes all of the information we hold on your
property, if there are any outstanding charges and how your lease
We will issue the pack within 10 days of
receipt of the fee.
Your solicitor must register the change of
ownership within one month.
All outstanding service charges must be
paid before completion of the sale. We cannot update our
records until the change of ownership has been
registered. Failure to do this will result in you still being
liable for any charges against the property.
Subletting/renting your home
You can rent out your home to someone else,
but you will remain responsible for the property. You must tell us
the arrangements and give us an alternative correspondence
address for you as well as details and contact numbers for your
tenants in cases of emergencies.
The insurance company needs to be told of
any changes in your circumstances, otherwise any claim that you
make could be invalid. If you have a mortgage it may be a condition
of your mortgage to get permission to let your home. If your
details have changed please download the form below and post
it or email it back to us. You can find our postal and email
addresses on the Contact
You will still need to pay the service charges
as well as making sure your tenants behave and do not cause a
nuisance to the neighbours.
Under the terms of the Lease the property may be sub-let to a
single person, couple or a family. It must not be sub-let
to separate, unrelated individuals e.g.
students. See Section 17 of the Seventh Schedule
of the Lease:
The property may be sublet to a single person, couple or a
family. It shouldn't be sublet to seperate unrelated individuals,
however, as long as they do not cause a nuisance to the other
neighbours we will not take any action against you if you do sublet
to seperate individuals.
By renting out your home you will become the
landlord of your tenant. You will then be responsible for the
landlord’s duties arising under the Gas Safety (Installation and
Use) Regulations 1998.
If you have sublet your flat and it has any gas appliances in
it, the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 apply to
you. This means that as a landlord you have a duty by law to your
tenants and you must make sure that a gas safety check is carried
out every year and that your appliances are properly
Landlords who breach the gas safety laws and put lives at risk
face tough sentencing in the courts. You can get further
information about this from Gas Safe on 0800 408 5500 or by
Buying the Freehold of your property
In certain circumstances you might be
able to buy the freehold of your property. To be able to do
this all the properties in your block must be purchased from
Newcastle City Council on a leasehold basis and all leaseholders
would have to agree to the purchase. For more information, please
contact Newcastle City Council’s Property Service Department on
0191 232 8520.