• What is a Leaseholder?

    A leaseholder is someone who owns a lease but does not own the land around their home or the building that their home is in. If your home is a flat or maisonette, it is part of a larger building which is divided into individual units. There will usually be another property above, below or next to yours, but still within the same building. Each property is not independent, and shares the roof, the foundations and the entrance halls and stairs of the building. Newcastle City Council owns the land and the building that your home is in and is the Freeholder of your building. They are required to maintain the exterior of the building and any common areas. You must pay towards the costs of managing and maintaining your block, which means that you will be charged for any repairs carried out to the structure or communal areas of your building.

  • What are your responsibilities as a leaseholder?

    You must:

    • pay the service charges, heating charges and major works costs when requested

    • keep your home in good repair and condition and maintain any garden which you are responsible for and ask for landlords consent before carrying out certain works to the property

    • not do anything which might cause damage, be a nuisance or disturbance to other residents in your building, or neighbouring buildings

    • not make any structural alterations or additions unless you have permission, in writing, from us first

    • allow us into your home to carry out repairs to your flat or other parts of the building, or to neighbouring properties

    • not put up a TV aerial or satellite dish outside your home or on the building

    • not use your home for running a business

    • not leave your property empty for more than 30 days

    • not sublet your property

    This is an overview of the lease terms and is for guidance only. We recommend that you make yourself familiar with the full terms and conditions contained within your lease document.

  • What are Your Homes Newcastle’s responsibilities?

    We must:

    •Issue the estimated service charge invoice in advance of the financial year and send you an actual service charge invoice at the end of each financial year

    •Carry out all external and communal repairs and major works and recharge a share of the cost of us doing so to you

    •Arrange the buildings insurance for your property and recharge the premium to you as part of your annual service charge

  • What is the lease?

    The lease is a legally binding contract. When you purchased your flat or maisonette you bought the right to live there for 125 years. If you bought your home on the open market, the seller will have transferred their rights and responsibilities to you under the lease for the rest of its term. The length of the lease reduces over time from the date when it was originally granted.

    The lease sets out the relationship between the landlord and the leaseholder and details each parties rights and obligations. The lease is between you (the Leaseholder/Lessee) and Newcastle City Council (the Landlord/Lessor) and Your Homes Newcastle manage your property on behalf of the landlord. The conditions contained within it are included to make sure that the actions of residents do not cause a nuisance to others or cause damage to the building.

  • Where do I go for advice?

    The Leasehold Advisory Service is funded by the Government and provides free advice to Leaseholders. There is a lot of useful information on their website about owning a Leasehold property which you might find helpful. If you have concerns or issues relating to your property, Your Homes Newcastle has a complaints process where we would fully investigate any issues that you raise with us, but if you are unsatisfied with the outcome, you can approach the Leasehold Advisory Service for advice on the situation.

    They also offer a mediation service which provides a way of resolving a dispute that you might have without the need to go to court or to the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber). You can contact them in the following ways:

    Telephone: 020 7832 2500

    Online: www.lease-advice.org

    In writing:

    Leasehold Advisory Service

    Fleetbank House

    2-6 Salisbury Square

    London

    EC4Y 8JX

  • What is the first tier tribunal?

    The First Tier Tribunal (property chamber), formally known as the leasehold valuation tribunal (LVT), is part of Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service. They are an independent body who can help with disagreements about:

    •insuring the building

    •how much you are being asked to pay for service charges

    •the quality of services you have received.

    At the tribunal, a panel of three people, normally a lawyer, valuer and a layperson, will hear the case. It usually includes an inspection of the property and can take one or two days. Following the hearing, the tribunal will send out its written decision. The decision will either change the amount the leaseholder has to pay, by more or less, or will agree with the charges the leaseholder was asked to pay.

    There is an application fee, which can vary between £300 and £500. The First Tier Tribunal doesn’t have the power to award costs, so if you decide to employ professionals such as surveyors or solicitors to help your case, you will have to cover the cost of their bills yourself.

    You can contact them in the following ways: In writing:

    Residential Property 1st Floor,

    5 New York Street

    Piccadilly Exchange

    Piccadilly Plaza

    Manchester

    M1 4AH

    Telephone: 0161 237 9491

    Website: www.justice.gov.uk/

    Email: rpnorthern@hmcts.gsi.gov.uk

  • What is the freeholder responsible for?

    The freeholder is responsible for a number of different things under the lease terms, however because Your Homes Newcastle are the managing agents on behalf of the leaseholder we will assume these responsibilities on behalf of the freeholder.

    We are responsible for the main structure of the building, the shared parts and any shared services to your building or estate. These will depend on where you live and the type of property in which you live, but may include:

    •Outside walls

    •Inside structural walls

    •Roofs, foundations, timbers, joist beams, chimney stacks, gutters, rainwater and soil pipes

    •Window frames

    •Lifts

    •Door entry systems

    •Estate lighting

    •District heating system

    •Block lighting (entrance halls, stairways etc)

    We also must:

    •Send out annual service charge invoices

    •Arrange the buildings insurance for your property and recharge the premium as part of the annual service charge

    •Carry out all external repairs, maintenance and major works and recharge a share of the cost of this work to you

  • Who is responsible for keeping the shared areas of the block clean and tidy?

    Everyone living in the block has a duty to keep the shared areas of the block clean and use them properly. You pay a share of the cost of maintaining shared areas so if you see someone causing damage to or misusing stairways, landings, parking areas, drying areas, rubbish chutes, security doors and other shared facilities tell us.

    If you can get evidence of who caused the damage we can charge them for it so that none of the cost will fall on you in your service charges.

    If a repair needs doing to one of the shared areas in your block, tell the Repairs Centre. Do not assume that someone else will do it. If the lights are out on the stairs, please report this immediately.

  • I am suffering from noise nuisance what can I do about it?

    You have the right to enjoy your home in peace and quiet, and your neighbours have the same right. It is important to bear in mind that what you do affects your neighbours. So please remember:

    •not to make too much noise, especially at night or early in the morning

    •to help keep the shared areas clean and tidy

    •to take care to keep pets under control

    •to be a good neighbour. If you cause a nuisance or annoy your neighbour you are breaking the terms of your lease agreement.

    You may also be breaking the law. If you have a problem with your neighbour the first thing you should do is talk to them. They may not realise that they are causing you a problem – so be friendly and do not lose your temper.

  • How can Your Homes Newcastle help solve a noise problem?

    If you cannot sort out your problem by talking to your neighbour then you should talk to us. In most cases we will talk to your neighbour about the problem. We can also send a written warning if we feel it is needed and will help the situation.

    If the situation is serious you will need to keep a diary recording the nuisance. Please click here for how to report noise.

    In nuisance cases we usually need these records as evidence if we are to go to court.

    We will always try to take action where there is evidence of a serious nuisance, and where a leaseholder is the victim or the cause of the nuisance.

    It is vital that you record incidents of anti-social behaviour at the time they occur so that the evidence is as accurate as possible. Remember, if you don’t tell us what is happening then it is unlikely we will be able to stop any anti-social behaviour.

    Legal action is the last resort in serious anti-social behaviour cases

    For more serious matters or in emergency situations please contact the Police.

  • Am I allowed to keep a pet within my property?

    If the only way to get into your property is through a communal entrance you are not allowed to keep a cat, dog, or any other animal in your property, except for example, a blind dog. However as long as your pet does not cause a nuisance or excessive noise, we will not take any action against you although specific permission to keep your pet will not be given.

  • Am I responsible for maintaining the garden area?

    If your flat has a garden that has been included within the area that has been leased to you, you are responsible for keeping it tidy. You should not allow rubbish to build up as it may cause a health hazard and encourage mice and other pests.

  • Glossary of leasehold terms

     "the Accessways" means the footpaths and access  areas forming part of the Estate and any footpaths  and access areas and private roads substituted therefore
     "Authorities" means any relevant highway drainage and planning authorities and undertakers or companies responsible for the supply of water gas electricity communication media or similar services
    "Base Rent"means rent of £25 per annum
    "Base RPI Month"means January 2011
    "District Heating System"means the system operated by or on behalf of the Lessor for the supply of heat to the Building of, which the  Demised Premiss forms part and as a communal system of supply of such heat to residential and commercial properties in the vicinity.
    "the Building"                                    means the building known as "The Cedars” shown coloured blue on Plan No. 2 comprising several flats and all structural parts thereof including the roofs gutters rainwater pipe foundations floors all walls bounding individual Dwellings therein and all external parts of the buildings and all service installations not used solely for the purpose of an individual Dwelling therein and all external parts of the buildings and all Service installations not used solely for the purpose of an individual Dwelling.
    "the Car Park"

    means the area shaded brown on Plan No 1 forming part of the Maintained Property within the Estate.

    "the Communal Areas"means all gardens and grounds forming part of the Maintained Property.
     "the Dwellings" means the Properties and the Demised Premises forming the Building or the Estate (as the context permits) and a Dwelling means any one of them
     "Estate Regulations" means any reasonable regulations made by the Lessor from time to time for the proper management and use of the Estate
     "the Insured Risks" means fire lightning aircraft explosion  riot civil commotion earthquake malicious damage storm flood escape of water  oil or liquid petroleum gas from fixed plumbing installation, heating system or domestic appliance impact theft attempted theft glass falling trees branches and aerials subsidence heave landslip  accidental damage to fixed water or heating installations, sanitary ware or underground services, Property Owner's liability and such other risks as the Lessor may reasonably decide from time to time but so far only as such risks (including for the avoidance of doubt those expressly referred to above) remain insurable from time to time in the UK insurance market and at reasonable rates
     "Interest Rate" interest at the base lending rate from time to time of Co-operative Bank pic, or if that  base lending rate stops being used or published then at a comparable commercial rate reasonably determined by the Lessor.
     "The Lessee" includes the person for the time being entitled to the Term and where the Lessee is more than one person all covenants and agreements on the part of the Lessee herein contained shall be deemed to have been made jointly and severally by all such persons constituting the Lessee
     "the Lessee's Proportion" means the proportion of the Maintenance Expenses payable by the Lessee in accordance with the provisions of the Seventh Schedule
     "the Lessor" includes the person for. the time being entitled to the reversion immediately expectant upon the Term
     "the Maintenance Expenses" means the moneys actually expended or reserved for periodical expenditure by or on behalf of the Lessor at all times during the Term in carrying out the obligations specified in the Sixth Schedule
    "the Maintained Property"means those parts of the Estate which are more particularly described in the Second Schedule and the maintenance of which is the responsibility of the lessor
    "Plan No 1" and "Plan No 2"means the plans annexed hereto and so numbered
    "the Properties"means all of the flats within the Estate other than the Demised Premises
    "the Specified Period"means Eighty years from the Commencement Date
    "Rent Payment Dates"means First January in each year
    ''Review Date"1st July 2021 and every tenth anniversary of that date.
    "RPI"means the Retail Prices Index or any official index replacing it.
    "Service Installations"

    means sewers drains channels pipes watercourses gutters mains wires cables conduits aerials tanks apparatus for the supply of cold water electricity

    gas (if any) or telephone or television signals or for the disposal of foul or surface water or other services