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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.
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 the lease document. A Plain English version of your lease is available below: Click Here to download a copy of your Plain English lease.
The Plain English Lease is intended as a guide only. The legal wording in your actual lease would be used in law if there was a disagreement over the terms of your 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) and Newcastle City Council (the Landlord) and Your Homes Newcastle manage your property on behalf of your landlord. It contains similar conditions to the tenancy agreement for our tenants, to make sure that the actions of residents do not cause a nuisance to others or cause damage to the building.
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
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:
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:
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 freeholder 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:
We also must:
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 you live in a flat or maisonette in a block that has one, two or three storeys and where there is no cleaning service, you and your neighbours are jointly responsible for keeping the shared areas clean and tidy.
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.
You must also make sure that you, your family or any visitor to your home does not cause harassment to your neighbours. This includes:
Vandalism is a crime. It costs money to repair damage and remove graffiti. It also makes your estate or your road a less pleasant place to live for everyone.
If the situation is serious you will need to keep a diary recording the nuisance. The housing officer can give you an incident diary.
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 tenant or 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 as it could mean that the person causing the nuisance is evicted from their home or subject to an anti-social behaviour order.
For more information on anti-soocial behavior please click here
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.
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.