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Derby Homes manages leasehold properties on behalf of Derby City Council. Leaseholders are customers who have taken up the option through the Right to Buy Scheme to purchase their property, or they may have bought their flat on the open market from former tenants who have sold their flat on. The leasehold properties that we manage are mainly flats and maisonettes.
What is a leaseholder?
As a leaseholder you have bought the right to live in your property for a fixed number of years –usually 125 years – and the flat can be sold during that time.
The ownership of the flat usually relates to everything within the four walls of the flat including floorboards, plaster to walls and ceilings and windows, but it does not include the external structural walls.
Derby City Council owns the structure and common parts of the building and the land it stands on.
The Council is responsible for looking after the structure and common areas. As a leaseholder, however you may have to pay for your share of the Council’s costs of maintaining and providing these services to the block.
When you purchase a leasehold flat you sign a contract called a lease. The lease explains your rights and responsibilities and the rights and responsibilities of your landlord. You are the Leaseholder and Derby City Council is the landlord.
The lease is a relationship between a landlord (Derby City Council) and a tenant or a leaseholder (the individual). It deals with the legal rights and obligations that arise between two people when they enter into an agreement (the lease), which relates to land or property, or both. It is a legally binding document between the two parties. Most leases are held for a term of 125 years.
You should get a solicitor to look at this and explain what it says when you buy the property, and ask to keep a copy. If you have a mortgage then your lender will keep the original lease. Not all leases are the same. Your own lease will give you details that apply to you and your home.
These are the terms of your Lease that you have agreed to. You should refer to your Lease for full details or consult your solicitor.
The main covenants are that you must:
- Pay Ground Rent of £10.00 per annum and your annual Service Charges
- Pay Council Tax for your home
- Pay all gas and electricity bills and water supply and sewerage payments
- Keep in good repair and condition, and in a good state of decoration, all fittings and fixtures. This doesn’t include any items of repair to the exterior of the building for which will be included in your annual service charges.
Under the terms of your Lease you must not:
- Do anything that may be a nuisance or inconvenience to the Council or your neighbours
- Use your home for any trade profession or business
- Use your home for any illegal or immoral, improper purposes
- Carry out any structural alteration to your home without first obtaining the Council’s written consent
- Park any vehicle, caravan or boat so as to cause an inconvenience to your neighbours
- Fix any external television aerial or satellite dish without prior approval of the Council
If you purchased through the Right to Buy Scheme the terms of your Lease should not be confused with the Conditions of Derby City Council’s tenancy agreement that you may have had prior to your home purchase.