Leasehold Management: Frequently asked questions
What is a leaseholder?
A leaseholder is someone who has bought the right to live in their property for a fixed number of years. This is known as the ‘term’ of the lease. The owner of the freehold still has ownership of the external building and structural walls as well as any common parts of the structure.
How long is the term of a lease?
The term of lease for Derby City Council Right to buy leasehold properties is 125 years.
At the end of the term of my lease does the landlord take my property back?
You can apply to have the lease extended.
What is a lease?
A lease is a legal binding contract which explains the rights and responsibilities of the leaseholder and the rights and responsibilities of the landlord.
Who is my landlord?
Derby City Council is your landlord. Derby Homes is the managing agent, acting on behalf of the landlord.
Can I sublet my property?
Yes the lease does allow you to sublet your property.
Do I need to inform Derby Homes that I am subletting my property?
Yes. You must provide Derby Homes with your new address as you will remain responsible for the service charges and ground rent. Your building insurance policy provided by the Council (if applicable) may also need updating to show the property is sublet.
If I sublet my property, who is responsible for my tenant?
When you sublet your property you become your tenant’s landlord and it is your responsibility to ensure that your tenant lives in your property according to the terms of your lease. Derby City Council remains your landlord.
When a property is sold
Can I sell my property?
Yes you can sell your property on the open housing market. If you originally bought the property through the right to buy scheme and you sell the property within five years of the purchase then you may be required to pay back a percentage of the right to buy discount.
Should I inform Derby Homes when the property is sold?
Under the terms of the lease, a notice of transfer must be sent to the landlord notifying them when, and to whom, the lease has been transferred to. The Council will send a copy of the acknowledged Notice of Transfer to Derby Homes. Your solicitors will normally do this for you.
When the lease transfers to someone else, does the term of the lease start again?
No. The buyer purchases the remaining term of the lease for how many years are left of the original 125 years.
What repairs do Derby Homes carry out?
We are responsible for the repairs and maintenance of the external structure of the main building and any internal or external common areas. These are called communal repairs.
Is Derby Homes responsible for repairs or maintenance within my property?
No. You are responsible for the repairs and maintenance within your own property. Derby Homes does offer leaseholder’s an Emergency Repair Scheme.
How do I use the Emergency Repairs Scheme?
There is a £30 membership fee to join the scheme. The membership fee is refundable. When you report an emergency repair the repair can be logged immediately and you will be recharged once the work has been completed.
If I cannot be contacted in the event of a serious emergency, can Derby Homes gain access to my property?
Yes, under the terms of the lease, we can gain entry to your property in the case of an emergency. We will charge you for any work we carry out that we feel is necessary.
Service charges, ground rent and payments
Do I pay rent?
You will pay £10 ground rent. This is a fixed annual charge that is set by the terms of the lease.
When is the Ground Rent due?
The ground rent is due on the 1 April each year.
Why do I pay service charges?
The landlord is responsible for repairing and maintaining the main building and any internal or external common areas. Service charges are simply the way you pay your share of the landlord’s costs for providing these services. The landlord may carry out these services themselves or appoint an external contractor on their behalf.
What services will I pay for?
The services you will pay for will depend on the type of property you live in. A maisonette with no internal communal areas and its own garden will receive fewer services than a flat in a multi storey block of flats that has both internal and external common areas. Some of the services we currently charge for include:
- Building Insurance
- Communal Cleaning
- Grounds Maintenance
- Door Entry Systems
- Communal Lighting
- Communal TV Aerial
- Closed Circuit Television (CCTV)
- Concierge and Communal repairs.
Is the cost of the service charges a set annual fee?
No. The service charges are variable and can either increase or decrease depending on the costs of a service.
Will I receive invoices for the service charges and ground rent?
No. Since 2009, each leaseholder has their own service charge account. You will receive a notice or statement before the charges are added to your account.
How can I pay my service charges and ground rent?
You can choose to pay your service charges and ground rent by the following methods:
- Direct Debit (monthly or quarterly payments)
- Internet (go to http://www.derby.gov.uk/pay-it/)
- Paypoint (at any outlet which displays the Pay Point symbol)
- Post Office (any Post Office)
- Telephone (call 01332 888777)
- Derby City Council House
- Post – Cheques only can be posted to Rental Control
When will I receive my service charge statement?
We issue an Estimated Service Charge Statement before 1 April for the forthcoming year (every financial year, from 1 April to the 31 March). The estimated service charge is applied to your account on 1 April.
At the end of the service charge period, we prepare an Actual Service Charge Statement (within six months). Before 1 October each year, we will inform you what the actual costs were for providing services over the last year.
The difference between the estimated and actual costs is then added to your service charge account as either a credit or debit adjustment.
When do I pay my service charges?
You pay your annual estimated service charges quarterly on 1 April, 1 July, 1 October and 1 January.
If a debit adjustment is added to your account at the end of the service charge period this would be due on 1 October.
Can I make any alterations to my property?
You must seek the permission of the landlord before making any alterations to your property. You must put your proposed alterations in writing, attaching any available specifications and send them to the Leasehold manager. If the landlord agrees to the proposed alterations you will be sent a permit to allow the works to be completed.
Do I have to pay for a replacement key fob?
Yes. If you have lost a key fob or need an extra one, you will have to pay. To order a key fob, contact the Leasehold Manager.
My key fob is faulty will I have to pay for a new one?
No, if the key fob is faulty, we will replace it free of charge.