Leasehold Agreements and Responsibilities

Prior to signing any legal agreement it’s a good idea to know what rights and responsibilities you are agreeing to. Acquiring a leasehold property can be something to look forward to when you really know what you’re doing.

Your leasehold flat is waiting for you, but something is playing on your mind: the lease is approaching 80 years and you are considering extending it before it gets that far. Maybe waiting a little longer before starting the process will be worth it. The decision to extend a lease is good if you want to keep your property on top of the market. Before you get deep into the process, it’s sensible to know what you are signing for.

Knowing what to expect and what is expected from you when acquiring and extending the leasehold brings great peace of mind. It may seem obvious but not only will you be required to maintain the flat in a good condition, but you will have to meet all occupation or utility costs like council tax, electricity and gas on time.

As a leaseholder you will be expected to pay the ground rent every year. Service charges will also be applicable to you for part of the maintenance cost of the building.

However, leaseholders have more rights than you might realise. It’s a good idea to know beforehand what lies ahead and to be aware of some of the issues that are in your favour. Being informed is being forearmed.

Many rights are set out in the legislation but much advice is readily available before consulting your specialist lawyer. Here we give you a sample:

  • get UK contact details for the landlord
  • seek recognition for a tenants’ association (RTA)
  • understand about any service charges and your right to challenge them
  • insist on being consulted about major works and any long term agreements
  • get information about insurance of the property
  • understand about taking over the management of the block (the right to manage or RTM). This normally happens if you are not happy with how the landlord/lady is managing the building maintenance.

If you need to exercise any of your rights, you would be well advised to have some clear information about certain obligations and areas where you feel the need to challenge. Once you have acquired basic know how, seek out the services of a qualified lawyer. He will support you through the process.

The soothing freedom of a little prior knowledge will translate to a worry free lease extension.