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Leaseholders

​When you buy a flat or maisonette from us through the Right To Buy scheme, you buy a lease on the property, usually for 125 years. This means that you buy the inside of the flat and makes you a leaseholder.

The building that the flat is in is still owned by us. As we own the block, or exterior of your flat, we are responsible for the upkeep of it and have a legal obligation as the Landlord to provide a management service to the leaseholders which includes keeping the block clean. This service is paid for by leaseholders who are charged an annual service charge when they buy the property.

Leaseholders are also charged for improvements and other major works to the block and for buildings insurance.

Our leaseholder guide provides information about being a leaseholder, and your rights and responsibilities 

Important information is available below, including who to contact for various leaseholder services. ​

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Responsibilities

Click to expandAsbestos information for Leaseholders

What is asbestos?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous mineral which was used as a building material and in different building products between the 1950s up to the 1990s.


Is asbestos dangerous?

It is unlikely that the levels of asbestos found in our properties will be harmful, but if you are planning any DIY or you have damaged a material which you believe may contain asbestos, you should ask for advice from the Housing Leeds Asbestos Team to find out what to do next. Remember, as a lease holder you are responsible for the interior of your property. Please see our Asbestos guidance booklet (PDF 754KB) for further information and advice. (Leaseholder information is on page 10).


What about asbestos in my property?

Asbestos is safe unless it is disturbed and fibres are released. Housing Leeds aims to maintain the communal areas of your building well and any asbestos containing materials are unlikely to need attention. Materials that are in a good condition are unlikely to pose any significant risk to your health. However, you could be at risk when carrying out DIY or minor building repairs without following guidelines. Remember, as a lease holder you are responsible for the interior of your property. Please consult our DIY and asbestos fact sheet (PDF 258KB) for more information. (Please note this fact sheet has been designed for Council tenants and some information is not applicable to leaseholders).


What should I do if I want to carry out DIY in my home?

Permission must be obtained from the Housing Manager for all DIY and minor building works been undertaken that will disturb the fabric of the property; this is a requirement under your leaseholder agreement Section 7.1 (vi) and could result in recharges if no permission has been granted.


What if I find asbestos in my home?

If you think that asbestos may be present contact the Housing Leeds Asbestos Team on (0113) 3781123, 3781118 or 3781228 for advice on how you can proceed in finding out if asbestos is present. Remember that there are are prohibitions on making any alterations to the property without the prior permission of the Council: Section 7.2 'Your responsibilities as a leaseholder' in the Leaseholder guide (PDF 1MB).

Click to expandMulti-storey living

Living in a multi-storey flat can be different to living in a house or a low rise flat.  Other people are living all around you and lots of people are using the same communal areas and facilities.  

Important information for residents of multi-storey flats is available on the link below.   ​

Multi-storey living further information

Click to expandInsurance

As a leaseholder you are responsible for arranging your own home contents insurance to cover the items in the flat or maisonette and for making any claims for damages to the contents.

You do not need to take out any additional Buildings Insurance. The Council is responsible for arranging the building insurance cover for your flat.  This is to ensure that there is adequate cover for the block in the event of any accident requiring a claim to be made. 

Claims to the internal structure of the leasehold flat are handled by the Davies Group on behalf of OCASO.

Leaseholders are able to make a claim by calling the claim line on tel 03448 562 032 quoting the policy reference 267957.

The Davies Group will guide leaseholders through the claims process. This will include advising on obtaining quotes/estimates for work and how payments will be made.

Damage to communal areas is covered by a separate policy that Leeds City Council has with Zurich, leaseholders cannot make a claim for damage to the communal area this is done by the insurance officer based at 3rd Floor West. Civic Hall. Leeds LS1 1JF. ​​​​

Click to expandReporting repairs to communal areas and the structure of the block

Please remember that as a leaseholder you are responsible for maintaining and replacing all internal fixtures, fittings and decorations inside your property.

Non-urgent repairs to communal areas and the structure of the block can be reported via our online repair reporting system 
You can also report a non-urgent repair by: telephone 0800 188 4000 or by visiting your local housing office or one stop centre

Communal and external repairs works carried out by the council include:

  • Roofs, drains, gutters and pipes.
  • Balconies
  • External Entrance Door. 
  • Window frames and sills.  (but not the glass)
  • Shared paths and steps.
  • Communal stairs and landings.
  • Chimneys and chimney stacks.
  • Outbuildings.
  • Chimneys and chimney stacks.
  • Foundations
  • External and Internal structural walls (but not the plaster). 
  • Gas Safety Flue Checks (unless you have a private arrangement for the check and you provide a copy annually to the council as landlord)

Installations, fixtures and fittings
  • Lifts
  • Communal heating systems
  • Shared water pipes, water tanks, gas pipes and electrical wiring
  • Light fittings in shared areas
  • Controlled door-entry systems
  • Decorations in shared/communal areas.

Click to expandLeasehold financial and legal matters

Financial and legal matters regarding leasehold properties are handled by the council’s Home Ownership team. 

You can contact them by:

Telephone:  0113 2476401

Matters handled by the Home Ownership Team include

 

  • Sales, correspondence with purchasers & solicitors.
  • Building Insurance
  • Gas safety certificates 
  • Gas safety regulations
  • Ground rent.
  • Annual Service Charges.
  • Collection of charges for services, repairs, improvements.
  • Invoicing.
  • Payments and arrangements.
  • Benefit Advice.
  • Buying back the property. 
  • Loans.
  • Liaison with External Debt Recovery Agents.
  • Current Legislation. 
  • Tribunals and Court Action.

 

Important

If you are having difficulty paying your service charges, you should contact the Home Ownership team as soon as possible to discuss the options available. 

If legal action is required you could lose the lease and lose your home.

 

For large bills, such as major repairs, the Council may be able to help you with other means to pay over a longer period of time than usually allowed. There are restrictions on these forms of help and interest may be added to the amount you owe. ​

Click to expandLeaseholder consultation and feedback

We have dedicated officers who are responsible for leaseholder consultation and developing leaseholder services.

Janet Miller and or Kirsty Heald can be contacted on 0113 3784185.

If you would like to comment on leaseholder services that you have received from the council, or would like to attend a leaseholder forum contact: hlleasehold@leeds.gov.uk ​​​

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