Being a Leaseholder

Leasehold Ownership

The information here is intended to provide leaseholders with a guide to their rights and responsibilities as a leaseholder, and also of our rights and responsibilities as a landlord.

Leaseholders are: 

  • tenants who have bought their flat under statutory “Right To Buy” scheme 
  • those who have bought their homes under shared ownership schemes 
  • those who have purchased their flat on the open market so that the original lease has been assigned to them.

As a leaseholder you have bought the right to live in your property for a fixed number of years. The term of the lease is 125 years from the date the first property in your block was sold. 

The individual lease to a specific property is the governing document which sets out covenants and clauses for both landlord and leaseholders. You should not rely on the website in any disputes that may arise to do with your lease or your position as a leaseholder. In those situations, you should obtain independent legal advice.

Kingston Council aims to provide a leasehold service to the highest standard but living in a leasehold property which may be on an estate is a contractual arrangement and leaseholders must be aware of their responsibilities to the council and also to their neighbours. The Council’s policies and procedures change from time to time, as does the law. We will consult you on any policy changes via the leasehold forum and inform you of any relevant changes in the law as they occur.

For further advice on leasehold ownership you can view Leasehold property on the Gov.uk website.

The Lease Agreement

Your home is a flat or maisonette which is part of a larger building which is divided into individual units. Other flats in the building may be leasehold or may still be rented by council tenants. There will be some common elements such as the roof and there may be other communal areas such as entrance halls and landings or walkways.

The lease agreement describes the leased property as well as the following items and topics:

  • payment of ground rent which is £10 a year throughout the term
  • the responsibilities of Kingston Council for maintaining your flat and the structure and how the costs are apportioned
  • how and when to pay your service charges 
  • repayment of discount if you bought under the Right to Buy scheme and sell within the first five years and arrangements if you wish to sell within the first ten years
  • your responsibilities as leaseholder 
  • general conditions affecting the usage of the flat and the building
  • the grounds on which Kingston Council may terminate the lease by forfeiture
  • insurance provisions 
  • the plan which identifies the flat and the building and any other buildings which are sold with the flat (such as a store).

Your lease is usually held by your mortgage lender for the duration of your mortgage. 

A copy of your lease can be obtained from your mortgage lender, the Land Registry, or from the Council. The Land Registry and the Council will charge a fee for supplying a copy of the lease. 

For free independent legal advice on the terms of your lease we recommend leaseholders contact: Leasehold Advisory Service on 020 7832 2500