Leasehold rights & responsibilities
In purchasing a leasehold property, you enter into a lease agreement. This lease is a witnessed legal document that entitles you the buyer (called the “lessee”) to live in a property for a set number of years. The terms of the lease fix the rights and obligations of both you and Manchester City Council. These rights and obligations cannot be changed without the agreement of both parties i.e. you and Manchester City Council or by an Act of Parliament.
When you make the purchase, you buy a lease for a set number of years, usually 99 or 125. You should remember that when buying a property on a leasehold basis you do not own the bricks and mortar or the land that they stand upon. You buy the right to live in the property for a fixed period of time. The land and buildings remain in the ownership of the freeholder. The solicitor who acted for you in the purchase should have explained in detail the differences between leasehold and freehold.
Briefly, the lease requires you to:
_ To pay service charge;
_ To pay all outgoings on the property such as council tax, water charges, gas, electricity;
_ To keep the interior of the property in good repair and decoration
_ Not to carry out alterations without our prior written consent—
_ To allow access S4B staff and contractors to the property;
_ To observe our rules and regulations that we set concerning the day-to-day running of the development;
_ Not to cause anti-social behaviour at the development.
_ For flat owners, who share a communal entrance, they are not to keep pets. Although, if you are unsure please contact your designated Community Support Officer.
_ Not to use your property for anything other than a private residence
The lease requires us:
_ To maintain and keep in repair the structure of the property, external woodwork, services and drains (which serve more than one flat), internal communal areas and external items such as boundary walls, drives, paths etc.,
_ To clean corridors and stairs (if the scheme contains them);
_ To insure the building;
_ To grant future leases in a similar form to that as at present, for example on the same terms and conditions, length of time.
_ We must consult with leaseholders before we begin any major repairs maintenance or improvements. This is ongoing as part of the regeneration in the Brunswick area and should have been explained by your Solicitor.
If you do not keep to the legal obligations then you are considered to have ‘breached the lease’. If you were to breach the lease we can take legal action against you to compel you to keep to your legal obligations.
Ultimately if you continue to breach your lease we can apply to Manchester County Court to have your lease ‘forfeited’ (cancelled). This means the freeholder will take possession of your home and you will be required to leave it. You will not be entitled to any compensation.
The lease also fixes how the property should be sold.
Please contact us if you have any further queries about your rights and responsibilities as a leaseholder