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Buying a council leasehold property

What is a council leaseholder?

If you buy a flat or maisonette under the right to buy scheme or if you've previously purchased from us under the right to buy, it will have been sold on a long term lease (usually 125 years), and you will become the leaseholder.  It is sold on this basis as it forms part of a larger property that we own.  In effect you are buying the inside of your flat or maisonette, and the structure of the building (external walls, roof etc) remains in our ownership and is our responsibility to repair and maintain.

You may also be granted rights to use communal areas in relation to your property.  However, under the terms of your lease you will be required to contribute annually to the cost of managing and maintaining the building in which your property is situated – this is called the service charge

You will also be required to pay £10 ground rent each year.  These bills will be issued by the leasehold services team.

Email: leaseholdservices@eastriding.gov.uk
Telephone: (01482) 396154

This information only applies to council leasehold properties that were originally purchased under the right to buy scheme. For information on other council leasehold properties please contact our valuations and estates team.

Telephone: (01482) 393998

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I’m thinking of buying a council leasehold flat/maisonette, what do I need to know?

If you buy a flat or maisonette under the right to buy scheme or that was previously purchased from us under the right to buy, it will have been sold on a long term lease (usually 125 years), and you will become the leaseholder.  It is sold on this basis as it forms part of a larger property that we own.  In effect you are buying the inside of your flat or maisonette, and the structure of the building (external walls, roof etc) remains in our ownership and is our responsibility to repair and maintain.

You may also be granted rights to use communal areas in relation to your property.  You should check the specific terms of the lease to find out what rights and responsibilities you have.

Under the terms of your lease you will be required to contribute annually to the cost of managing and maintaining the building in which your property is situated and any related communal areas– this is called the service charge.  You will also be required to pay £10 ground rent each year.  You may wish to ask the current leaseholder for copies of the previous service charges to give you an indication of how much you
may have to pay each year.  You should make sure that you are aware of what you can be charged for.  The majority of our leaseholders pay their service charge annually in arrears, as this means a lower management and administration charge.  Even if your lease states otherwise, you can choose to pay in arrears by agreement. If you purchase the property and this is applicable to you, we will contact you.

From time to time we may carry out improvements to your building and you will have to contribute to their cost as part of your service charge.  If the work is going to cost you more that £250 we must consult you first; if we don’t we can only charge you £250 for the work.  You do not have the right to refuse to have the work done but you do have the right to nominate another contractor.

We provide the buildings insurance for the property, and generally do this using a block policy that covers the risks of fire, lightning, explosion or impact by aircraft.  A proportion of the premium for the policy is recharged to you as part of your service charge.  However, if you or your mortgage company wish to cover a wider range of risks, or you need to have your mortgage providers listed on the insurance
schedule, you should consider taking out our comprehensive buildings insurance.   This insurance is optional and does not form part of the service charge.  If you purchase the property we will contact you to offer the comprehensive policy to you.

The following pdfs contain more information on your rights and responsibilities as a council leaseholder:

East Riding Leaseholders Handbook:Your Guide to Leasehold Home Ownership (pdf 2.73mb opens in new window)

Residential Long Leaseholders:A Guide to your Rights and Responsibilities (pdf 3mb opens in new window)

If you go ahead with the purchase of the property you or your solicitor must inform us of your details and the date of completion of the sale within four weeks of the completion date.

This information only applies to council leasehold properties that were originally purchased under the right to buy scheme.

For information on other council leasehold properties please contact our valuations and estates team.

Telephone: (01482) 393998

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