When you buy a flat you are buying only part of a larger building or block of flats. The owner of the block is the landlord (the Council) and retains responsibility for all shared parts and services.
Your lease is a legal agreement between you and the Council. It sets out details about:
- Your responsibilities and rights
- The Landlord’s responsibilities and rights
What are you required to do?
In signing your lease, you have agreed to certain covenants (promises). These include your responsibilities as a leaseholder. Your responsibilities depend on what is stated in your lease. Generally you are required to:
- Pay a proportion of the Council’s costs in managing the block when requested.
- Pay the “ground rent” and all other charges for which you are liable when requested
- Keep your home in good repair and condition.
- Use your home only as a single private flat for residential use.
- Avoid causing annoyance or inconvenience to your neighbours.
- Not to carry out structural alterations or improvements without the Council’s prior written consent.
- Repay any discount if you sell your property within 5 years of exercising the Right to Buy
- Obtain the Council’s written consent to erect an external aerial or satellite dish.
Your rights include:
- Use of any part of the estate or block that provides access to or from your home.
- Access to water and electric supply for your flat or maisonette.
- The right to live peacefully without having to suffer any nuisance, assault or harassment from neighbours.
What is the Council required to do?
The Council’s obligations are set out in the lease and generally include:
- Keeping the structure of the block in good repair and condition.
- Insuring the block, including your flat but excluding personal belongings, against any loss or damage by fire and other risks.
The Council’s rights
This depends on the lease, but generally the Council or it’s managing agents Cheltenham Borough Homes has the right to:
- Run and maintain electricity cables or water and gas pipes from any part of the estate or block through your flat or maisonette.
- Enter and remain in your home for a reasonable period, subject to reasonable notice, to carry out works to the common parts or structure.
- Extend or carry out alterations or improvements to the block or estate including your flat or maisonette.
- Close, divert or alter any roads, footways or gardens on the estate.
The information is outlined in more detail in the CBH Leaseholder Handbook: