Your rights as a leaseholder
As a leaseholder, you have the right to enjoy your property quietly without unreasonable interference from the freeholder.
Leaseholders also have the following rights:
- Property maintenance. The freeholder must carry out maintenance and repairs as specified in the lease agreement. Some leaseholders have a ‘self-repairing’ lease which means they are responsible for maintaining the interior of their property.
- Information. If requested, the freeholder must provide the leaseholder with a breakdown of the service charge and any invoices. The name and address of the freeholder must be printed on every document and bill they send to the leaseholder. Demands for service charge payments must also be accompanied by a summary of the leaseholder’s rights and obligations – this is set out in the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002.
- Consultation. The freeholder must consult the leaseholder if they plan to carry out any building work which will cost the leaseholder more than £250. If they fail to do so, they cannot recover their costs over that amount.
- Protection from unreasonable charges. If the leaseholder thinks the service charge or any other fees the freeholder has demanded are unreasonable, they can apply to the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) or resolve the issue through mediation.
- First refusal. If the freeholder plans to sell the freehold, then they must offer to sell it to the leaseholder first. This is a legal requirement with some exceptions.
- Right to manage (RTM). If a group of fellow leaseholders who meet certain conditions want to take over management of the property from the freeholder, they can do so by exercising this right under the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002.
- Right to change a lease. If both the freeholder and the leaseholder agree, changes can be made to a lease agreement at any time. Where the freeholder and leaseholder do not agree, the matter can be taken to a tribunal or resolved through mediation.
- Right to complain. Anyone managing a property, with some exceptions, must belong to a government approved ‘redress’ scheme. If a leaseholder believes their property is not being well managed, they can apply to their landlord’s redress scheme.