Questions and answers extracted from the 2016 AGM Minutes
residents - who are leaseholders and shareholders in the SRA
Company, in a position to change the lease?
As each person (or household) holds a seperate lease, then
every leaseholder would have to agree to changing anything in the
lease, which would be an expensive process. The Company
Solicitor explained that if anyone wished to amend anything in the
lease, it wasn't possible to just amend one lease. There is a
header lease and any amendments to this lease would have to filter
down through all of the other leases. He also said that the
lease had already run the test of time for 30 years and the lease
has been quite clear, it's not just a case of one lease, you could
amend the lease in parts a, b, and c, but you would then have to
change every lease.
Regarding the need to ask permission for everyday run of the mill
things, like plants, shrubs etc, why was permission needed?
The Managing Agent advised that the lease refers to the space within
the four walls of an apartment or bungalow. Everything outside
should and is governed by the terms of the lease. As an
example, if a leaseholder wished to plant a shrub in a front garden
it would require permission from the committee. The tenant
would also be responsible for maintenance of the shrub.
Can residents collectively make amends to the lease?
The Company Solicitor stated that it would depend on what
would be involved. The Managing Agent said that the last
amendment was the extension of the lease to 150 years, however not
everyone extended their lease due to the cost. The Company
Solicitor commended and said that the actual header lease wasn't
changed, extensions to the sub-leases were prepared.
What would the cost be to a resident to have any item changed in the
The Managing Agent said that the cost to amend items in the lease
would vary depending on the nature of the amendment/s. The
Company Solicitor replied that the cost of the extension to the
lease was approximately £350 per resident, however, anything else
may be in the region of £500 each. The Managing Agent said
that for the 56 properties on the estate the overall cost would be
on 'Living in Leasehold'
Below is a very informative article on
'Living in Lease' by ARMA - The Association of Residential Managing
Agents - fuirther information on all aspects including Managing
Agents, Regulations, Managing your Block, The Right to Manage etc
can be found on their website at
(definitely well worth a read)
With a well written lease and a professionally managed building,
a leasehold flat can be an ideal home and a secure investment.
What is leasehold?
In its simplest form, owning a leasehold flat is a long tenancy.
You have the right to occupy and use the flat for a long period
of time - the 'term' of the lease. This will usually be for 99
or 125 years.
As a leaseholder, you will normally own and be responsible for
everything within the four walls of your flat. This will include
the floorboards and plaster to the walls and ceiling. The
structure, external walls and communal parts of the building,
including the land it stands on, will usually be owned by the
freeholder who is also the landlord.
The landlord can be a person or a company including a local
authority or a housing association. It's also quite common for
leaseholders to collectively own the freehold through a
residents' management company, effectively becoming their own
landlord. This is called collective enfranchisement.
Know your lease
Your lease may be quite complicated but its fundamental role is
simple. It's a contract between you and the landlord giving you
conditional ownership of your flat for a fixed period of time.
It sets out your contractual obligations as a leaseholder and
those of your landlord so it's important you know and understand
it. This will include payment of ground rent (if any) and
contributions to the costs of maintaining and managing the
building through service charges.
The lease will also place certain conditions on the use and
occupation of the flat. It's especially important to understand
these before you purchase your flat. It's not uncommon for
someone to move into their new home only to discover a beloved
pet can't come with them because they are not allowed under the
terms of the lease!
It will normally be the landlord's responsibility for managing,
maintaining and repairing the communal areas of the property.
They may also arrange for other services such as insurance for
the building, provision of central heating, lifts, porterage,
estate staff, lighting and cleaning of communal areas.
The leaseholders will pay service charges to the landlord for
providing such services. Usually the charges will also include
the costs of managing the building, either by the landlord or by
a professional managing agent.
Details of what can and cannot be charged by the landlord and
the proportion to be paid by the individual leaseholders will
all be set out in the lease.
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