Peabody residents talking at a table

Your responsibilities and rights as a leaseholder or freeholder.

If you’re a Peabody leaseholder or freeholder, your rights and responsibilities are set out in detail within your lease or transfer agreement, but in general you are responsible for:

  • Paying any service charge and rents
  • Getting our written permission before carrying out any alterations to your home
  • Maintaining and repairing the inside of your home, including fixtures and fittings
  • Allowing our contractors access to your home to carry out any necessary repairs (we must give you enough notice in writing) or immediately in an emergency. 
Ways to pay your service charges


In addition to the rights set out in your lease, you are protected by various acts of parliament. These include how we calculate your service charge, what you can do if you disagree with this and how we should consult you about major works.

We must ensure, for example, that both your actual and estimated service charges are reasonable and the work and services you are being charged for are of a reasonable standard.

If you disagree with either of these, you have the right to question them and can withhold payment for the parts that you are dissatisfied with. However, you do not have the right to withhold the whole of your service charge payment. You should always contact us with your query first and we will do all we can to respond to your concerns.

Contact Peabody Direct

First Tier Property Chamber
If you are not happy with our response, however, you do have the right to go to the First Tier Property Chamber, an independent panel of professionals with expertise in handling leasehold disagreements (there is a fee for this, currently up to £500, but you can apply yourself or in a group with other leaseholders).

For more information and advice contact:

Our responsibilities as a freeholder

As the freeholder of your property, our responsibilities are set out in your lease or transfer agreement. These include:

  • Cleaning and maintaining the estate
  • Insuring the building (leaseholders only)
  • Charging you for your yearly service charges
  • Giving you the opportunity to give us feedback and improve services on the estate.

Repairs to the inside of your home are your responsibility, but we are responsible for repairs to communal area of your block and estates.

Learn more about leaseholder repair responsibilities

Living with others

Finally, we want to ensure that all our residents enjoy living in our properties and so you must also: 

  • Be considerate to your neighbours
  • Use the facilities provided for your rubbish
  • Not leave untaxed or abandoned vehicles on your estate (if you live on an estate)

You are also responsible for ensuring that your visitors abide by the terms of your lease while visiting your property.



As a landlord we are generally responsible for some repair and maintenance for the structure of the building, communal areas, and communal systems. Generally we don’t have repair obligations for the interior of the property (all our repair obligations are laid out in your lease and you should always check this before contacting us to report a repair).

Our responsibilities for repairs includes:

1. The structure of the building 

  • roof repairs
  • rainwater pipes and gutters
  • external drains
  • damp-proofing works
  • brickwork
  • floor joists

2. Communal systems

  • door entry systems
  • district heating
  • communal TV aerials

3. Communal areas

If in doubt about what falls under your or our responsibility, you should always check your lease before contacting us to report a repair.

Freeholder repairs

Freeholders are generally responsible for all external and internal repairs to their buildings.

Servicing gas boilers

As a leaseholder you are responsible for servicing your gas boiler and appliances.

Alterations and improvements

Before you consider improvements or alterations to your home, check your lease to see what is allowed. Some alterations are not permitted and we need to give written permission for others before you can begin.

We will not refuse permission without good reason, for example, if the alterations would make the property unsafe. You should not start work before you have gained permission as under the terms of your lease you can be made to put your home back to its original state before you started the work.

Some work, however, does not need our permission. For instance, you do not need to ask before carrying out minor changes such as installing a new kitchen or bathroom suite, decorating the inside of your home or renewing the carpets.

Structural changes

You do, however, need permission to make structural changes or any alterations that might affect the shared parts of the buildings, such as knocking down walls, changing windows or any work that could affect the plumbing or pipes.

In some cases, particularly for structural changes, you may need to apply for a 'licence for alteration'. This is a legal document setting out the changes you are allowed to make.

You will have to pay our costs for providing the licence of alteration and you will need to:

  • Have a qualified building surveyor or architect draw up plans for the work
  • Check with your local authority if you need planning permission or building control approval
  • Take legal advice
Contact Peabody Direct to find out more