- All about repairs
- Rent and service charges
- Safer communities
- Resident involvement
- Benefits and budgeting
- Homeowner information
- Health and safety
Homeowners’ responsibilities and rights
Your responsibilities and rights as a leaseholder or freeholder.
If you’re a 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.
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.
We do not recommend that you withhold payment of your service charge.Contact us
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 but you can apply yourself or in a group with other leaseholders).
For more information and advice contact:
- The Leasehold Advisory Service (LEASE), which offers free legal advice on your lease
- The Residential Property Tribunal Service
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
- We consult you in accordance with Section 20 of the Landlord and Tenant Acto 1985 (as amended) bef0re entering into a contract or starting work.
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
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, soil pipes and sewers
- damp-proofing works
- 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. Learn more about our repairs service.
Freeholders are generally responsible for all external and internal repairs to their buildings
- Guidance notes for proposed works on properties in the Shaftesbury Park and Parktown estates in Battersea (Word, 50 KB)
- Application for residential rights (Word, 39kb)
Servicing gas boilers
As a leaseholder you are responsible for servicing your gas boiler and appliances.
Alterations and improvements
Before you consider improvements, additions 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.
In some cases, 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
Our surveyor may visit your property to ensure the works won’t cause any problems to the building. After approval has been provided and the works have been carried out, you will need to provide receipts and also professional installation certificates e.g. gas/electrical certifcates.
It must be noted that not all home improvements will increase the value of your property by the amount you spend, so careful consideration should be taken before undertaking home improvements.
If you proceed to carry out home improvements without prior consent from us, you may be required to re-instate it to the original layout and be liable for all costs.
If your lease does not permit structural alterations, we will not grant your any consent to carry out this type of work.