A Leaseholder is the person named on a lease that they have bought. A lease is a legally binding contract that contains your rights and obligations as a leaseholder and our rights and obligations as the owner of the freehold. Buying a lease buys you the right to live in your home for a fixed number of years. Your lease will state how long this is – in your lease it will be referred to as the ‘term’.
Where irwell valley homes is the freeholder/landlord of your building, we own the building and any shared areas, such as the corridors. We call these communal areas.
As a leaseholder, you are responsible for contributing towards the cost of any repairs or maintenance to the shared areas, and any communal services, for example cleaning shared corridors. We are responsible for repairing the building, internal shared areas and the grounds/gardens. All Leaseholders pay for these repairs and services through service charges.
Your lease is the legal contract between you and irwell valley homes. It is an important document as it sets out your rights and responsibilities as a leaseholder and our responsibilities as the landlord.
When you buy a lease (are assigned a lease), you buy the right to live at the property for the duration of the lease.
In a block of apartments, we own the building, but you as the leaseholder own the lease to your apartment and have sole use and responsibility for it.
Other people can share the common areas and we are responsible for maintaining them.
The lease will say what parts of the property you have a right to occupy (such as your apartment) and what rights over communal areas you have. This is called the ‘demised premises’ and will be identified by the address and by a plan or plans attached to the lease.
Your lease contains some of the following information:
There are many more conditions laid out in your lease, so we recommend that you read all your lease. If you have difficulty understanding it, please contact our Sales and Leasehold Team and we will be happy to help.
Your lease is a legal contract and can only be altered with the express agreement of you (as the leaseholder) and us (as the freeholder). It can be changed by a ‘Deed of Variation’ which may be approved by a court or a Leasehold Valuation Tribunal.
We can agree with, or challenge, any changes you want to make. There is an application fee of £195 for a Deed of Variation.
Most leaseholders have the right to buy an extension to the term of their lease. The usual extension term is 90 years for an apartment and 50 years for a house.
Any extension that is bought, is added to the term already remaining on the lease.
The cost of extending a lease depends on several factors. These include the term left on the lease, a current valuation from a Chartered Surveyor, and any rent that may be due.
A Chartered Surveyor will provide a calculation of the Premium (the cost to add the extra years) and an administration fee will be charged.
You are responsible for any repairs to your home. Information about this can be found in your lease.
We are generally responsible for any repairs to the structure of the building, the communal areas and any equipment. The cost for these repairs is usually recovered by the service charge.
We will look at which repairs can be claimed for through the insurance policy.
Where another leaseholder has caused damage, for example if a leak came from another leaseholder’s home, we would help you in getting the other leaseholder to arrange the repair.
If you are reporting criminal damage, please provide a crime reference number.
To report a repair to the structure or communal areas please click here
We know that you will want to make your home your own!
You can carry out minor home improvements such as decorating, replacing internal doors, or fitting bedroom furniture, without asking for our permission.
However, you must get permission from us if you want to make certain alterations to your home. There is an administration fee for this. We will not withhold consent unreasonably. These include improvements such as:
If you want to make structural alterations, we will need to see a plan from a structural engineer and assurances over the work. And you must have an Asbestos check before any work starts on your home.
Before work starts you should, obtain and provide us with copies of the planning permission (if permission is required) and confirmation that the alterations and improvements conform to the current building regulations if required.
Sometimes our needs can change. If you or any member of your household become disabled or need your home adapting to make life easier, you should contact your GP or Social Services who arrange for an assessment.
You may then apply to your local authority for a Disabled Facilities Grant which may pay for all or part of the cost of the adaptation.
If there is damage to a shared area and we know who caused it, we will look to recover the costs towards the repair from them.
However, where we can’t identify who caused it, or the costs cannot be reclaimed, then the cost of the repair will be shared equally by all the leaseholders. This is detailed in the terms of the lease.
If any damage is caused to your home because of an accident in an adjoining property, (for example a fire), then you can claim on the property insurance that we arrange. To do this, please contact the Sales and Leasehold Team and we will be able to tell you what you need to do. Please don’t start any repair work before the insurance company agree to pay for it, otherwise you may be liable for the full cost of the repair.
If there is a claim through our insurance company for repair to damage, there may be an excess payable. Please contact the Leasehold Team for further information.
You are responsible for disposing of your rubbish. This applies even if the council hasn’t removed rubbish.
Please put your bins out for collection on the right day. If the council hasn’t removed the rubbish on their set day, please contact them to arrange getting it collected. Large items of rubbish, such as mattresses and fridges might be collected by your local council. Please contact them to arrange collection. If we are asked to remove rubbish that is dumped, we may pass on the cost of doing this to leaseholders.
We work with the council to provide a suitable number of bins. Please use the recycling bins correctly. If a recycling bin is contaminated with the incorrect recycling material, the council may not take the rubbish and any costs involved in clearing it may need to be passed onto leaseholders.