Being a leaseholder

A leaseholder is someone who has bought a flat from Willow Park (or Manchester City Council prior to the stock transfer) through the Right to Buy / Right to Acquire schemes, or has bought a flat from someone who purchased through the schemes.

As a leaseholder you have bought the right to live in your property for a fixed number of years – up to 125. The lease is a contract containing both your rights and responsibilities as a leaseholder and Willow Park’s rights and responsibilities as a landlord.

Q: Can the property be sublet?

A: Leaseholders have the right to sub-let their property. They do not have to ask permission, but they must inform the housing company of their intentions. Subletting may affect the buildings insurance; therefore the Leasehold Team must be advised and provided with a new contact address for the leaseholder. If you have a mortgage you will need to get permission from your lender.

Q: What is a service charge?

A: Service charges are payments made by leaseholders to the landlord (Willow Park Housing Trust) for all the services that are provided. This may include items such as repairs, lighting, cleaning or caretaking, where these apply to a block of flats. Leaseholders have to pay a share of the cost of these repairs and services, and these costs are called service charges.

Q: What sort of alterations do leaseholders need permission for?

A: Any addition or change to the structure in the home, including fixtures and fittings such as heating and kitchen units and aerials or satellite dishes.

Q: Can leaseholders replace their windows?

A: Yes, however leaseholders must ask permission from their Leasehold Officer before carrying out the work and provide a FENSA certificate on completion. A Deed of Variation will also be required to remove the responsibility for repair and renewal of the windows from the lease. The cost of this is the responsibility of the Leaseholder and further details can be provided as to the process. In certain properties Leaseholders can replace external doors, please contact the Leasehold Officer before carrying out any work and again this will be subject to approval and a Deed of Variation to the lease.

Q: Will I be consulted and notified about any major works or long term maintenance agreements?

A: As the landlord, we have a responsibility to consult you about any work done to your building where you are likely to contribute more than £250. You will be sent a letter from the Asset Management Team advising you of the work required to your block or property. Before the work commences you will be advised of the estimated cost and the options for repayment available to you.

See the glossary of terms for more leaseholder terminology.

Find our more by contacting your Leaseholder Officer on 0161 946 9544 or email denise.scappaticci@wchg.org.uk