What you need to know about your lease
When you bought your home you would have either signed a brand new lease, or were assigned an existing lease from the previous owner.
Your lease is a legal document that explains your rights and responsibilities as a leaseholder (or lessee) and the relationship between you and the landlord, as the freeholder (or lessor) of your home.
L&Q is not always the freeholder of the homes they are selling. This can be for a variety of reasons, one being that L&Q bought a block of homes from a developer who retains the freehold of the entire development.
Your lease agreement will clearly set out the responsibilities of both the leaseholder and the freeholder, and give information on terms such as the ground rent, service charges, repairs and maintenance.
A lease can vary in length, and can run for a term of up to 990 years. As your lease gets shorter, the value of the lease decreases and this can affect the price of your home when you come to sell.
To find out more about extending your lease, visit our lease extensions page.
Your solicitor should have explained the main clauses within the lease before you bought your home – but a lease can sometimes be a complicated document to read, so, if you have any questions your solicitor or our customer service centre will be happy to help you.
Extending your lease
Your lease explains:
- when and what you are responsible for paying, for example, service charges, rent, ground rent and insurance
- how you can sell your home
- what you are responsible for in terms of maintenance of your home, and what we are responsible for
- what home improvements you can do, and when you will require our permission
- whether you can sublet
- if you're a shared owner, how much the rent charges will increase by and when
- if you're a shared owner, how you can buy more shares in your home
A plan may be attached to your lease which shows the boundaries of your home, as well as any car-parking spaces, and the fences and walls that are your responsibility to maintain.
Your lease also contains legally binding responsibilities for both you and us.
- you must pay your rent, service charges and ground rent as set out in your lease
- you must not carry out major alterations to your home without our permission
- you must not cause a nuisance or annoy your neighbours
- you must keep your home in good repair inside and out if you have a house and inside if you have an apartment
- you must get permission from us to keep a pet, fit wooden flooring or fit a satellite dish if you live in an apartment
- we must keep your home insured
- we must consult you about repairs to any shared or communal areas that will cost more than £250 (including VAT) for each home
- we must consult you about any service contracts that last longer than a year, and that will cost more than £100 (including VAT) per year for each home
- we must keep the outside of apartment blocks and communal areas in good repair
- we must provide audited service-charge accounts where we provide services
- we must not unreasonably refuse you permission for improvements or alterations that you may want to make to your home
Home improvements and alterations
Buying your loft space
Help and support
If you would like any more information about your lease, please don't hesitate to contact our customer service centre.
You can visit the Institute of Residential Property Management website to find out more about owning a leasehold property.
The Lease Advice website also offers impartial advice and guidance on a range of leasehold matters.