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Selling and subletting your lease

Selling your home

You can sell your home at any time (also called 'assigning the lease').

If you bought your property under the 'Right to Buy' legislation you will have to repay some of the discount that you received:

  • If you applied to buy or bought your home before 18 January 2005 and sell within three years, or
  • if you applied to buy your home on or after 18 January 2005 and sell within five years.

If you applied to buy your home on or after 18 January 2005, you have to offer the council first refusal if the property is put up for sale within 10 years of being bought under the 'Right to Buy' legislation. If you or the buyer wants sales information about your property, your solicitor should write to the Leasehold Team and request our re-sales package which includes information on:

How to sell
Once you decide that you want to sell your lease there are several routes you can choose:

You can arrange the sale through an estate agent, who will advertise your property and arrange for prospective purchasers to view it. Estate agents charge a commission fee, based on the eventual sale price, or a lump payment in advance.

You can arrange the sale yourself, either through a newspaper or using your own ‘For Sale’ board. If you choose to sell this way you must take great care to ensure your personal security, as there will be no agent to accompany potential purchasers.

For Sale boards
If you put up a ‘For Sale’ board outside your property it must not measure more than 0.5 square metres, or a total area of 0.6 square metres for two joined boards. No advertisement board is allowed to extend more than 1 metre from the wall of a building. Only one board must be displayed on the premises and this must be removed not later than 14 days after you have completed the sale.

In some areas no boards are allowed at all and you should check with the council’s Planning Department before you put up any ‘For Sale’ board.

Who to notify when you sell

When you have a firm offer your solicitor should notify the Leasehold Team and send, in advance, the “resale package” fee (£50 as at September 2008). This package provides detailed information relating to the sale of your property. This fee does not include providing a copy of the lease for which there is an additional charge.

Once your sale is completed, the incoming lessee will be required to formally notify the Leasehold Services Team.

You must also notify the local utility companies for gas, electricity and telephones to arrange a meter reading for the day you move.

Once you have a firm completion date you should give details of your forwarding address to the Leasehold Team.

Do you rent a garage or parking space?

If you rent a garage or parking space you must give the Estate Office one week’s notice that you are leaving and the keys must be handed in on the day you move. Please do not hand the keys on to the person buying your flat. There are often long waiting lists for these facilities and the new lessee must join the queue.

Subletting your property

You may not sublet your home for 90 days or less (sometimes known as a “holiday let”) as this will be a breach of the council’s planning regulations.

If you have a mortgage, your lender will probably have restrictions on subletting and you should get permission from them before you go ahead. You must also register the subletting and any further underletting within 21 days by supplying the Leasehold Team with a copy of the tenancy agreement, a contact address where we can send your bills to and a contact telephone number.

If you sublet your home, you are responsible for your tenants conduct. It is therefore important that your tenancy agreement includes the same rules and regulations that apply to you as a lessee.

You will also be responsible for the landlord’s duties under the Gas Safety (installation and use) Regulations 1998. This means that you will be legally responsible for making sure your gas appliances, pipework and flues are safe and well maintained.