More about leaseholders and leases
If you are a tenant of Birmingham City Council living in a flat or maisonette that is not designed for the elderly and you have a secure tenancy you may be able to purchase your home under the Right to Buy Scheme.
What is a leaseholder?
Tenants who purchase their flats or maisonettes are granted a Long Lease for the property and are called leaseholders. The building remains the property of the council which is responsible for the structure, for example the exterior walls, foundations and roof and the shared areas of the building.
You may be a leaseholder because you purchased under the Right to Buy scheme or because you purchased on the open market from a leaseholder.
When you buy your flat or maisonette you acquire an interest in the property and become a leaseholder.
Your lease is a legal agreement between you (the leaseholder) and Birmingham City Council (the landlord). It explains the rights and responsibilities both you and the council have. The lease gives you the right to possession of the property for a long period (usually 125 years) as long as you keep to the terms of the lease.
The time left on the lease reduces as the years go by and will eventually run out. It is usually possible to extend the lease, however.
The lease specifies what parts of the building have been sold to you.
The lease also sets out the terms and conditions, your rights and responsibilities, and those of your landlord.
You should read your lease carefully and take independent legal advice about the terms and conditions.
The lease explains:
- how much ground rent you have to pay and when
- how the service charges are calculated and when they should be paid
- what repairs you are responsible for
- how repairs to the structure and shared areas of the building are arranged and paid for.
Every lease is different and it is important you check what your lease says. If you don’t have a copy you can get one from the solicitor who did the legal work when you bought your property, or you can get a copy from the council’s Property Records Office (there is a charge for this service).