What different leases are there?
There are three types: Single, Two Tier and 99-year leases.
Single Tier lease
Not all blocks are situated on Council estates. Some are single blocks in residential areas and are known as "infill" blocks. If you live in an infill block, you will have a single tier lease. The Council also grants single tier leases to people who have purchased flats within converted houses. If you live in a block or converted house, which is not situated on an estate, you will be required to contribute to your share of the costs for the upkeep of the area surrounding and affecting your individual block.
There is no need to calculate an estate percentage for single tier leases. The estate (if relevant) and your block are shown on the Lease Plan which forms part of your lease.
Two Tier lease
The most common type of lease is a two-tier lease, which applies to flats in blocks on housing estates. It contains two percentages, one for the estate (where the block is situated) and the other for block (where the flat is situated). These percentages are used to calculate your service charges.
Before the Right to Buy scheme came into force, the Council had already sold flats in certain non-estate properties on 99-year leases.
The Housing Act 1980 introduced the Right to Buy scheme whereby local authorities were obliged to sell Council properties to qualifying tenants who wanted to buy their homes. The legislation required that these properties should be sold with 125-year lease. The date you purchased your property will determine the length of lease you have.
Unlike 125-year leases, the 99-year lease does not have a standard format. Instead, each was drawn up by negotiation with the purchaser's solicitor. Hence the term negotiated leases. However, most negotiated leases have certain common features. These are:
- The leaseholder shares the responsibility for maintaining the structure of the building with the Council and all other 99 year leaseholders residing there
- The only service provided to 99-year leaseholders by the Council, as landlord, is building insurance
- There is no service charge as such, and the Council, as landlord, negotiates any repairs to the structure with individual leaseholders as and when they arise.
Extending your lease
If you own a 99-year lease, the Council will normally allow you to extend the term of your lease.
For further information and advice, contact the Property & Land Officer on 020 8871 8361 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please provide your full name, the address and post code of the leasehold property concerned, your address (if different) and your service charge account reference to help us identify you as the leaseholder concerned.