Leaseholders

A lease is a complex legal contract that sets out the rights and obligations of both the leaseholder and freeholder (CCG).

When a person buys the lease of a property, they then become a leaseholder of that property, also knows as a lessee or a tenant. The landlord (CCG) is still the owner of the freehold of that property, the landlord is also known as a lessor.

Your lease is a type of tenancy that allows you to live in your home for a given number of years. This will be defined in the lease as ‘the term’. The term will start when the property has originally been sold. This is often a term of 125 years, please refer to your lease for your specific term. If you have bought the property through the open market – the term will still apply to when the property was originally sold.

There are many different leases, therefore it is important for you to understand what is outlined in your lease.

For a copy of the Leaseholders' Handbook click here.

A copy of your lease document is available from the Land Registry Officer here for a small fee.

If you are unclear about what is outlined within your lease, we recommend that you seek independent legal advice.

There is also a vast amount of information and advice available by The Leasehold Advisory Service.

Things to know before you buy a leasehold property

If you are considering buying a leasehold property and are unsure if it is the right decision for you, take a look at the ‘Things to know before you buy a flat’ prepared by the Leasehold Advisory Service. You may also wish to seek independent legal advice on the mater, to ensure that you fully understand the reasonability’s and obligations related to owning a lease.

You are welcome to contact us on 0300 123 8084 for an informal chat.

Following our first Leaseholder Satisfaction Survey that was sent to you last year, we have been analysing the findings and looking at ways to improve the service provided to you. We have created a You Said, We Did sheet. Here we have highlighted the main areas of concern identified in the findings of the survey, as well as what steps we as the landlord have taken to address these issues. We will continue to look at ways to improve the service we provide to you. In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns relating to the contents of the ‘You Said, We Did’ sheet, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 0300 123 8084.

What are Service Charges?

Service charges are your proportion of the costs for the services you receive that are provided by Cartrefi Cymunedol Gwynedd (CCG) to your block and/or estate. These charges are recoverable under the terms of your lease and must be paid by you the leaseholder.

Service charge invoices will be calculated on an estimated basis for the year, with an adjustment made for the difference between the previous years estimated cost and the actual cost.

The services you pay depend on the location of your property and the services provided to the building. You may not receive all the services listed below.

The services we can charge for, and the proportion we can charge will be outlined within your lease (Please refer to your lease for details of recoverable service costs that affect you).

For more information on service charges, what charges may appear on your invoice and how to pay your service charge invoice please see our Leaseholder Service Charge Fact Sheet.

If you are going to have difficulty in paying your service charge invoice, or would like an informal chat about the contents of your invoice, please contact our Finance Department as soon as possible on 0300 123 8084.

How to get in touch

Phone: 0300 123 8084

Address: CCG, PO BOX 206, Bangor, Gwynedd, LL57 9DS

Email: enquiries@ccgwynedd.org.uk

Headquarters: Uned 6 a 7, Llys Castan, Parc Menai, Bangor, LL57 4FH

twitter Follow us on twitter: @CartrefiGwynedd

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You can contact us in Welsh or English.

Your views

As a leaseholder, the services we provide and how we provide them is both valued and essential to ensure they meet your needs.

We need to know if a service is not to the standard that you expect but it’s also good to know when we get things right!

If you have any new ideas and suggestions, please let us know.

Need to make a complaint?

To see our guidelines on how to go about making a complaint please click the link below:

Complaints Guidelines

To complete a complaint form please click the link below:

Complaint Form

How to tell us what you think?

Phone us on: 0300 1238 084 and ask for a feedback form

Write to us at: CCG, PO BOX 206, Bangor, Gwynedd, LL57 9DS

Links

CCG is not responsible for the content of any external website.

As a leaseholder, the necessary information about having permission to make improvements or alterations to your home will be outlined within your lease. Not all leases will allow for improvements and alterations, and where they do, you will need written consent from CCG. A clause within your lease may state something similar to: ‘Not to make any alteration improvement…without…prior written consent’.

Minor improvements and alterations

Generally, leaseholders will not require consent for minor improvements such as decorating, putting up shelves, photos etc.

Major improvements and alterations

Where improvements and alterations are allowed within the lease, you must ensure that you firstly obtain written consent from CCG before carrying out any major improvements or alterations to your home, such as, removing or building walls, removing windows etc.

You will be required to complete a ‘Tenant Application Form for Improvement to Dwelling’. Once submitted, your application and lease will be reviewed and you will be informed in writing if CCG grants or refuses your consent.

If you're not sure if you need CCG’s written permission before carrying out specific work to your property, or for a copy of the ‘Tenant Application Form for Improvement to Dwelling’, contact us on 0300 123 8084.

Major works is the term used when work to a block will cost leaseholders over a set financial threshold (currently at £250). In some cases, the costs can be much higher.

These could be works that are required to repair and maintain the building. Where major works reach the set threshold, Cartrefi Cymunedol Gwynedd (CCG) is required to consult you, the leaseholder, as you will be required to contribute to these costs under the terms of your lease.

Major works can include, but are not limited to:

  • Roof
  • Communal area
  • Exterior brick or block work
  • Soffits
  • Facias
  • Guttering

To see our responses to some of our frequently asked questions relating to major works, please click here.

For information on when you will be invoiced for this work and the different payment options that are available, please click here.

The Leasehold Advisory Service also has a lot of information relating to major works and the Section 20 Consultation Process. Click here to find out more. You can also find a copy of the ‘Major Works: A guide for leaseholders of social landlords’ here.

Cartrefi Cymunedol Gwynedd (CCG) accepts that much of the terminology associated with being a leaseholder / within your lease, is complex. Therefore, this section provides you with a short description of the terms that are used most often. The following information has been taken from the ‘MAJOR WORKS A guide for leaseholders of social landlords (2016)’.

Arbitration Settling a dispute by using an independent referee, to avoid going to court.
Assignment A formal transfer of property. For example, when ownership of a lease is transferred from one person to another.
Block A block is the building described in a lease that you are responsible for paying a share of the running, upkeep ad management costs.
Charge A certificate that the land registry issues usually to a mortgage lender who has lent money on the security of registered property. It is proof to the lender of their security. A charge can also be against a secure loan or other debt.
Communal areas/parts Parts of the building/estate/grounds shared with other residents and not specifically granted to the leaseholder in the lease but to which there are rights of access.
Consultation This is the process a landlord will go through to tell leaseholders about proposed works or long-term contracts for services where the costs are above a financial threshold. Some of this process is legally required (Section 20) and some is good practice.
Cyclical decoration A programme carried out, for example, every five or seven years in communal areas to both internal and external areas of the building. The costs for this are recovered through a service charge.
Deed A legal document that commits the person signing it to something.
Demised premises The area of land that is the subject of a lease. Normally, a lease will clearly specify exactly what the demised premises are. For example, if you purchase the leasehold interest of a flat, the lease might state that your interest applies to the interior partitions and plaster but not to the actual structure of the building.
De minimis The amount allowed by EU regulations to be provided in state aid over a 3-year period, currently £200,000.
Landlord The person who owns the property. In leasehold terms, the landlord is known as the freeholder or lessor.
Ground rent Because leasehold is a type of tenancy, some sort of rent must be paid. The lease specifies how much this will be each year and whether it can be increase or reviewed over time.
Improvement Doing more work to a property than the repairs required to keep the property in the same habitable condition that was in when the lease was granted. This can sometimes be adding something new to the building. The lease must allow the landlord to recover the cost of improvements.
Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 The original act of Parliament (now added to by more recent laws) that set out what a service charge is and how it should be arrived at. For example, it must be reasonably incurred.
Lease A legally binding contract between the leaseholder and the owner of the property (freeholder) giving conditional ownership of the property for an agreed time.
Leaseholder (lessee) The person who holds land under a lease (also known as lessee). The person the property has been leased to.
Leasehold Valuation Tribunal The LVT in Wales and the Residential Property Tribunal act as independent arbitrators for leasehold disputes and their decisions are binding.
Major works Where work to a block will cost any leaseholder over a set financial threshold (currently £250), the landlord must consult with leaseholders. These are known as major works. In some cases, the costs can be much higher. For example, if the roof needs replacing. Your landlord should be able to advise if there are any planned works due to your block in the next five years. Some leases permit a sinking fund, a landlord may offer a range of payment options.
Management charge The part of the service charge that covers the landlord’s leasehold management costs. These can also be the costs to manage a programme of major works.
Pre-sale enquiries Usually a conveyancing solicitor will send questions to the landlord. The Law Society has issued a dedicated form for solicitors to use and this is an LPE 1.
Qualifying long-term agreement An agreement entered into by the landlord with a contractor for a period of more than 12 months where the costs payable by a leaseholder exceed a threshold amount (currently £100) in any one year.
Qualifying works Major works that will cost any individual leaseholder more than a threshold amount (currently £250).
Payment options Landlords may allow extended time to repay service charges for major woks where they are expensive and the leaseholder is unable to repay immediately. Generally, the landlord will assess the financial circumstances and affordability of each leaseholder applying for extended time and tailor a solution form a range of options.
Preserved Right to Buy A local authority tenant retains this right if the local authority transfer their premises to a housing association, as part of a stock transfer.
Recognised tenants association (RTA) An RTA is an association of ‘qualifying tenants’ that has been recognised formally buy the landlord or by a certificate of recognition granted by the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal under section 29 Landlord & Tenant Act 1985. An RTA has various rights similar to those given to an individual leaseholder including the right to be consulted under section 20.
Section 125 notice The notice of the Right to Buy purchase price containing details of proposed major works costs in the first five years of the lease and the most the landlord can charge for works during this time.
Section 20 Section 20 of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1985 (as amended by the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002). This sets out the formal process for consulting with leaseholders and tenant about certain items charged through service charges.
Section 208 Section 208 of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1985. Landlords must issue service charge demands within 18 months of incurring the cost.
Shared owner Someone who owns a share in a home and pays rent on the remaining share that is retained by the landlord.
Sinking or reserve fund Long-term savings that leaseholders contribute to every month or year through service charges. This builds up every year and is intended to pay for any major works that are needed for example replacing a roof. You won’t usually get money back that you have paid into a sinking fund/reserve funds. There are special accounting rules for how landlords administer sinking funds/reserve funds. Not all leases allow for this.
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