What is a leasehold property?
When you buy a flat or maisonette, you do not buy the flat itself, you buy a lease from the landlord, which gives you the right to live in the flat for an agreed period of time. So, if you buy a council flat, the council owns the building (freeholder) and you become a leaseholder. You will not have to pay rent, except a small amount each year, known as ‘ground rent’.
At the end of the lease period, the flat will go back to the council, unless you apply to extend the lease. The lease is a legal agreement between you ‘the leaseholder’ and the council. It contains details of the flat and will normally include a plan showing your home, the building it is in, the estate the building is on and any garden, shed or garage included in the sale.
The lease will also explain your and our rights and responsibilities.
Because your flat is part of a block, you must pay a share of the costs of maintaining the building and any communal areas and services provided such as cleaning and lighting of corridors and stairways.