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Leaseholders information

As a Residential Leaseholder, you own 100% of your home.  Your lease, which is a legal contract, sets out the terms and responsibilities you and Aspire have. Please see some Frequently Asked Questions we have put together below. 

If you are a Shared Owner, please click the button below to visit the Cerris Homes website.  

Cerris Homes

 

Leaseholders FAQ's

How can I sell my home?

If you come to sell your home, you/your solicitor will need to get in touch with us.   

Your solicitor will need some management information about the lease and charges payable such as service charge and ground rent.  

Your buyers solicitor will need to serve notice on us on completion to enable us to transfer the property into the new owners name.  

Please ask your solicitor to contact our Property Law Team on leaseholdenquiries@aspirehousing.co.uk.

Can I extend my lease?

You will typically hold a lease which has either 99 or 125 years from the commencement date in the lease (i.e. not the date you purchased the property). You should hold a copy of your lease or you can obtain a copy from the Land Registry for a small fee.  

Your lease term will depreciate over time and when you get to around 70 years remaining may struggle to secure a mortgage on the property which could affect your ability to sell the property as well by limiting the type of buyers you would be able to sell to.  

So long as you own 100% of the property and have owned the property for at least 2 years you have a statutory right to purchase an extension to your lease.   

You can do this via a voluntary route or statutory route.  

For further information please get in touch with us / complete the application form.  

There are fees that you will be responsible to pay for, some of which are payable on application. Please get in touch and we can discuss this with you.

Please complete the form below if you are interested in extending your lease:

 

Can I make alterations to my home?

You may need our permission to make alterations to your property – you should check the details of your lease before you make any alterations to your home to avoid breaching the terms of your lease and potentially having to restore the property to its former condition at your own sole cost.  

Please see the list below for examples of when consent may be required from us: 

  • Aerial (Non-Standard TV/Radio or Flats or Property less than 5yrs old) 
  • Bathroom replacement or alterations 
  • Boundary Wall adding new or alterations
  • Cable - Broadband/TV (Flats or Property less than 5yrs old)
  • Cavity wall or loft insulation
  • CCTV System
  • Conservatory
  • Conversion or sub dividing room
  • Doors & Windows replacement or alterations
  • Dropped kerb / off road parking /driveway
  • Electrical works - installing new sockets, shower, lighting etc
  • Extensions to the home
  • Fencing/railings adding new or alterations (not like for like style/height)
  • Garage/carports construction or alterations
  • Gas cooker installation where no current supply
  • Kitchen replacement or alterations
  • Large garden alterations - astroturf, changing levels, terracing structures, landscaping, patios, paths or decking
  • Loft conversion
  • Outbuildings*
  • Painting and decoration for surfaces not already painted/wallpapered
  • Painting and Decoration for surfaces not already painted or different colour
  • Pond/pool
  • Porches
  • Satellite dish (Non-Standard size or Block of more than 3 flats or Property less than 5 years old)
  • Sheds/Animal cages greater than 10x8' or not in the rear garden or properties less than 5 years old*
  • Structural alterations
  • Water supply pipes and drainage. 

Depending on the nature of your alteration, we may charge a fee for providing our consent.  

You may not under any circumstance make structural alterations or additions. Other examples of works that are not permitted include (but are not limited to) carrying out works to communal areas, replacing the heating system, addition of solar panels to the roof, and installing fixed flooring on any first floor or higher properties.

This list is not exhaustive and is subject to review.  

Please complete the application form below to submit a request for alterations and one of the team will be in touch with you shortly.  

 

 

What are service charges?

Service charges are a contribution (paid along with your rent payments where applicable) towards the costs of various services supplied in addition to provision of your home. Service charges for leaseholders are estimated at the start of each financial year which runs from April to March. Within 6 months after the year end Aspire Housing will review the estimated service charge costs against the actual costs for the year. 

If the actual costs exceed the estimated costs then an invoice will be sent to you for the difference, likewise if they are less you will be reimbursed or a credit applied to your account against the next year. 

A wide range of additional services are supplied by Aspire Housing, but not all may apply to you as they will vary according to the type of property that you live in. Our Service Charge policy declares that Aspire Housing will only recover the cost of services and does not make a profit from service charges. 

Leaseholder customers may also be responsible for repairs and maintenance carried out by Aspire Housing (or one of its contractors) to your property.  

These charges are not applied to all homes, please see your rent letter for your specific list of charges. 

  • Grounds maintenance: this covers a number of services to land and communal areas of Aspire Housing owned properties including grass and hedge cutting, shrub bed maintenance and tree works, plus maintaining some hard standing areas. Grass cutting is undertaken as required (subject to weather and ground conditions) between March and October. Hedge cutting is undertaken once a year, once the birds have left the nest, usually between October and February. Shrub beds will receive attendance annually and during winter, other preparation works are completed for the coming summer. This charge reflects the contracted rate charged to Aspire Housing.
  • Estate caretakers: our teams provide scheduled inspections of streets and garage areas and will remove all litter immediately. They will inspect for graffiti in communal areas and will remove it within 24 hours, will remove all dangerous or hazardous materials left in Aspire Housing owned communal areas within one working day of receiving the report, will remove other rubbish and dumped items within three working days. This charge reflects the cost of providing this service.
  • Estate management charges: some of the new development sites are subject to external estate management charges. These charges are paid by Aspire Housing and then recharged back to customers on the respective developments.
  • Communal water: customers in community living schemes with communal rooms will also contribute towards the water costs for these areas. These charges are based on the invoices received by Aspire Housing.
  • Communal gas heating: customers in community living schemes with communal rooms will also contribute towards the gas costs for these areas. These charges are based on the invoices received by Aspire Housing.
  • Communal electricity: customers in flat blocks and community living schemes which have communal entrance halls, stairwells, communal rooms or communal security lighting will contribute towards the electricity costs for these areas. This charge is based on the invoices received by Aspire Housing.
  • Communal cleaning: customers in flat blocks and community living schemes which have communal floors, stairs, landings or entrance doors that are cleaned. The areas will be cleaned every other week, and this charge reflects the contracted rate charged to Aspire Housing. Customers in extra care accommodation receive an enhanced service where the charge is calculated separately to take account of this. 
  • Communal window cleaning: customers in flat blocks and community living schemes which have windows in communal areas are cleaned monthly. This charge reflects the contracted rate charged to Aspire Housing. Customers in extra care accommodation receive an enhanced service where the charge is calculated separately to take account of this.
  • Intensive Housing management: some customers benefit from extra support provided by our Locality teams and this charge contributes towards the cost of that extra support.
  • Enhanced housing management charge: customers in community living schemes which benefit from a Community Living Advisor. This charge covers the costs of the team that deal with housing management matters regarding both the scheme and your tenancy.
  • Furniture: some customers are given extra support by way of a furnished tenancy. We ensure the furniture is high quality and is to a working standard and this charge reflects the costs of providing the furniture.
  • Unadopted roads: these are roads within new developments for which Aspire Housing remains responsible for the maintenance of the lighting, drainage and pavements. This charge reflects the expected maintenance costs.
  • Personal heating: the apartments of customers who reside in one of the enclosed community living schemes are heated via the scheme’s gas central heating system. An estimated charge is made for the heating of each flat and is classed as ‘personal heating’ and is not covered by housing benefit or Universal Credit.
  • Equipment maintenance: various equipment used throughout a Community Living Scheme requires regular maintenance to ensure it remains in good working order. Included in this are things such as entrance door maintenance, CCTV, catering and laundry equipment. These charges are based on invoices received by Aspire Housing.
  • Service testing: various services provided throughout the Community Living scheme are subject to regular testing to ensure relevant health and safety standards are maintained. Included here are things such as legionella testing, fire and smoke alarms, heating and air conditioning systems, electrical testing and lift maintenance. These charges are based on the invoices received by Aspire Housing.
  • Personal utility charge: some customers in Stafford contribute towards the supply of water and sewage charges to their property, this charge is not eligible for Housing Benefit or Universal Credit. These charges are based on the invoices received by Aspire Housing.

If you have a query regarding the levels of charges set or the standard of service you receive please contact us as we will try to resolve, or respond to, these issues to your satisfaction. 

How would I make a boundary enquiry?

As a leaseholder, you need to make you own enquiries of the Land Registry should you wish to enquire who is responsible for a given boundary.   

If you believe a repair is required to a boundary that is in Aspires’ ownership, you will need to provide us with the details and proof of responsibility to enable us to assist you further.

Who is responsible for repairs to my property?

Your lease agreement sets out in detail the responsibility for repairs for both parties and you should refer to this for further information. However, for the purpose of this handbook, for leaseholders we are generally responsible for maintaining and repairing the structure of the building, shared areas, systems and installations.  

You are responsible for paying a proportion of these costs through your service charge. 

You should not carry out repairs on hallways, landings and stairs or other shared areas. You would not be covered by our insurance if you had an accident or caused damage. If you, your household, or your visitors cause damage to shared areas, you would have to pay us for the cost of repairs. 

The things for which we have repairing/maintenance responsibilities include (this list is not exhaustive and again please refer to your lease for details): 

 

Repairs and Maintenance – Summary of Responsibilities 
Description of repair  Aspire Housing  Leaseholder  Exceptions 
External and communal  
External structure, foundation, brickwork  Aspire Tick   Shared ownership 
External doors (communal) Aspire Tick   But excluding your own individual external doors
External window frames, sills and fittings  Aspire Tick   Excluding glass and shared ownership  
Roofing, chimneys, guttering and down pipes Aspire Tick   Excludes chimney sweeping where applicable and  shared ownership 
Communal drainage and water supply pipes Aspire Tick   Except pipework within your property. 
Rain and soil pipes Aspire Tick   Shared ownership 
Communal hallways, stairs, lifts and balconies Aspire Tick    
Communal bin areas Aspire Tick    
Communal drying areas Aspire Tick    
Communal TV aerials and communal satellite antenna Aspire Tick   Except for your own TV aerials and satellite dishes 
Paths, steps, fences, gates and garden areas  Aspire Tick   Shared ownership 
Lighting to communal hallways and stairs  Aspire Tick    
External lighting to the building Aspire Tick   Shared ownership 
Door entry systems and closed-circuit television Aspire Tick    
External decorations (communal) Aspire Tick    
Repairs and Maintenance – Summary of Responsibilities 
Description of repair  Aspire Housing  Leaseholder  Exceptions 
Internal within your property
Internal walls, ceilings and floors   Aspire Tick Expect common areas or joists which are shared between two or more homes
Floor boards and coverings   Aspire Tick  
Glass in windows and doors   Aspire Tick But excluding external windows frames
Internal decorations   Aspire Tick  
Kitchen fixtures, fittings, units and worktops   Aspire Tick  
Bathroom fixtures, fitting, sanitary ware   Aspire Tick  
Electric showers   Aspire Tick  
Cookers, fires and fire surrounds   Aspire Tick  
Tiling   Aspire Tick  
Internal doors locks, / fittings, door furniture and frames   Aspire Tick  
Smoke alarms   Aspire Tick Unless communal
Frames, architraves and skirting boards    Aspire Tick  
Wiring and circuitry   Aspire Tick Unless communal
Light fittings, fixtures, sockets, bulbs and fuses   Aspire Tick Unless communal
Heaters and appliances   Aspire Tick  
Central heating systems   Aspire Tick Unless communal
Water tanks   Aspire Tick Unless communal

Our Mill Rise leaseholders should refer to your Handbook with regard to responsibility for repairs.