Your lease agreement

Most lease agreements (leases) with the Council’s housing stock follow a similar format, though you should check your particular agreement individually.

The general format is that the lease describes the property, buildings, estate and their locations, and then lists various conditions that must be followed by either the lessee or the lesser (the Council as landlord). These are shown as numbered clauses. They are followed by a description of the property itself, indicating what is yours to maintain as leaseholder (the “demised premises”), and is then followed by different “schedules” of the lease, which are instructions on what can and cannot be done.

Attached to the lease will be one or two plans (lease plans) showing the location of the property in relation to others, and outlining the demised premises and rechargeable areas. 

Some of the most important parts of the lease are summarised below:

Clause 3(ii)

This clause generally states that the lessee must pay service charges in accordance with the fifth schedule of the lease agreement.

Clause 4(ii)

Subject to lessee(s) paying service charges under Clause 3(ii), the lesser (landlord) must (a) insure the building and (b) make sure that the building is maintained. This clause outlines what the landlord has to maintain in accordance with the lease.

First Schedule

This explains the general responsibilities (Demised Schedule) of both the landlord and the lessee in maintaining the property.

Second and Third Schedule

The Second Schedule refers to the lease plans for the purpose of access and services that the lessee should receive, i.e. water etc. The Third Schedule refers to the exceptions and reservations that may be associated with points in the Second Schedule.

Fourth Schedule

This refers to the Management Regulations, i.e. things that the lessee is required to do to comply with the lease agreement. For instance one thing this schedule says in most cases is that “the lessee shall carpet and provide suitable underlay to the living room and bedrooms of the demised premises to the full extent of the floor area of each of the said rooms.”

Fifth Schedule

This generally states that the lessee will be charged for any costs that are incurred by the lessor in complying or in connection with the fulfilment of their obligations under Clause 4(ii) in maintaining the building, and in maintaining the grounds and boundaries associated with the lease, plus management costs.

Without getting too detailed, the Fifth schedule together with clauses 3(ii) and 4(ii) tell you that you should pay service charges, and clause 4(ii) tells you what services you should receive, in exchange for those charges.

The lease plans contain highlighted or shaded areas, and boundary lines. The boundary lines indicate the extent of either your demised premises or the areas in and around your building (and estate) that you have access rights over, and for whose costs you may be recharged a share. Your building will be shaded in, and other areas will be shaded or coloured in. In general these are the areas to which you have access rights, and towards whose costs in particular you may be asked to pay.