Rights and responsibilities

We've outlined some of the main rights and responsibilities you have below but you can view a more detailed overview in this leaflet:

 

Rights and responsibilities - information for leaseholders

 

Your lease

As a leaseholder you effectively become a ‘shareholder’ in the block that you live in. You have a responsibility to pay and manage your share of the costs in maintaining and repairing your block or estate. By law, the council (through Tower Hamlets Homes) has a legal duty to charge you your share of the costs.

You have the right to ‘quiet enjoyment’ of your home, as do your neighbours. THH will try to deal with any nuisance caused to you but equally you must ensure that everyone in your household, including visitors, behave responsibly towards your neighbours and our staff.

Ground rent

If you are a leaseholder, you will have to pay ground rent. This charge is a small rent fee payable each year for the use of the ground on which the building stands.

Service charges

Leaseholders need to pay an annual service charge – service charges are a contribution towards services, utilities or works provided to the block or estate where your property is located. Service charges are calculated from 1 April to 31 March each year and are broken down into a number of elements. There are several ways to pay your service charges.

Major works

From time to time we need to carry out major works to improve or repair communal and structural parts of your building and estate. These will usually be planned one-off works.

Major walks consultation

You have the right to be consulted about proposed works and service contracts that we enter into with external contractors.

You will be notified in advance about any works we intend to carry out in your block, why we need to do them and the consultation process. To help you plan ahead, you can use our major works interactive map to find out if your home is scheduled for improvement 

You will also receive early notification about when you will be billed for the work and be provided with a number of options for repayment.

Insurance

We are responsible for arranging your buildings insurance which covers the structure and communal parts of the building. You pay for the cost of buildings insurance in your service charges.

Contents insurance is not included in this policy. You are responsible for insuring the contents of your property.

Subletting

You have the right to take in lodgers or rent your flat (sub-let) to anyone you want, however you must tell us first and give us the contact details and correspondence address for you and your tenant(s). You must sign an agreement (Deed of Covenant) agreeing to comply with the requirements of the lease. 

You will be responsible for paying the service charges, maintaining the property and for the behaviour of your tenants, their family members and visitors. You will also be responsible for gas safety checks in your home and producing an annual gas certificate. 

Any breach of the lease by your tenant will be your responsibility, so it is important that your tenancy agreement enforces the terms of your lease.

 Selling, purchasing and re-mortgaging

You can sell your property whenever you wish to. However, if a purchase was made under the Right to Buy (RTB) scheme and the sale is within the discount repayment period, you will be required to repay some, or sometimes all, of the discount you received. If you have purchased then your solicitor must send us a Notice of Assignment and Charge (if applicable) within one month of the purchase.

Repairs

THH is responsible for maintaining the structure of the building you live in and for communal areas around the estate. You must pay your share of the cost. You are responsible for maintaining the inside of your property, including decorating; maintaining the internal plumbing; electrical wiring; gas pipes; boilers and central heating (unless you are connected to a communal heating system).

You can report repairs at my.thh.org.uk

Gas safety

As a leaseholder you are responsible for the gas safety of the property. You must have a gas safety check carried out each year.

Alterations

You have the right to make alterations inside your house (decorations) as you see fit as long as you do not remove structural walls or cause damage to the outside or shared parts of your building. This can include fittings and fixtures but only those which serve your property. For major alterations you must seek our permission beforehand. You may also need planning permission and building regulations approval.