Help with understanding lease

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    Help with understanding lease

    Hi all,

    Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. I am new and I have been searching here and elsewhere to try to get my query responded to, but have so far been unable to find the answers.

    I own the lease on my ground floor flat. It is a long lease of 155 years (peppercorn ground rent), which was extended by the previous vendor when I bought in 2016. The property is a converted house with my flat on the ground and first floor flat above. There are no communal areas and we each have a private garden and own front door.

    I have had reason to look through my lease recently to understand repair responsibilities, and have been quite surprised what I have read. I wanted to check this out with you guys to try and understand what it means, as I have reason to believe that the whole structure is demised to me and the other lessee, including the foundations and garden and that we have joint (50/50 split) responsibility to repair. As there is also a management company involved charging service charges of £500 pa (of which most are 'management fees' and doing guttering, which is stated to be my obligation in the lease) and as a separate charge of building insurance of £500pa (which is the FH responsibility in the lease so that's understood). I want to know that if these repairs are my obligation, that I can get on and do them without any consent and also that the management company can't charge me for things that are my obligation.

    The lease states that I need to get written consent for alterations and additions to the property.

    The demised premises as stated in the first schedule are: "All that flat situate at XXX aforesaid and being on the ground floor of the building and the lower half part in depth of the structure between the ceiling of the flat and the floor of the adjoining flat and the internal and external walls and main structure of the flat above / below the same level and including the foundations together with the garden shown xxx"

    It says that the "tenant covenants to keep the demised premises and all sewers, drains, pipes, cables, wires and appurtenances in good and tenantable repair and condition and the demised premises properly decorated both internally and externally and in particular (but without prejudice to the generality of the forgoing) so as to support shelter and protect other parts of the building.

    There is then a clause basically saying that the Landlord can enter the demise by appointment and inspect the condition and can then demand the tenant carry out a repair if required.

    There are then clauses that state subject to 50/50 split with upstairs, tenant covenant to keep in good and substantial repair of the following items: main structure, including foundations and roof, joists and beams, gutters and drain pipes, fences, boundary walls, footpaths

    So I am reading from this that I have sole responsibility for my flat as demised and then joint with upstairs for everything else? Does this mean we can crack on with these as per our obligation as they are not alterations no consent is required?

    In the Landlord's covenants it says if the lease upstairs is not granted he shall he be jointly responsible for the above but if there is a lessee they are instead.

    It says if there are any disputes as to which lessee should carry out repairs this will be referred to a surveyor.

    So - can anyone shine any light on this for me please?

    Massive thanks in advance

    Under the leasehold property system , the leaseholder owns a long term rental agreement ( called the Lease ) written on terms more favourable to the lessor . The freeholder ( the registered holder of the freehold title ) has legal ownership of the building and all land areas from the building up to the boundary fence and is the party responsible for administration of the service charges.

    You can download a free guide to "long leaseholders" from LEASE ( ) .


      If you are uncertain about the terms in your lease, the best advice would probably be to take the lease to a solicitor who has experience with interpretation of leases and pay for them to go through the lease and explain it to you.

      From what you have said, it does sound like the leases may pass all maintenance responsibilities on to the two leaseholders, and this would mean that you do not need the freeholders permission for maintenance (as long as you only maintain the building and do not alter it - changing windows to double glazing, for instance, may need freeholders permission even if it is replacing rotten frames).
      If the freeholders only responsibility is the buildings insurance, management fees may be unreasonable.


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