Information for leaseholders
Your home gives you the benefit of home ownership and independence, but with the added security and reassurance of knowing help is on hand if needed.
The information below is relevant to you as a leaseholder.
How can I extend my lease?
If you’re a leaseholder and live in Church Bailey, Bourne Court or Cheneys Lodge, have you considered the number of years that are left on your lease?
As the years diminish it’s likely that the value of your property will also reduce. If you’re thinking of selling your property in the future it will be more favourable with buyers if the lease is a good length.
If you've more than 90 years remaining, the value added to the flat by extending the lease may not be much, so there's no urgency for leaseholders with 90 years or more left who plan to stay put. However, everyone – whether selling or staying – should start thinking about a lease extension once their lease gets to around 80 years. Leases which are shorter than 80 years can be more expensive to extend.
For more information about extending your lease please visit these websites:
If you live in our Leasehold for the Elderly Schemes (LSE) at Downash Court, Nevill Court, Sackville Court or Waldron Court, then if you sell your home, a new lease will be issued to your buyer so you do not need to extend your lease.
We are currently developing a step by step guide about extending your lease.
If you wish to find out more about extending your lease please complete the online form on our contact us page.
Right to manage and management disputes
You may be able to change the management of your building if you’re unhappy with the way it’s being run and you live in a leasehold flat. You can either:
- ask a tribunal to appoint a new manager
- take over the management responsibilities, known as your ‘right to manage
Appoint a new manager
You must prove bad management if you want to appoint a new manager, for example:
- you have to pay unreasonable service charges
- the landlord hasn’t complied with an approved code of management practice.
Apply to a tribunal in England, or the Leasehold Valuation Tribunals in Wales.
You can only apply to the tribunal if you’ve sent us a ‘Section 22 notice’ - this gives us a chance to fix the problems. Please contact Leasehold Advisory Service for advice.
Right to manage
The right to manage lets you and the other leaseholders take over certain management responsibilities from us without having to prove bad management.
You’ll need to find out if you qualify - please contact Leasehold Advisory Service for advice.
You and the other leaseholders can manage the building yourselves or pay a managing agent to do it.
For further information please visit www.gov.uk
Section 20 consultation
What is Section 20?
It refers to Section 20 (S20) of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 (amended by section 151 of the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002).
It is a piece of law which requires us to consult with you about some of the work and services that you pay for as leaseholders.
How does the Section 20 consultation process work?
Generally, you will get three separate notices under the Section 20 process, one at each of the following three stages:
- A notice of intention - A notice of intention is sent to each leaseholder and the secretary of the recognised tenants association, if there is one. It describes the proposed works (subject to a Section 20), or specifies a time and place where a description can be inspected. The notice also explains why the proposed works are necessary and invites feedback in writing within 30 days. Where relevant, it also informs leaseholders of their right to nominate a contractor.
- Notification of Landlord's proposals - This notice of estimates is sent to each leaseholder and the RTA, if there is one. It must include details of at least two estimates. We then invite feedback in writing within 30 days and consider that feedback in any decisions.
- Notification of award of contract - This when we award the contract to the sucessful tender. This notice is sent within 21 days of entering into a contract, which includes the reasons why the contract was given to the selected contractor and a summary of leaseholder feedback on the estimates (or state a place where feedback can be inspected).
The notification of award of contract isn't required when:
- The contract has been awarded to a contractor nominated by a leaseholder or recognised tenants association, or
- when the contract has been awarded to the contractor with the lowest tender.
I want to sell my home
If you are considering selling your property, the first step is to let us know so we can advise you of the process.
Please tell your scheme manager at the earliest convenience and contact the Allocations and Sales Officer on 01323 875581 or by email.
You will be required to provide information about the property including where the property will be marketed and for how much.
Our sellers information sheet explains;
- What you need to do to sell your property.
- What the process will be and how long it is likely to take.
- What fees you will need to pay and what they cover.
- Contact details for us and our solicitors.
You can find the link to these sheets below, please choose the sheet that is specific to your property type; Retirement Housing Schemes (RHS) or Leasehold Schemes for the Elderly (LSE):
We also have buyers information sheets available which you might want to share with the buyers of your property.
What will the person buying my house have to do?
A potential buyer will be required to complete an assessment to make sure they are eligible for sheltered housing. The eligibility criteria includes but is not limited to; age, the ability to live independently and the ability to be able to pay service charges now and in the future.
Our approval is required before the sale can progress.
We advise you to inform family members, next of kin and executors to the will of the sales process and make a copy of the lease available. This ensures that, in cases where it is necessary for someone else to facilitate the sale of the property, they are clear from the outset as to the process, which should avoid unnecessary delays and costs being incurred.
Dealing with Anti-Social Behaviour
We are able to support residents who may be experiencing Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB). We believe every resident has the right to live without the fear of ASB, nuisance and harassment and take reports of these very seriously.
What is ASB?
"Conduct that has caused, or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress to any person, conduct capable of causing nuisance or annoyance to a person in relation to that person’s occupation of residential premises, or conduct capable of causing housing related nuisance or annoyance to any person."
Examples of ASB may include, but are not limited to:
- Assault and threats of violence
- Criminal activities
- Noise which is a statutory nuisance
- Sexual offences
- Verbal abuse/harassment/intimidation
- Use of weapons
- Cuckooing (which is coercive takeover of the home of a vulnerable tenant)
Some examples of what is not ASB may include, but is not limited to:
- Children playing
- Cooking smells
- DIY noise and day to day noise (such as walking about, closing doors, washing machine)
- Pet fouling
- Lifestyle clashes
- Parking issues
- One-off parties or gatherings
This does not necessarily mean we are not able to help, but it may not be classified as ASB.
How do I report ASB?
Anyone can report ASB to us. Before doing so if the ASB relates to noise nuisance, try talking to the person concerned. In many cases, they may not be aware that their behaviour is causing a nuisance and a polite discussion can often resolve the matter.
If you do not feel comfortable approaching the person(s) in this way then please contact us - there are a number of ways you can do this:
- Contact your scheme manager.
- Complete the contact us form on our website
- Email us at email@example.com or by calling on 01323 875240.
When you make a report you will be asked to provide certain information about the ASB so we can find out more about it and agree if and how we plan to deal with the issue.
What to do in an emergency?
If an incident is serious or life threatening you must call 999 immediately and speak to the emergency services. If you have reported a matter to the police, either via 999 or the non-emergency 101 number it is important that you let us know and provide us with the reference number and the names of any police officers you have spoken to.
In many cases we will need to work in partnership with others to tackle the ASB as they may have the expertise and powers to help resolve the matter. We work with the police, local authorities (such as the environmental health department), mediation services, social services and voluntary organisations.
Useful websites for leaseholders
Here are some useful websites relating to being a leaseholder and other websites that provide information and advice for older people.
Association of Retirement Housing Managers (ARHM)
We are members of the ARHM and they have a wealth of information and publications for leaseholders which is free for you to access. Visit the ARHM website.
For more information about extending your lease please visit these websites:
- Adult social care provide support to adults and you can request an assessment.
Visit the East Sussex Adult Social Care website.
Visit the West Sussex Adult Social Care website.
- Shelter provide housing advice, for example on repairs, tenancies and eviction.
- Citizens Advice provide free advice, for example on housing, benefits and universal credit. Citizens Advice West Sussex and Citizens Advice East Sussex.
- Age UK provide advice and support for older people.
- STEPS is a free and confidential housing support service for people aged 60 and over provided by East Sussex County Council.