When you buy a Cestria Community Housing flat, you are not buying the property itself but the right to live in the property for a specified number of years. This is principally what is known as a lease. A lease is a fixed term tenancy agreement that sets out the rights and responsibilities of both you as the leaseholder and Cestria Community Housing as a landlord. Most common leases are drawn up for a period of 99 years and depending on how long the lease has been in force for you would inherit the remaining number of years left on the lease so for example if the lease was drawn up 40 years ago you would be buying a lease to live in the property for the remaining 59 years. Every lease is different and the specifics of the lease term will be discussed with you by your solicitor.
Cestria Community Housing owns the freehold to the property and has responsibility for the management of the building and any communal grounds as a landlord. Under the terms of the lease, Cestria Community Housing will be required to maintain the exterior of the building, and internal communal areas.
The lease also sets out any charges that as a leaseholder you are required to pay such as ground rent and service charges.
A service charge is a payment made by a tenant, leaseholder towards the costs incurred by the landlord for providing and maintaining services to the shared parts of the building and the estate, some of these services might include:
- General maintenance and repairs
- Building insurance
- Communal heating & lighting
- Grounds Maintenance
Your service charge is your contribution towards these costs. Not all items will be charged to every home, those that you do pay for will be detailed in your lease.
Ground Rent is an annual payment made to the landlord as a condition of the lease and is controlled by legislation. The amount and date for payment is set out within the lease.
You can make payments for your service charges in many different ways:
By Post Cheques, Postal Orders should be crossed and made Payable to Cestria Community Housing
Write the account number and document number on the back of the cheque and post it to:
DO NOT SEND CASH IN THE POST