If you live in a flat or maisonette, Blackpool Council hold the freehold of the building and own the land your home is built on.
Leasehold is like a very long tenancy. The Lease is a legal contract between you and Blackpool Council as your Landlord and sets out your rights as leaseholder and the Council’s rights as freeholder.
Your lease gives you the right to live in your home for a fixed number of years – usually up to 125. The length of your lease reduces over time from the date it was originally taken out.
Blackpool Council owns the building in which you live and is responsible for looking after the structure and communal areas of the block.
Although Blackpool Council is your legal landlord, Blackpool Coastal Housing manages your home on behalf of the Council.
We are responsible for the repair and maintenance of the structure, exterior and shared parts of your block of flats.
This may include:
- Communal door, lighting and pipes under the floor
- Water penetration test after leak from other flat or communal area
- Rainwater and soil pipes
- Decoration of communal areas
- Communal facilities such as car parking areas, communal gardens, bin rooms, fencing and drying areas
- Exterior walls, timbers, joists and beams
|Your lease states that you must contribute a share of the costs of any repair or maintenance to the building.|
As a Leaseholder your responsibilities may include:
- Internal and external door repairs
- Windows in your flat
- Heating e.g. central heating and hot water systems
- Electrical supply and faults within your flat
- Plumbing within your flat
- Floors within your flat
- Internal decoration in your flat
- Fittings such as kitchen units, sinks, toilets, baths and showers
Your gas appliances should be checked regularly by a Gas Safe registered engineer to ensure they are safe and in good condition.
You will also need to provide us with a copy of your annual gas safety certificate; we regularly monitor all accounts to check this has been received.
BCH, along with our partnering Gas Contractor Read and Errington, offer an annual Gas Safety Care & Maintenance Scheme. This scheme covers breakdowns to your heating and hot water system as well as the annual gas safety inspection and gas safety certificate.
You would need to pay for this service in advance; for more information, contact us at the Homeownership team.
Before completing any alterations or improvements to your home, you must first request permission from us.
You can do this by writing to the Homeownership team and providing information on the type of alterations or improvements you wish to make.
If you have already had work completed, it is important that you still contact us for retrospective consent.
|Permission for loft conversions will not be granted as this area is not included in your lease and remains Blackpool Council’s responsibility as your landlord.|
You do not need our permission to sell your flat, although you must tell us about any change of ownership.
You, your solicitor or the solicitors acting for the purchasers must send a Notice of Assignment to Blackpool Council. Until this Notice is received, we cannot transfer the ownership and all service charge invoices will continue to be sent to you as you will remain liable for the payment of these.
If you choose to sell your flat, please contact us for further information.
If you decide to sub-let your flat, you must:
- Let us know your contact address and telephone number.
- Ensure that your tenant keeps to the terms contained within the lease; any incidents of anti-social behaviour or nuisance may result in action being taken against you, as well as the perpetrator.
- Continue to provide us with an annual Gas Safety Certificate.
- Continue to pay the service charges as these remain your responsibility – non-payment will result in recovery action against you.
From time to time we will need to carry out major works, if there are planned works to your property then we will be in touch and further information will be provided.
We have a duty to consult with leaseholders when:
- Works to a property will result in a charge to any one leaseholder of more than £250.
- A long-term agreement (building insurance, grounds maintenance, lifts & door entry systems) with a contractor to provide goods or services lasting more than 12 months means leaseholders are required to pay more than £100 per year.
A section 20 notice (S20) is a notice to tell you that we intend to carry out work or provide a service that leaseholders will have to pay towards.
We are legally required to consult with leaseholders before carrying out major works. This means that as a leaseholder you are entitled to further consultation often called “Section 20” because it was introduced by Section 20 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985.
We must serve a S20 on any leaseholder who will be affected by the work or receive the service.
We must also send a copy of the S20 notice to any registered tenants’ association (RTA) that is associated with the building your home is in or the estate it is on.
The S20 will include information about what we plan to do and how much it is estimated to cost. It will give you the opportunity to take part in the consultation process and comment on what is being planned.
We have had an increase in leaseholders requesting to use their flats as Airbnb’s.
Your lease contains a covenant not to us the premises for any purpose whatsoever other than as a private residence, shown below;
Neither the Premises nor any part thereof shall be used for any purpose of an illegal immoral improper unpleasant noisy or noxious nature nor shall any trade profession or business be carried out on there but the Lessee shall use the same for the purpose of a private Flat for residential purposes only. (Seventh Schedule)
A case was taken to the Upper Tribunal in 2018 who decreed that the definition of a private residence is that it must be used as a home with a degree of permanence from the resident. Short term lets of days and weeks rather than months as advertised on Airbnb or similar, do not qualify as a private residence and therefore breach the terms of the lease.
Therefore, no Blackpool Council Leasehold property can be used for short term letting (Airbnb and other ‘holiday’ letting sites)
We regularly check the websites for properties listed and any property found to be using their property in this way will be passed to Blackpool Council to take legal action for Breach of lease.