Your lease

Your lease is a formal written contract between you and us which sets out your rights of ownership.
As the landlord, we own the freehold of the building and the land the property is built on.

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Rights and responsibilities

Your lease sets out the detailed rights and responsibilities we have towards you and the property as a whole, and includes details of services that we must provide. All our leases have similar clauses. Your lease allows you to occupy the property for a set number of years.

Most owner occupiers have long leases of 99 or 125 years. This reduces over time, from the date the lease was first granted. The outstanding term will depend on what was left on the lease when you took it over.

If you sell your home, your rights and responsibilities described in the lease of your property are sold on (assigned) to the new owner. It is important that you have a complete copy of your lease that your solicitor should provide you with. If you’ve lost it, we can provide you with a replacement for a small fee. The information on this page is intended as a quick reference guide only.

You should also be aware that your and our rights and responsibilities can change over time. We will usually write and tell you when there are changes to the law which result in changes to the way we have to run our business using our usual procedures on consultation.Changes may also be highlighted from time to time in our newsletters or other information we send to residents, so please check correspondence you receive from us promptly and contact us if you need more information.

Further guidance and advice is also available through the following:

  • Local libraries may be able to give you copies of Acts of Parliament, as well as other information and guidebooks
  • The Leasehold Advisory Service provide advice and information

For more information, you should refer to your lease on the first instance, preferably with professional assistance. We will always ensure that the management of your property and service charges follow the terms of your lease.

Improvements, alterations and DIY

You must not carry out structural improvements to your home without first obtaining our permission in writing. The following are examples of alterations requiring permission:

  • Removing internal walls
  • Installing a new bathroom, shower or kitchen where you are connecting into the plumbing for the block
  • Replacing windows
  • Adding to the existing structure, e.g. conservatory or lean to
  • Adding a garden area – if you wish to add a garden area, you will need to contact Old Oak Housing to discuss how ownership can be transferred to you.

Please put any request to us in writing. We aim to respond to requests for improvements within 10 days. There may be a charge if a surveyor has to visit, but this will be discussed with you in advance.

You may also need planning permission and it is your responsibility to check before carrying out any work.

Right to information

All residents have the right to be told about changes in housing policy or practice that we adopt once consultation is completed. We usually publicise changes to policies and procedures by writing to our residents, through our newsletters and by asking for your view in advance, before we make changes under our consultation procedures. The most commonly used policies are available on request and will be posted on our website.

Access to information

You have rights under the Data Protection Act to check any details we hold about you on our computer system or manual files. You can ask us to remove or correct any information that you think is incorrect. If we don’t agree with you, you have the right to appeal. If you do want to see any records please contact us. A fee may be payable for the provision of any documents requested.

Access to your home

If we require access to your home – as is sometimes necessary if we need to carry out a repair either to your property or one close by – we will normally give you at least 24 hours notice and do our best to get your permission first. In emergencies, we do have the legal right to enter your property without notice.

Administrative charges

Most of the services we provide incur an administration fee for the work involved. These include things like subletting, copying of leases and selling your home. These will be explained in any information we send you about such services.

Communal services

We are responsible for setting and monitoring your local communal services. If you have any queries about the management of your property or block, please contact us on 020 8743 5486 or using our online form.

The administration of your service charge is managed centrally by our Service Charge Team at Family Mosaic.

Forfeiture

If you breach the terms of your lease, we have the right to forfeit the lease and recover possession of the property.

Ownership

The Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 and the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002 give you the right, in certain circumstances, to buy the freehold of your property, but with certain conditions attached. For more information on this and other leasehold issues, please visit the Leasehold Advisory Service.

FAQs

Can I change the terms of my lease?
You can vary the terms of your lease by agreement with us. In addition, you have the right to appeal to a leasehold valuation tribunal on specific grounds, so that you can vary your lease.
How can I get involved in the management of my home?

If you have any comments or suggestions about the services we provide, or would like to set up a local leaseholders’ group, please speak to your Neighbourhood Manager in the first instance.

Can I improve my home?

We want to give you as much freedom as possible to change your home, but we need to make sure that any changes you make won’t have negative implications for other owners, or affect the structure of the building. You will need to get our written agreement when you carrying out any of the following improvements:

  • extensions
  • conversions
  • changing windows and external doors
  • anything requiring scaffolding or access to communal facilities
  • anything that affects the structure of your home
How do I comment on the cleaning of communal areas?
Call us on 020 8743 5486, email us or drop by our office. Alternatively, you can speak with the contractor directly. We will give you a copy of the cleaning specification they are working to, so that you know what you’re paying for. Generally, internal parts and refuse areas are cleaned weekly, while gardening, for communal areas only, is carried out fortnightly as required from May to October. You’re welcome to come with us when we inspect the estate.
Can I put up a satellite dish?

Affixing any structures, including satellite dishes, may breach planning conditions, can be unsightly and can cause damage to the building. We do not allow individual satellite dishes to be put up on blocks of flats. If you live in a house, you MUST request planning permission before erecting a satellite dish or aerial. If you do put up a satellite dish without permission, you will be charged for the costs of its removal and any remedial works required.

Can I leave my bicycle or pushchair on communal landings?

The short answer is no: communal hallways and landings have to be kept clear at all times because they are a means of escape in case of fire. If anything is left in the hallway, we will ask you to remove it. If you don’t, we will dispose of it and, if we incur costs as a result, may charge this back to you.

Can I run a business from home?
You cannot run a business from your home unless we give you permission in writing, although we will not usually refuse your request unless there are good reasons, e.g. that it would cause a nuisance or annoy other people. You must not use your home for any illegal or immoral purpose.

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Improving homes and the environment, creating healthy communities where all residents can thrive

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Improving homes and the environment, creating healthy communities where all residents can thrive