When you buy a flat, you buy a lease from Brent Council which gives you the right to live and use of the property for an agreed period of time. At the end of the lease period the property will revert back to the council unless the lease is renewed or extended. This type of ownership is called leasehold.
What is my lease?
Council flats are usually sold on a 125 year lease. The lease is a legal contract between you (the leaseholder) and Brent Council (the landlord). It contains details of the property, including a map showing your property, the block it is in, the estate where the block is located, and any garden or other amenities included in the sale. The lease explains your rights and obligations, as well as those of the council.
Ownership consists of everything within the property including the floorboards, plastering to the walls and ceilings and all items that serve the property alone. The Council continues to own the block, including the exterior structure of the flat.
Can I extend my lease?
Leaseholders who have owned their home for at least two years have a right to a new lease. This would normally be granted for 90 years plus the present term still left to run.
You may be required to serve Brent Council with a legal notice. You should seek independent legal advice on this matter.
You will be responsible to pay our legal and valuer's fees of approximately £1,800 plus VAT and your own legal fees.
Lease extension can be a difficult process. We recommend you get professional help from a solicitor and or a surveyor with experience in this area. You can also approach the Leasehold Advisory Service which provides free advice on the law affecting residential leasehold property in England and Wales.
Brent Council is unable to provide an estimate of how much the lease extension will cost, this can only be determined once the valuation has been carried out.
Can I buy the freehold?
Leaseholders can act together to buy the freehold of their building if they meet certain qualifying criteria. This is known as collective enfranchisement. Leaseholders can apply to buy the freehold where at least two-thirds of the property is sold and that two thirds want to buy.
You should seek specialist advice on the best option for your particular circumstances. Alternatively you can obtain further information from the Leasehold Advisory website and they will provide you with free advice and information.
A valuation will be carried out by an independent Chartered Surveyor on each of the individual flats in the block subsequent after a Section 13 notice has been received. You will be responsible to pay our valuer’s fees of the sum of £912, legal and administrative cost of approximately £3000 as well as the value of the freehold.