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Your Lease

Your lease is a contract between yourself and whoever owns the freehold of your property. When the ownership of the freehold changes, as would be the case if transfer goes ahead, the lease is not changed. The lease cannot be changed without your agreement, or in fact the agreement of everyone in your block, since all leases in the same block must be the same.

The major difference is likely to be the attitude of THCH to its responsibilities under the lease.

The leases are written so as to minimise the accountability of the landlord - as far as maintenance is concerned, it can do what it wants, when it wants, and if it wants.

THCH's proposals for maintaining the estate as far as tenants are concerned are guaranteed to be funded, so there is unlikely to be any reason why on-going maintenance will not take place.

Also, THCH have an attitude of partnership towards leaseholders, recognising them to be as important a part of the community as tenants. They will be less obstructive than you may have found the council to be at times.

The definition of "your" estate is in your lease. Although Mansford Estate would be managed as a whole, your responsibility for the upkeep of areas outside your block will continue to be (or in practice may start to be) as defined in your lease. You cannot be charged for the upkeep of communal areas which are outside the area defined in your lease.

Does this mean I will receive a big bill?

Yes it does, probably. However your property will have one-off upgrade which is designed to minimise expenditure for the next 30 years. THCH will aim to limit the proportion of the costs of capital works, which it passes on to leaseholders wherever possible. If the estate transfers to THCH you will be consulted both as an individual and on a block by block basis to find out exactly what works are necessary.

How do I pay? 

A variety of options were covered in the ESG meeting on 14 October to discuss leaseholders' issues. THCH will offer leaseholders a range of alternative repayment mechanisms for meeting the costs of capital works for which they are liable. No leaseholder will be billed until ALL capital works on the estate have been completed. This will be AT LEAST 3 years after transfer, if transfer takes place. THCH will allow leaseholders to pay these sums by instalments over 2 years from the date of the first bill. THCH also commits not to charge interest for this period. The methods of payment will also include: -

  • If the leaseholder needs more than two years to pay, THCH will consider this, however, interest will then be charged at a rate set by the Director of Finance for the whole period
  • Conversion to a shared ownership lease, where possible and subject to the agreement of the leaseholders lender
  • The offer of a second mortgage, where such a mortgage can be secured against the leaseholder property
  • Taking out a charge against the property where the leaseholder is unable to make payments
  • In extreme circumstances, to reduce the charge under general charitable powers according to the exceptional hardship assessment

Leaseholders should also consider that such massive capital investment to the estate will have a strongly positive impact on property values.

What if the council recently upgraded my block?

Upgrades will be charged on a block-by-block basis, based on the actual costs of the work carried out. Your block, like every block, will be surveyed, you will be consulted, and whatever work is required to secure the block for 30 years will still need to be done.

If the Council's work was up to scratch, the chances are that it will not need to be done again, so you will not be charged again. 

What if I have already upgraded my property?

The ESG have negotiated a deal with THCH whereby if you have already independently upgraded your property - for example by installing double glazing - you will not have to pay a share of the cost of the same work on the rest of your block. The council would charge you for a share of the costs of the whole block, even if they did not replace your renovations. 


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