Leasehold handbook – Repairs and maintenance

by The Gateshead Housing Company & filed under Owning your home - leaseholder - leasehold handbook, Owning your home - leaseholders.

Repairs – your responsibility

You are responsible for maintaining and repairing the inside of your property. You need to arrange for a qualified tradesperson to carry out any repair that is your responsibility (eg inside your home). If you ask us to carry out a repair that is your responsibility, in some circumstances we may carry out the work, but we will charge you for it (see Emergency repairs).

Simple guide to repair responsibilities

Your exact responsibilities will depend on your lease.

Repairs – our responsibility

We are responsible for maintaining and repairing the structure and the common parts of your building. Your lease allows us to charge you a fair share of the cost of these works.

To enable you to budget for any repair works we will send you Repairs and Maintenance Statements throughout the year, confirming work we have carried out to your block and your contribution towards the costs.

You will be billed for repairs detailed on your statement through your “actual service charge” invoice, which is issued in June each year.

If you need to report a repair and it is our responsibility to carry it out, please contact our HomeRepairs service

Emergency repairs

We will carry out emergency repairs to a leasehold property if:

  • Making safe is part of a wider emergency for the block
  • Not making safe might put you or your neighbours in danger

We will only “make safe” in dangerous situations. You will need to carry out any follow-up works yourself. You should call out your own contractor to do this. If we do carry out any follow-up work, we will charge you for it.

Gas servicing

You must have your gas safety inspection carried out at intervals of no more than 12 months since the previous inspection, and send a copy of your certificate to leasehold@gatesheadhousing.co.uk. Once we have logged your certificate, we will send you a reminder each year, advising a new certificate is due.

TGHC HomeRepairs offers a gas servicing scheme for leaseholders at a competitive rate. We can service and inspect your gas appliances, including your boiler, gas fire, gas cooker and carbon monoxide detector, and provide you with a Gas Safety (CP12) certificate for your records.

The cost of the safety check can be added to your service charges and paid over monthly instalments.

Get further details and an application form

In some circumstances (dependent on your lease) we have the right to carry out the service and recover any costs from you if you do not supply us with a copy of your certificate.

Leasehold alterations

As a leaseholder, you have the right to improve your home. However, in line with the terms of your lease, you must get written permission from us if you want to carry out improvements or alterations to any part of the property that is Gateshead Council’s responsibility.

Landlord’s written consent to alterations must be given by Gateshead Council. If your proposal is accepted, you will usually receive a consent letter, which will set out a number of conditions you must fulfil.

You must seek landlord consent before you approach the Planning Department or Building Control. Without the formal written consent of the Council you will be in breach of your lease, and if you carry out unauthorised alterations you may be asked to return the property to its original condition. Gateshead Council may also take legal action against you.

TGHC manages the process on behalf of Gateshead Council.

In addition to landlord consent, you may need a number of other permissions to support your application, such as building control, planning or compliance with fire regulations. Again, these should only be approached once you have received written consent from Gateshead Council.

You will need to be clear in your application exactly what you are planning to do and who will carry out the work and how. Your contractor may need to be an approved contractor (eg for gas appliances).

To support your request, you must provide:

  • Details of what you want to do, including a drawing or a plan
  • Who will carry out the works
  • Specification, including details of how the work will be carried out

A building surveyor may need to visit to see what you intend to do, before a final decision is made.

We will respond to your request within 20 working days. If we are unable to do so, we will inform you of the reason(s) why. If we refuse permission, we will give you our reasons in writing.

If you request permission before you carry out the work, there will be no charge. However, you will be charged if retrospective permission is required.

If you sell your property in the future, you will normally have to provide documentation confirming you got permission for any work you have had done to your property. It is therefore in your best interests that you have already discussed this with us, and the appropriate permissions are in place.

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