Leaseholder handbook

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

The Gateshead Housing Company manages just under 20,000 rented properties and is working to improve council housing in Gateshead.

In addition to this, the housing company also manages over 800 leasehold properties on behalf of Gateshead Council (“the Landlord”).

The company was set up as an ‘Arms-Length Management Organisation’ (ALMO), which means that it is fully owned by Gateshead Council , but operates independently.

Your lease agreement remains with Gateshead Council, however the housing company is responsible for enforcing this agreement and the provision of your housing management, repair and maintenance services.

This guide is for:

  • Leaseholders living in a Gateshead Council-owned block of flats, or flat above shops
  • Gateshead Council tenants who are thinking of buying the leasehold of their flat
  • Anyone who is thinking of buying a flat from a leaseholder.

What is it for?

  • To explain the rights and responsibilities of you as a leaseholder, Gateshead Council as the landlord and The Gateshead Housing Company as the managing agent
  • To provide help and advice about being a leaseholder
  • To tell you about the services you are entitled to.

Leasehold handbook – contents

The Lease

  • What is a lease?
  • Your rights as a leaseholder
  • Your responsibilities as a leaseholder
  • Our rights as a landlord
  • Our responsibilities as a landlord
  • Extending your lease.

Service charges

  • What is a service charge?
  • What is included in my service charge?
  • How are service charges calculated?
  • What do service charge bills look like?
  • How do I pay my service charge bills?
  • Difficulties in paying your service charges
  • Non-payment of service charges
  • What if I do not agree with the charges I have been asked to pay?

Consultation and major works

  • Major works
  • Consultation
  • Methods of payment and assistance
  • Alternative help and support
  • Mandatory capping of major works service charges
  • Discretionary capping of major works service charges.


  • Buildings insurance
  • Who will provide your buildings insurance cover?
  • What does the buildings insurance policy cover?
  • Your buildings insurance premium
  • New leaseholders
  • Sub-letting
  • Leaving your property empty
  • Change in circumstances
  • Contents insurance.

Repairs and maintenance

  • Who is responsible for repairs?
  • How to report a repair that is our responsibility
  • What do I need to tell you when I report a repair?
  • What will happen next?
  • Who will carry out the repair?
  • When I’ve reported a repair how long will it take to do?
  • Gas servicing
  • Making sure you get a good service
  • Repairs to your own flat
  • Condensation.

Alterations and improvements

  • Doing your own alterations/improvements
  • What sort of alterations/improvements do I need permission for?
  • How do I get permission?

Selling or letting

  • Buying a leasehold flat
  • Selling your lease or leaving it in your will
  • Pre-sale enquiry pack
  • Service charges
  • Registering a sale
  • Paying back discount
  • Moving out temporarily
  • Buying the freehold
  • Buying the loft space
  • Subletting your home to lodgers or sub-tenants.

Estate management

  • Pets
  • Gardens
  • Car parking
  • Garages
  • Refuse
  • Rats, mice and other pests
  • Grounds maintenance
  • Cleaning
  • Caretaking service
  • Concierge service
  • Antisocial behaviour
  • Domestic abuse
  • Protecting you
  • Involvement.

Compliments, complaints and suggestions

  • Compliments
  • Complaints
  • Disputes
  • Complaint scrutiny panel