Leaseholders and Freeholders
As one of the largest housing groups in the Midlands and East of England, we own and manage over 24,000 homes. Of those, 6,000 properties are leasehold, shared ownership and retirement living homes.
With a clear set of values that unite the Group, we put our customers first and work in collaboration with partners that share our ambition and vision – Improving Lives.
We've put together some frequently asked questions relating to home ownership. The information contained here is a guide only and won't cover everything. Contact us for more information if your question is not answered here.
Your lease or freehold transfer will determine whether you can carry out any alterations or additions.
We would therefore recommend you first check your lease or freehold transfer agreement to see whether the alteration or addition you are considering is permitted and/or needs our prior consent.
A copy of your lease or freehold transfer will have been provided by your Solicitor when you purchased the property. We can provide a copy of your lease or freehold transfer at a charge if required.
There is a fee payable for us to process your permission request. You can request up to five alterations within one alteration permission fee, therefore if you’re considering any other alterations within the next 12 months please submit these at the same time.
If you lease or freehold transfer states, you need permission for alterations and/or additions, please click here to request permission to make alterations to your home.
You're normally responsible for all repairs and maintenance to your property. You might also pay a service charge contribution towards communal areas such as unadopted roadways and public open space which we maintain. If you need to report a communal repair please call 0800 111 4013.
You're normally responsible for the internal repairs to your property. To report a repair for a communal area, please call 0800 111 4013.
If you're unsure of your repair responsibilities, please check your lease or transfer for further details or call us on 0800 111 4013.
Your lease will say whether you can sub-let your property or not. Some leases allow it with our permission, while others don't permit sub-letting at all.
If you're considering sub-letting your property, check your lease or contact the Leasehold Services Team on 0800 111 4013.
In accordance with your lease you may be charged an additional fee for the administration of requests such as, home improvements and pet permissions. The fee must be paid prior to any request being granted. Please note, if you proceed without obtaining permission a retrospective permission fee will be charged. Please click here to view our fee schedule.
Buildings and contents insurance - what am I covered for and how do I make a claim?
It's your responsibility to purchase contents insurance, as this isn't covered in your lease.
Contents insurance is designed to help protect your possessions. No matter how careful you are, there’s always a risk that your belongings could be broken, damaged or stolen, so home contents insurance can help provide peace of mind.
We offer a wide range of payment methods to make it easy for you to pay your service charge. We can also offer support to help you manage your payments if you're experiencing financial difficulty.
If you'd like to set up a direct debit please call us on 0800 111 4013 and ask for the Leasehold Team. This can be set up over the phone. Alternatively you can fill in the form online and send it back to us to process.
Please call us on 0800 111 4013 to make a one-off payment.
You can call our Leasehold Team on 0800 111 4013 if you're experiencing issues with paying your service charge. To view your account go to My Account - if you require log in details please contact us.
The team can also help you with the following:
- Discuss your service charge account
- Find out more about any of the ways to pay your service charge
- Get advice on benefits you may be entitled to
- Get access to independent, free organisations that can give you budgeting and debt advice.
To find out the process for extending your lease and the costs involved, read our step-by-step guide by clicking here.
Usually, your lease will say whether you're allowed to keep a domestic pet at your property.
If your lease permits you to keep a pet, you're still required to seek our permission.
Our grounds maintenance contractors maintain the communal grounds of our estates. The number of visits each month depends on the time of year. For example, grass cutting will take place more regularly during the growing season.
If your home comes with a grounds maintenance service, you can expect the following:
- Grass cutting – Grass cutting is weather dependent but we endeavour to cut grass every two weeks between March and October.
- Hedge cutting - This'll usually consist of one cut per year, and will take place outside of the bird nesting season which is between February and July.
- Shrub pruning - Cut all shrubs in communal areas. All shrubs should be kept at a height of no more than 160 centimetres. Some shrubs will require hard pruning at times, which may lead to the shrubs looking unsightly for a short time before they regrow. Yearly prune unless overgrowing paths or creating a health and safety hazard.
- Shrub beds - Will be kept weed free through a combination of treatment and hand weeding.
Weed control – Hard standing areas will normally receive four sprays during the growing season between March and October.
- Leaf collection - Will take place monthly on each site visit between October and January.
Hard areas - All hard areas will be swept monthly, with all litter removed and any build-up of debris removed.
- Trees – An annual tree survey will take place, which'll inform us of any work required for health and safety purposes. We won't normally prune trees to improve TV/satellite reception, if they block light or drop leaves or fruits.
What ISN'T included?
- Removal of green rubbish generated by customers.
- Maintenance of any plants or shrubs planted by customers.
- Removal of any garden furniture or any other items that could impede grounds maintenance duties such as grass cutting. It's up to residents to ensure areas of grass are free of all obstacles.
If you have any queries regarding communal grounds maintenance or cleaning, please click here to complete an enquiry form.
If you'd like to give permission to a named person (a relative or close friend) to discuss matters relating to your tenancy or lease (including your contact details) please fill in our consent to disclose information form.
There are many ways you can get involved.
Joining one of our groups is a great way of developing new and existing skills, gaining experience and meeting new people, as well as helping to improve the services you receive from us.
You can also join The Hub, our online customer engagement platform where customers can have their say and contribute to engagement projects.