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Information for Leaseholders

All you need to know about managing your home, including repairs to communal areas and service charges

  • How it works
  • Service charges
  • What you can expect from Torus
  • FAQs

Updated: 19 December 2023

As a Leaseholder you have bought the lease to live in your home for a set period of time, usually 125 years.  Please check the terms of your lease for more details.

Leaseholders do not own the land surrounding their home or the building it is in.

As a Leaseholder you pay a service charge towards the maintenance and management of communal areas, the structure of the building, and other specific services. Please check the terms of your lease for what is covered by the service charge.

If you have any questions, please speak to our Leasehold Team:

Customer Service Standards - levels of service you can expect as a leaseholder  


Your voice, your say – get involved

We will consult all Leaseholders on all aspects that affect their home and community. We encourage Leaseholders to take an active role in monitoring the standards of service received.

As a Leaseholder you can get involved in any of the “Torus Tenant Voice” opportunities, where you can take part in consultations that interest you, share your ideas and influence the service you receive.

We have a dedicated involvement team who support our customer volunteers to give their views and have their say, through a wide range of opportunities to suit them.

Find out more about how you can give your views to improve leasehold services

Leaseholder Insurance

As a Leaseholder you are required to have buildings insurance with Torus, as your Landlord.  This is a condition of your lease.  This is recharged to you through the service charge.

If you need to make a claim on the building insurance you can contact the insurer direct.  Details of how to do this are on the Summary of Cover document.

Please note that you will be liable to pay the excess amount for the claim.

View the full summary of the Leaseholder Insurance Cover document for more information.

Download cover document

Leaseholder Claim Form and Guidance Notes


Leaks

If there is a leak within your property, as the leaseholder, this is your responsibility to resolve. We would ask that you attend to any leak as matter of urgency to prevent any potential damage to neighbouring properties.

If there is a leak into your flat, coming from an external area, or the property above, please report this by contacting Customer Hub on 0800 678 1894 or info@torus.co.uk.  

Should you wish to make a claim for any damage or repairs to your property, you must contact the insurer direct to make a claim as detailed above.

Please note:  Torus will not carry out any repairs to your property following a leak.

Leaseholders information

A lease is a legal document, a contract enforceable in law, which establishes the rights and obligations of both the leaseholder and the landlord.

It is an important document, and you must always keep it in a safe place. If you lose the original lease, we may be able to get you a copy, but there will be a charge for it. You can also obtain a copy from Land Registry who will also charge for a copy. 

Like many legal documents, your lease may be difficult to read and understand. If in any doubt, always seek independent legal advice.

A leaseholder is someone who has bought the lease of a flat or maisonette. It is simply a long-term tenancy giving the right to use and occupy your home for a long period.

If you sell the lease, the buyer takes over the remaining period of the lease. Eventually, when the lease runs out, the property will revert back to us as the landlord. However, you may have the right to a lease extension but there is a cost to this.

As a leaseholder, you are responsible for paying your share of the costs of managing the property and, if you live in a flat or maisonette, for the costs for maintaining the structure, exterior and common areas of the block and also for providing services to the block or estate.

As the freeholder and landlord, we have a legal duty to charge you your share of the costs, and you have a legal duty to pay them.

The freeholder owns the land the property is built on and charges a ground rent.

Communal areas

We manage and maintain the communal areas of your building, including areas such as entrances, corridors, stairwells, carparks, gardens and binstores.  We will recover the cost of managing these areas through the service charge, if the lease allows. 

You must keep the communal areas clean, tidy and clear of all carpet, mats and furniture to comply with current fire regulations.

Keeping pets

Please check your lease to see whether you are allowed to keep pets in your home. Your lease may stipulate that you need written permission from us to keep a pet.  If your lease allows you to keep a pet, then you must ensure that it does not cause a nuisance for example dog fouling and noise nuisance.

Allowing people into your building

Please ensure you only allow access to people who are visiting your flat. You are responsible for the behaviour of people living in your property or visiting your home.

Always ask any visitor who claims to be on official business, for the appropriate identification before you let them in. When you enter or leave the building, always make sure the doors are closed properly behind you. Never leave the communal door wedged open, as this is a major fire safety and security risk.

Neighbours

Please try to be considerate to others and comply with the terms of your lease. Neighbours may have different lifestyles and you should allow for this in the way that you behave.

We will try to help you to resolve your difficulties.

The cost of any services that we may provide is paid for through a ‘service charge’ and these are detailed within your lease. The charges will depend on where you live and what services you receive and may include buildings insurance, landscaping or communal cleaning.

If the lease allows, you may also pay a sinking fund contribution through the service charge.  This is used to save towards the cost of major items of expenditure, such as roof replacement or window renewals.  For any ‘major works’ over £250 total cost per leaseholder, you will be consulted via a Section 20 notification.

Your service charge may also include a management fee to covers the cost of providing a management service to your block or estate and preparing and sending the annual service charge estimates and statements of account, in addition to staff time for dealing with queries and questions.

Always check the terms of your lease to see what the service charge covers.

In most cases, the service charge period runs from 1 April to 31 March each year.  However some leases vary so please check your lease for further information.

You will received an estimated service charge bill in March each year which is due for payment from 1st April.  Payment terms are outlined in the lease, however in most cases we will allow you to pay the charge over 12 months.

In September each year, we will send you a statement of account for the previous year which shows the difference between what we estimated we would spend and what we actually spent.

You can pay your service charge in full, annually, or monthly. The easiest way to pay your rent is by Direct Debit. Arranging a direct debit is easy and can be set up over the phone, by calling 0800 678 1894 or emailing leaseholderteam@torus.co.uk.

If you miss any payments, you will be breaking the terms of your lease and we will instigate arrears proceedings against you.

If you believe you will have difficulty paying your bill or may miss an agreed payment, you should contact the Leasehold team as soon as possible to discuss the matter further.

What repairs and maintenance am I entitled to?

As a Leaseholder, your rights and responsibilities with regard to repairs are different to those of a tenant. You are responsible for maintaining the inside of your own home.

We are responsible for keeping the ‘common parts’ of your block in good repair. This includes repairs to the structure of the building and the communal areas, including:

  • the roof
  • gutters
  • downspouts
  • lighting in communal hallways
  • communal door-entry systems
  • window frames (but not the glass itself)

Please note: the misting up of double glazed windows is due to a failure of the seals and not the frame, so is the responsibility of the leaseholder

Please note: that replacement or additional door entry fobs are available for an extra charge.

Please refer to your lease for further details.

How do I report a repair to the communal area?

You can report the repairs by contacting the Torus Customer Hub:

Please report your repair on the block address and not your individual flat number as this will help staff log the repair correctly.

To help us provide an efficient service, please report any problems as soon as possible, provide your contact details and ask for a job number.

How quickly will the repair be done?

All repairs are prioritised as either Emergency, by Arrangement (Priority or Routine) and or Programmed (Major) Repair:

  • Emergency Repairs – These are faults that could seriously damage your health or the property, we aim make safe any emergency repairs within 4 hours and will aim to complete the job within 24 hours. In an emergency you should call 0800 678 1894.
  • Priority Repairs – These are not emergencies, but repairs, which need to be carried out quickly to prevent further damage to the property and improve customer’s quality of life. We aim to complete the job within 48 hours.
  • Routine Repairs - For all non-emergency jobs we will offer an appointment within 20 calendar days. The quickest way to report a non-emergency repair is online.

Am I responsible for the maintenance of gas appliances?

As a Leaseholder you are responsible for regular servicing of any gas appliances in your home.

It is recommended that you arrange this once a year to ensure that your appliances are safe and working at their most efficient.

As a Leasehold, you have the right to improve your home, however you will require our consent to carry out improvements and we will charge a fee for giving our consent.

Most leases allow for internal alterations, such as kitchen or bathroom replacement, to be made with our written permission. We will not refuse permission unless we have a good reason. You may also need to get planning permission and building regulations approval before starting any work.

Structural alterations and additions are not allowed under the lease.  You must not do anything likely to damage the structure of the building or cause damage to shared services (such as removing internal walls, plumbing to the roof tank, door frames, windows, electricity or gas supplies, or sewerage).

Please refer to your lease for further information.

If you make any alterations or improvements without our written permission, you will be breaking the terms of your lease. We may then ask you to put your property back to how it was or to make sure the alteration reaches an acceptable standard.

We do not need to know about minor work such as decorating.

If you are unsure, then please contact the Leasehold Team.

You can sell your leasehold property at any time and the process is laid out within your lease.  However, if you sell your property within the first five years of purchasing through the Right to Buy or Right to Acquire Schemes, you will have to repay some, or all of your discount.

Also, if you wish to sell or dispose of your property within the first ten years of purchasing, you must offer the property back to Torus under the ‘first right of refusal’.

If you have any questions, please contact the Leasehold Team on 0800 678 1894 or leaseholderteam@torus.co.uk.

Admin fees are charged by Torus for providing additional services to you as a leaseholder.

These may include the costs of dealing with correspondence;  providing copy documents such as the lease; approving a Notice or providing a Certificate of Consent.

These fees are allowable under the terms of your lease.

All these fees include VAT.

Leasehold Management Enquiries (LPE1)
£180.00
Copy Documents £36.00
Notice of Assignment/Charge/Transfer £60.00
Deed of Postponement £60.00
Deed of Variation From £300.00
Certificate of Exemption/Compliance £60.00
Permission to carry out alterations - minor £60.00
Permission to carry out alterations - surveyor required £120.00
Shared Ownership Resales Admin Fee £180.00
Subletting permission (if applicable) £60.00
Remortgage Consent £60.00
Valuation Fee £192.00
Desktop Valuation Fee (within 12 months) £60.00
Lease extension valuation £660.00
Lease extension valuation (intermediate interest) £720.00
Major works management fee 10% contract value
Surrender & Regrant of lease From £300.00
Section 146 Notice £270.00

It’s a good idea to have a will to pass your property onto the person you want it to in the event of your death. You should seek independent legal advice.

Yes, however we require you to let us know details of your tenant and your correspondence address should we need to contact you in an emergency.

As the leaseholder you will remain liable for the payment of any service charges and for the behaviour of your tenant.

We provide building insurance for your home and recharge you through the service charge.  We will provide you with a copy of the Summary of Cover on request or alternatively copies can be downloaded from our website.  If you need to make a claim, you can contact the Insurers directly. You are liable for the payment of excess on any insurance claim.

Please remember that the building insurance policy does not cover your personal belongings.  You are responsible for insuring these and we strongly recommend that you take out Contents Insurance as soon as you move in.

If you need to make a claim on the building insurance policy, please contact the claims department at Arthur J Gallagher Housing using the following contact information.

During office hours: 01245 341200.

In the event of an incident out of office hours, you should take whatever action is necessary to prevent further damage. If the damage is catastrophic, where the cost of loss is likely to exceed £5,000 or where the property can no longer be occupied, please immediately contact the nominated Loss Adjuster, QuestGates on telephone number 0845 070 9500.

Please note that there is an excess payable of £100 on all insurance claims.

Torus Customer Hub

0800 678 1894

info@torus.co.uk

The Leasehold Advisory Service

The Leasehold Advisory Service is funded by Government to provide free advice on the law affecting residential leasehold property in England and Wales.

The LEASE Advisory Guides provide detailed advice on the main issues that affect leasehold property. They are written, and regularly reviewed, by a team of professional legal advisers.  Please remember that these are guides only and are not a substitute for personal legal advice.

70-74 City Road, London, EC1Y 2BJ

020 7490 9580

www.lease-advice.org

First-Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber Residential Property)

You can apply to the First-Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber - Residential Property) if you’re a landlord, tenant, freeholder or leaseholder.  The cases you can apply for include:

  • Leasehold disputes and Leasehold management
  • Service Charges
  • Leasehold enfranchisement
  • Lease variations

First Floor, 25 York Street, Manchester, M1 4JB.  Tel: 0845 600 3178

www.gov.uk/courts-tribunals/first-tier-tribunal-property-chamber

National Emergency Gas Leak Number – 24 hour

0800 111 999

United Utility Emergency Water Leaks

0800 330 033

Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB)

www.citizensadvice.org.uk

Your local council

You can access all council services including bin collections, pest control, council tax and planning via the City Council website or contact number below. Find your local council here: www.gov.uk/find-local-council