Terms Used in Your Lease

Here is a list of terms used in your lease for your reference. Please note that this is just for assistance to understanding your lease and are not precise legal definitions. If you notice any words on this site or in your lease that you do not understand, please contact Crown Simmons Housing on 01372 461440 to request an explanation and have the term added to this page.

Administration Charge

Amount payable by a leaseholder for information or services exclusive to them only, for example the cost of providing certain information or documents, costs arising in connection with a breach of the lease, etc. These are “on cost” for providing a service to the block of flats includes staffing, IT, postage, etc. and for the staff time in providing documents or arranging repairs.

Apportionment

The way the costs are divided in accordance with the lease which includes service charges and major works.

Breach of Covenant

When a condition, obligation or duty set out in your lease is breached or broken (see Covenant).

Certified Accounts

These are the end of year accounts that have been certified by an accountant.

Communal Areas

The parts of the building you share with other residents in the building, for example entrance halls and staircases, which are not part of your demise/lease.

Consents

These are written permissions that you require from Crown Simmons when you wish to make alterations and or additions to your property.

Consultation

This sets out your right to be consulted about major works and any long-term agreements.

Covenant

A legally binding promise.

Deed of Covenant

This is the legal document setting out terms and conditions, any agreements, permissions, undertakings and restrictions.

Demised Premises

The part of the building that has been sold to you and is your responsibility.

Encumbrances

Anything that may affect or limit the legal title of a property such as mortgages, leases, easements or reductions, charging orders, building orders and structural alterations.

Exclusions & Reservations

Rights we keep as landlord over your home.

Forfeiture

The legal ending of your lease and repossession when your lease has been breached.

Freehold

Owner of the building and the land that the building sits on.

Ground Rent

Set payment to the freeholder. Sometimes the amount is called a ‘peppercorn’ if it is too small to collect.

Housing Association

Not-for-profit organisation set up to provide low cost housing.

Landlord or Lessor

The owner of the land, entitled to receive service charges and who will eventually own the property when the lease comes to an end.

Lease

A legal document setting out the rights and obligations of the leaseholder and the landlord, giving conditional ownership of a property, typically for 99/125/999 years.

Leasehold

Ownership of a property (see Lease).

Leaseholder

A person who owns a property on a lease (see also Lessee).

Lessee

The person who owns the lease and has the right to live in the property (see also Leaseholder).

1st Tier Tribunal

Tribunal service in England given power by government to settle disagreements or disputes between leaseholders and freeholders about service charges, instead of going to court.  The tribunal usually consists of a panel of three people; one with a background in property law (generally a solicitor), another with a background in property valuation (generally a qualified surveyor) and a layman.

Ombudsman

Individual appointed by the government with significant degree of independence to investigate and address complaints towards companies and organisations.

Schedules

These describe any rights the landlord and the leaseholder have over the property.

Service Charge

Money the leaseholder pays to the landlord or freeholder to pay for the maintenance and upkeep of the communal parts of the property.

Sinking Fund

Also known as ‘Reserve Fund’ or ‘Provisions’.  Part of Service Charge payments collected to pay for work, usually of a major nature, which is carried out only occasionally, such as: Roofing, installation of windows and cyclical works like external decorations to the communal areas.

Subletting

When you let your flat to someone else.

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