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Lease agreements

Leaseholders buy the right to live in a property for a fixed number of years. At the end of the lease, ownership of the property returns to your landlord; unless you apply to extend the lease or in the case of shared owners in houses, purchase 100% of the property and obtain the freehold.

With the freedom and independence of being a leaseholder, comes additional responsibilities. Your lease agreement sets out your rights and obligations in full. A copy of the lease should have been given to you by your solicitor when you purchased your property. Your solicitor should have also explained the main provisions of the lease.

If you are a shared owner, you can find additional information on the shared ownership lease agreements page.

About your lease

This guide is only a summary of your lease. Your lease is a legally binding document and along with any other relevant legislation, takes precedence over the information contained in this guide.

Your lease is the legal contract between you and your landlord. It is a very important document that describes the property you live in and the surrounding estate (if applicable). The lease gives you rights over the land and/or buildings for a set period of time. When this period of time expires, these rights and the property revert back to the landlord unless you successfully apply for a lease extension or purchase the freehold.

Below, we outline some of the key elements common to leases of Orbit properties:

The conditions of your lease

Your lease is divided into schedules and these outline the conditions or responsibilities applicable to you as the lessee and to Orbit as the lessor or landlord.

Orbit’s responsibilities

  • To insure the building (but not the contents of your home).
  • To keep the structure and exterior of the building in good repair.
  • To maintain and repair all the communal parts of the building and estate.
  • To maintain the services, such as gas and electricity to your building.
  • To keep clean and lighted all the communal parts of the building
  • To maintain and keep tidy all communal landscaped areas and to maintain trees and bushes on the estate.

Please remember that while we are responsible for arranging and carrying out repairs, upkeep and management of your building and estate; you are responsible for paying your share of the costs incurred. We recoup these costs through your service charge. You should not undertake any repairs or maintenance to the areas for which we are responsible. Please contact us if you think work is needed.

Your responsibilities

  • To pay the ground rent and service charges (including the costs of major work) as required. 
  • Only to use your property as a private home
  • To keep the interior of your home plus fixtures and fittings in good condition and repair
  • To allow us or our contractors access to carry out necessary work to your home 
  • Not to alter the exterior or interior of your home without our permission
  • Not to cause a nuisance or annoyance to neighbours
  • To send us legal notice of any change in ownership.

Rules and regulations contained in your lease

In addition to the above, each lease typically contains rules and regulations on the following:

  • Anti-social behaviour
  • Running a business from home
  • Pets
  • Health & Safety
  • Gas Safety Tests to Gas Appliances
  • Parking of vehicles and use of roadways
  • Rubbish Disposal
  • Damage to the Building
  • Sub Tenants
  • Overcrowding
  • Smoke Detectors
  • Advertisements or Sale Notices

Rules and Regulations are reviewed from time to time to ensure that similar regulations apply to both leaseholders and tenants living on the same estate.

A copy of the current rules and regulations applicable to your lease can be obtained from the Leasehold Team.

Your rights as a leaseholder

As well as responsibilities, you have rights, which are included in the lease. Your main rights are:

  • To live in your home for the length of the lease
  • The quiet enjoyment of your home
  • For flat owners, the repair of the structure and communal areas by Orbit

Leaseholders have additional rights under the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002:

  • The right to extend your lease
  • The Right to Manage. This means that you can take over the management of the building from us. However, certain conditions must first be met. Details of these conditions can be found on the LEASE Advice website.

Orbit’s rights as landlord

We also have rights under the lease. Some of these rights are:

  • To gain access to your home to carry out inspections or repairs
  • To collect ground rent and make service charges to cover your share of the costs of the repair, upkeep and management of your building and estate.