As a Dartford Borough Council leaseholder you have purchased the right to live in your property for a fixed number of years (usually 125). The Council is the freeholder and landlord of the block and estate, and you are the leaseholder of the property.
Your lease is the legal contract between you and the Council. It gives you and your successors the right of possession of your property, as long as you accept and adhere to the conditions in the lease.
If you have purchased your leasehold property on the open market by way of a deed transfer, please note that the outgoing leaseholder transfers not only the Lease itself but all liabilities as well, in their entirety.
Debit or credit balances which remain on the service charges account as at the date of transfer are automatically transferred over to the new lessee upon completion. The new lessee is responsible for paying all invoices which are issued on or after the date of transfer, irrespective of when the leasehold property was purchased – and these charges may relate to a period prior to the date of purchase.
The lessee also becomes immediately responsible for contributing towards any expenditure incurred by the Council for repairing and maintaining the block and estate their property is situated in during each financial year, in accordance with the Lease Agreement.
Please see the following documents which contain further information about your rights and responsibilities as lessee and the Council's responsibilities as landlord.
- About your lease
- Buying or acquiring a lease
- Management arrangements
- How to lease
- Request cleansing of a communal area
- Help and advice
- Useful contacts
- Property alteration request form
- Preventing costly leaks within your home
- Major works and service charges policy
Repairs and Maintenance:
The Council is responsible for keeping the structure of the building, the common parts of the block and any external communal areas in a good state of repair. Leaseholders have the right to be consulted about contracts (qualifying long term agreements), and certain works and/or major repairs (qualifying works), for which they will be charged a proportionate amount. For more information see the Leaseholders Guide to Consultation for Major Works and Long Term Contracts.
In addition to any planning or building control requirements, leaseholders are required to seek permission from Dartford Borough Council Housing Services for any building alterations they may wish to make to their property, as the Council retains ownership of the fabric of the building. This includes loft spaces and roofs. Leaseholders are therefore required to gain permission for any proposed alterations which may have an impact on the building. When assessing a property alteration form, the Council’s surveyors must ensure that any proposed works will not affect the fabric of the building or those living within the locality.
Loft extensions will not be approved at any time as these affect the structure of the building and the Council retains ownership of all communal loft spaces.
A property alterations form must be completed for all proposed works, however some examples are listed below:
- Works affecting services to the property such as electricity, gas, drainage, water supply
- Any proposed structural change to the building
- Installation of central heating / replacement of boiler
- Any change to the internal layout
- Window replacement
- New kitchens and bathrooms
- Changes to the front or back doors including patio doors
- Asbestos removal
- Fitting wooden floors and hard floor coverings
- The installation of a satellite dish
- Garden landscaping
- Installation or changes to fencing
- External lighting
- Creation of a hardstanding
- Installation of CCTV
It is important that leaseholders comply with the terms and conditions set out in their lease agreements as this is the legal document between the leaseholder of the property and the Council as freeholder. Failure to seek permission for any proposed alterations could put you in breach of your lease.
As a leaseholder, your buildings insurance is provided by the Council. To keep your insurance valid, you need to let us know of any changes to your property that might affect your policy.
We need to know if you have extended your home or had a conservatory built, if you run a business from home or you let your property to tenants. You may not be able to claim on your insurance if we are not informed of these changes as they happen, so don't leave yourself without cover.
As your buildings insurance does not cover storm damage to fences, gates and hedges, you may wish to consider taking out extra insurance for your future peace of mind.
You should also remember that it is your responsibility to take out your own home contents insurance.
If you have any doubt about what you should be telling us about, please contact us on 01322 343368.
Paying your rent and service charges
When, how and where to pay your rent
Fire Safety in Communal Areas
Residents storing items in communal areas and landings, and within gas/electricity cupboards, put lives at risk. Please do not store any items in the communal areas