June 17, 2024 9:12 am

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Nikka Sulton

In leasehold arrangements, determining responsibility for maintenance and repairs, particularly concerning critical components like the roof, is crucial for both landlords and tenants. Understanding these responsibilities ensures clarity on who handles upkeep, potential liabilities, and financial implications, shaping the living conditions and investment security within leasehold flats. Exploring these dynamics can shed light on the obligations and rights each party holds regarding roof maintenance in leasehold properties.

Clear delineation of responsibilities regarding the roof in leasehold flats is typically outlined in the lease agreement. Landlords often retain responsibility for structural elements such as the roof, while tenants contribute through service charges. This division aims to maintain property integrity while ensuring fair distribution of maintenance costs. However, specifics can vary, highlighting the importance of reviewing lease terms and seeking legal advice to clarify obligations and protect both landlords’ and tenants’ interests concerning roof maintenance in leasehold flats.


What Is The Difference Between A Freeholder, Leaseholder, And Flat Owner In Surrey

A freeholder owns the legal title and is fully responsible for a property, including repairs, maintenance, and communal areas not covered by lease agreements. Leaseholders hold long-term ownership rights under lease contracts, typically lasting over 99 years, and are obligated to pay service charges annually. Properties may be part of a larger community, managed according to statutory regulations, with budgets and rules enforced to ensure upkeep and security. Ownership of flats includes a share in common areas, subject to varying restrictions and local council oversight.


Leasehold homes: responsibilities for repairs

You are usually responsible for repairs inside your flat.

This includes:

  • internal plumbing and wiring
  • plasterwork and floorboards
  • paintwork and decoration
  • furniture and appliances
  • wear and tear


Freeholder responsibility for repairs

If you live in a flat, the responsibilities of the freeholder include repairs to the building’s structure, such as the roof and cladding, as well as shared areas like lifts and communal stairways. They must consult you before undertaking any repair work that exceeds £250 in total or £100 per year for projects lasting more than a year. For detailed information on leasehold service charges, refer to your lease agreement.

If you reside in a leasehold house, you are solely responsible for all repairs. Review your lease agreement to determine your obligations regarding shared spaces such as driveways and communal gardens.


How to report problems to the freeholder

Freeholders generally do not conduct regular repair checks.   

Notify your freeholder promptly in writing when issues arise.

  • Specify the repairs needed in detail.
  • Explain the urgency and reasons for the repairs.
  • Date your letter and retain a copy for your records.


Repair problems in neighbouring properties

If your property is damaged due to issues in your neighbour’s home, they may be liable for repairs.

  • Tenants’ landlords are typically responsible for damages caused by their tenants.
  • If direct communication with your neighbour fails, consult your freeholder. In some cases, damage from neighbouring properties may be covered by the freeholder’s insurance.
  • Legal recourse might be necessary. You can seek an injunction to compel your neighbour to address the issue or make a financial claim to recover repair costs you’ve covered personally.


Do I have to pay for works to the roof even though I don’t own the top flat?

  • Generally, all leaseholders must contribute to roof repairs, considering it a shared part of the building.
  • However, your specific lease terms determine your obligation to cover these costs.
  • If you find the repair costs excessive, you can contest them at the First-tier Tribunal.
  • Major works, such as roof repairs, typically necessitate the landlord to consult leaseholders under Section 20 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. This grants you the right to provide feedback on the works and suggest a contractor.



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