Your Lease

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Your lease

Your lease is a legal document that explains your rights and responsibilities as a leaseholder and the relationship between you and Jigsaw Homes as the freeholder or head leaseholder of your home. You will have received a copy of this from your solicitor when you completed your purchase. If you need a new copy of your lease please contact Leasehold and Service Charge Team.

Your lease explains:

  • When and what you are responsible for paying; this could include service charges, rent, ground rent and insurance
  • What you are responsible for maintaining and repairing and what we are responsible for
  • What alterations you can make to your home and whether you need our permission for these
  • Whether you can sublet all or any part of your home
  • How you would sell your home
  • When we can access your home to carry out repairs or in emergencies
  • If you’re a shared owner, how much the rent charges will increase by and when
  • If you’re a shared owner, how you can buy more shares in your home
  • The term of your lease
  • Whether or not there are any transfers, agreements or head leases which contain additional terms that the Leaseholder or Landlord must adhere to.

A plan will be attached to your lease showing the boundaries of your home and any car-parking spaces. It might also show the fences and walls that are your responsibility to maintain, or any communal areas that the Landlord is responsible for.

Your responsibilities

Your lease contains legally binding responsibilities for both you and us.

Your responsibilities are:

  • You must pay your rent, service charges and ground rent as set out in your lease
  • You must not make any alterations to your home without our written permission
  • You must not cause a nuisance or annoy your neighbours
  • You must keep your home in good repair inside and out if you have a house and inside if you have a flat
  • You must allow our contractors reasonable access to your home to carry out any repairs.
  • You must allow us immediate access in an emergency.
Our responsibilities

Our responsibilities are:

  • We must insure your home with buildings insurance. (We are not responsible for contents insurance)
  • We must consult you using the Section 20 consultation procedure about any repairs and maintenance costing more than £250 (including VAT) per leaseholder that we want to carry out in your block (if you live in a flat) or on your estate
  • We must also follow the Section 20 procedure before we give contracts for services that will last longer than a year and that will cost more than £100 (including VAT) per leaseholder
  • We must keep the structure, exterior and communal areas of apartment blocks or flats in good repair
  • We must not unreasonably refuse you permission for alterations to your home (there are some leases which restrict specific alternations – please check with the Leasehold team and refer to your lease for details).

Not all leases are the same and different leases confer different rights and responsibilities. Leases vary in length ranging from 99 to 250 years (with 990 year leases soon to be available). If you buy a property from another leaseholder you’ll take on their lease and the remaining years.

Extending your lease

When a lease term falls below 80 years, it can cause difficulties when selling or re-mortgaging your home. In these cases it is advisable to extend your lease. Lease extensions are a legal process and you will have to meet eligibility criteria. You should always get specialist legal advice.

In order to be eligible for a lease extension under statutory right you must be the long-leaseholder, having held the lease for the last 2 years as a minimum and hold a lease:

  • With a term of 21 years or more
  • Granted under the Social HomeBuy Scheme with 100% ownership
  • Granted under Right to Buy or Right to Acquire.

If you are a shared-owner, you do not have a statutory (legal) right to extend your lease. However, we will offer lease extensions to shared owners on a discretionary basis. You will be responsible for all legal fees incurred by both parties to extend your lease. You will also be liable for the costs of the valuation and for the premium to extend the lease.

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