Leaseholder intro

Your lease

If you're a leaseholder you can find out your service charges and repairs by clicking on the links below. Everything else you need to know, is under the headings. 

Some of our leaseholders have been affected by the government's Building Safety Act. Visit our Building Safety page to find out more information and updates for ongoing projects. 

Building safety

 

Service charges

Your service charge is the cost to deliver communal and shared services to your building, and in some cases, surrounding estate.

If you are having problems paying your service charge, let us know - we can help.

Get in touch

 

 

Communal repairs

We know when something goes wrong in your building it’s important that it gets fixed. If you’re in an emergency, you can call us. We’re here to help. 

Before you pick up the nails and hammer, read 'Alterations' below to see what you may need permission to do.

Report a repair

 

Service charges explained

How do you work out my annual service charge?

We look at what services are provided to each building and estate; residents are then charged for the services that benefit them.

As we don’t know all the costs in advance, we base your charge on an estimate of how much services are going to cost over a 12 month period and where possible, include any upcoming one off charges. 

We use the previous year’s costs to help prepare the estimate for the coming year. We have no control over charges such as VAT, or other external costs, so we can only anticipate what they are likely to be. 

We understand life isn’t always straightforward and sometimes things don’t always go to plan. If you're struggling to afford your rent and service charges, then please let us know as soon as you can. We can help.

 

Why has the service charge increased when services stay the same?

Where an increase in the service charge is shown, this will be an estimate, based on expenditure from the previous year, as well as including any programmed works for the next 12 months that we are aware of. In addition, prices will go up in line with market values and contract costs. 

 

How do you monitor the level of service?

We make regular visits to our estates to make sure the level and quality of services are of a good standard. We encourage residents to get involved as Estate Inspectors and help us monitor these standards too. There is more information on this on our website under ‘get involved’. 

 

What is the management charge for? 

The management charge covers the costs we incur as a landlord in managing service charge accounts and other costs associated with managing your estate/block and account. The management charge is set at 15% of the total cost of services.

 

Why am I paying for fire safety equipment and emergency lighting?

The payment for fire safety equipment and emergency lighting is for the maintenance and the annual contract for servicing items such as fire alarm panels, automatic opening vents, and emergency lighting. These assist in the prevention and early detection of a fire and aid in your escape in the event of an emergency.

 

Does THCH make a profit from service charges?

We make no profit from service charges; they simply cover the cost of providing services to you.

Variable service charges

What is a variable service charge? 

A variable charge means you pay 100% of the cost to deliver the service. At the start of the financial year, we'll send you an estimate of your service charge for the next 12 months - this is how much we expect the service to cost, based on the previous year, plus inflation and administration. Once the year ends, we compare the estimated cost with the actual costs using the invoices sent to us by our contractors.

We use this information to identify whether our estimate was:

  • Higher than expected and you may have been charged too much (a surplus) or,
  • Lower than expected and you may not have been charged enough (a deficit)

If there is a surplus, we will pay money back to some people, whereas if there is a deficit we may have to ask for further payment from residents. 

 

What is the difference between the service charge budget and the service charge statement?

The budget, which you receive in April, is an estimate of the coming financial year’s expenditure. The statement, which you receive in September, is the document that states the actual expenditure for the previous financial year, which ended that April.

 

Can we challenge the charges outlined in the budget or statement?

As the budget is an estimate we will only deal with queries about the amount charged once the statement has been sent out in September. However, we will deal with general queries at any time. You can only request to see invoices once the statement has been issued. Please see the service charge rights and obligations sheet for more information.

When the statement is sent in September you will be provided with a leaflet explaining how to challenge the service charge. Challenges can only be made after the statement has been issued.

 

Will I be informed about any unexpected service charge increases?

Your service charge can increase as the cost of services rise. However, we will involve residents via a ‘Section 20’ consultation process if any proposed work will cost you or any other resident more than £250. In these instances, a letter or email will be sent out in advance to inform residents. If there is a third-party managing agent, we are not in control of their costs but are obliged to pass them on to residents.

 

What if I believe the charges are unreasonable?

After receiving your statement of accounts, you can contact THCH with any queries by emailing customerservices@thch.org.uk if we discover an error we will make any necessary amendments. We aim to provide full explanations to justify the charges. When the service charge statement is issued in September, this will show the budget estimate and also the actual amount spent in the previous year.

If you feel that the actual amount you are being charged is unreasonable you can request to see invoices to corroborate our charges. You can also contact us if you feel the works are incomplete and we will investigate. 

If you are a Shared Owner or Leaseholder you can take it further by going to a First Tier Tribunal. The tribunal will look at both sides of the argument and then rule on whether the charge is fair.

If you are dissatisfied with their decision you can appeal to the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber). We can provide you with information, or alternatively, you can contact - LEASE (The Leasehold Advisory Service), at www.lease-advice.org

Alterations

Making alterations

Throughout your lease, there are bound to be things you want to change to make your house a home. But before you get out the hammer and nails, look at your lease to find out what you need permission for. 

You'll need permission from us to:

  • Replace your windows or external doors
  • Install central heating
  • Remove or build new walls or chimney breasts
  • Lay a driveway
  • Build a conservatory
  • Replace your kitchen or bathroom

As well as getting our permission, you may also need to get any relevant building control approval and planning permission.

If you make any improvements or alterations without first obtaining written permission you will be breaking the terms of your lease. Where permission has not been granted or works have not been carried out to suitable standards, we have the right to reinstate the property to its original condition at the expense of the leaseholder.

To apply for permission for alterations please complete the below form:

Alterations application form 

Subletting

Can I sublet my home?

Your lease will let you know if you're able to sublet your home - it will also tell you how you need to let us know, and if you need approval.

If you're a Shared Owner, your lease will have a clause that does not allow subletting. 

Why do I need to request and register a sublet?

  • Your lease outlines the process for obtaining the necessary permission to sublet
  • It's important that we know who is living in our properties
  • When a property is sublet, there are implications in terms of insurance
  • We can communicate better with our leaseholders and keep them up to date 
  • We're able to manage health and safety, repairs and other maintenance issues more effectively

 

How do I register my sublet?

Leaseholders wanting to sublet should complete the below 'Subletting Form'. Once you've completed your application, please send it to customerservices@thch.org.uk 

Subletting Form 

You're also required to provide a 'Deed of Covenant' between us and the tenant to ensure that all lease terms are complied with. The fee for registering the sublet and for the drafting of the Deed of Covenant is currently £125.00 plus VAT.

Applications should enclose payment for the Registration Fee and a Deed of Covenant signed by the tenant.

 

Other things to note:

  • Breaches of lease by the tenant of the property may result in enforcement action against the leaseholder
  • Leaseholders remain responsible for all payments under the terms of the lease when subletting a property
  • Leaseholders should seek independent advice on managing gas safety, electrical appliances, fire protection, etc
  • It is recommended that prospective landlords get appropriate advice on their responsibilities before letting property
  • Leaseholders are required to register every sublet should there be a change of tenant
  • Leaseholders should inform any relevant mortgage lender to ensure that subletting complies with their mortgage terms
  • If a property is unoccupied for more than 30 days there are insurance implications. Leaseholders should notify us in such instances.

Insurance

Insuring your building

Most leases will usually determine that we, your freeholder, will insure the building structure and your service charge will cover the insurance costs for your building. More details are available on request.

Policy Certificate : Insurance Cover Information 2022-23.pdf [pdf] 429KB

You must let us know if there are any household changes or alterations made to your home, as this may affect any claim. Please let us know if:

  • You no longer live in the property (subletting requires formal permission)
  • You're carrying out internal alterations (permission required)
  • You have carried out any external additions with permission (e.g., conservatory)

Your insurance (included as part of your service charge) only covers the structure of your building, including fixtures and fittings. You must make your own arrangements to protect the contents of your flat and personal possessions.

If you wish to make a claim under the buildings insurance, you should in the first instance contact our insurer JLT at jlthousing@broadspiretpa.co.uk or by telephone on 0345 266 9660.

Gas safety checks

Your gas appliances 

You're responsible for the gas appliances in your home. Our contractor K&T Heating offer a competitive rate for gas servicing. Leaseholders should contact K & T Heating on 020 8269 4500 or email for this service.

Platinum Cover

  • £14.50 per month or £174 per year
  • Labour and parts if your boiler or system breaks down.
  • A replacement boiler if the company decides that it would not be economical to repair your existing boiler.

Gold Cover

  • £9.75 per month or £117 per year
  • Labour and parts if your boiler or system breaks down
  • There is no age limit on your existing boiler as long as parts are reasonably available.

Silver Cover

  • £7.95 per month or £95.40 per year
  • Labour and parts if your boiler or system breaks down

*All prices are for single wet or warm-air central heating systems.

We're here to help. Get in touch on 020 7780 3070 or