A lease is a complex legal contract that sets out the rights and obligations of both the leaseholder and freeholder (Adra).
Details about your lease
Your lease is a type of tenancy that allows you to live in your home for a given number of years. This will be defined in the lease as ‘the term’. The term will start when the property has originally been sold. This is often a term of 125 years, please refer to your lease for your specific term. If you have bought the property through the open market – the term will still apply to when the property was originally sold.
There are many different leases, therefore it is important for you to understand what is outlined in your lease.
A copy of your lease document is available from the Land Registry for a small fee.
If you are unclear about what is outlined in your lease, we recommend that you seek independent legal advice.
Information and advice is also available through The Leasehold Advisory Service.
What are Service Charges?
Service charges are your proportion of the costs for the services you receive that are provided by us to your block and/or estate. These charges are recoverable under the terms of your lease and must be paid by you the leaseholder.
Service charge invoices will be calculated on an estimated basis for the year, with an adjustment made for the difference between the previous years estimated cost and the actual cost.
The services you pay depend on the location of your property and the services provided to the building.
The services we can charge for, and the proportion we can charge will be outlined within your lease.
Service Charges Description
Here are different examples of service charges that may appear on your invoice. Not all of our sites receive these services. You should be aware of which services your site receives.
- building insurance
- cleaning services
- communal electricity
- grass cutting and grounds maintenance
- estate management security
If you receive the above services and are unhappy for any reason, please contact us to discuss your concerns.
Repairs and Maintenance
You may receive a repairs and maintenance charge on the service charge invoice. This charge is variable and is calculated according to the costs of the repair carried out the block or communal area.
Repairs and maintenance charges are recoverable under the terms of the lease. Please refer to your lease for further details.
Improvements and alterations to your home
As a leaseholder, the necessary information about gaining permission to make improvements or alterations to your home will be outlined in your lease. Not all leases will allow for improvements and alterations, and where they do, you will need written consent from Adra.
Minor improvements and alterations
Generally, you will not require consent for minor improvements such as decorating, putting up shelves, photos etc.
Major improvements and alterations
Where improvements and alterations are permitted within the lease, you must obtain written consent from us before carrying out any major improvements or alterations to your home.
You will be required to complete a form and once submitted, your application and lease will be reviewed, and you will be informed of the decision.
Major works is the term used when work to a block will cost you over £250. In some cases, the costs can be higher.
These are works that are required to repair and maintain the building. When major works needs to be carried out we will consult you and you will be required to contribute to these costs under the terms of your lease.
Major works can include:
- communal area
- exterior brick or block work
When will I be invoiced for this work?
You will be invoiced the cost of the works, once the work has been completed and the final accounts have been reviewed. In some circumstances, we may wish to invoice prior to completion e.g. projects that last longer than 12 months.
You will receive an invoice for the major works along with a covering letter, a copy of your summary of rights and obligations, breakdown of the costs and a copy of the payment options.
If the invoice needs to be adjusted for any reason, you will be sent a revised invoice or credit note.
When will I be expected to pay for this work?
Once you are invoiced, you will be expected to contact us and arrange payment within 30 days of the invoice. A member of our Finance Department will be happy to discuss with you in more detail the different options available.
Paying your invoice
Please make arrangements to pay within 30 days of receiving your invoice.
Here are the payment options available:
- full payment within 30 days – Leaseholders that pay the amount due in full within 30 days of the invoice (subject to not having arrears on their routine Service Charge Account) will receive a 5% reduction in the cost
- full payment made within 12 months – The total cost of the works can be spread across a period of 12 months’ interest free (this does not include 5% reduction in the cost)
- major Works Mandatory Loan – Leaseholder may be eligible to obtain a loan from Welsh Government to help pay large Service Charge bills. If leaseholders meet the qualifying conditions, we will inform them of their right to a loan and will refer leaseholders to the Welsh Government
- buy Backs – Buying back a leaseholder property will be at our discretion. Each case will be considered on its own merits. The leaseholders proportion of the major works costs will be deducted from the agreed sale price, as well as any outstanding rechargeable or service charge arrears’.
How can I pay?
You can pay your invoice by using one of these options:
- set up a bank standing order
- cheque payable to Adra Tai Cyfyngedig
- pay at Barclays branch
- online bank transfer
The Leasehold Advisory Service has more information relating to major works and the Section 20 Consultation Process.
Click here to find out more.