What is a Lease?

Your lease is the contract between yourself (the leaseholder) and the landlord which provides you with the agreed rights to the property for the term of the lease.

The lease will set out the obligations on you as the leaseholder and the landlord and it will include details of the annual cost on you for ground rent, if applicable, and what your requirements are to contribute towards the maintenance of the building.

Normally the landlord will maintain the structure of the building, i.e. exterior walls, roof and common areas and will collect contributions as detailed in the lease from each leaseholder. The landlord will also be responsible for managing the accounts.

Definitions usually included within a lease include-

Property – the property as described in a lease is land. Land, defined by the Law of Property Act 1925 includes buildings, parts of buildings (incl flat and apartments) and rights to attaching to the land.

Contract – which must be in writing creates or transfers the interest in the land.

Landlord – who is the party (person or Company) entitled to grant the lease contact to create the interest in the land.

Tenant – is the person or persons to whom the lease is granted. The tenant is also know as the lessee or leaseholder (in law they mean the same thing)

Term – is the duration of the lease. Leases must always be for a fixed period.

Exclusive possession – This allows the tenant to use and occupy the property for the term of their lease without interruption.

Rent – as the lease is a tenancy the lease must request provision of a rent payment. The rents can be “peppercorn” which are usually quite low or can be hundreds of pounds. The rent is required to be requested and paid to ensure the lease contract is legal.

Leases are difficult to read and it is worth gaining interpretation of your lease to help you to appreciate your requirements and that of your landlord.

Copy Lease

If you need a copy lease and you have a mortgage on your property a copy can usually be obtained from your mortgage lender.

Alternatively the Land Registry will hold a copy although an administration fee may be charged for providing a copy visit