Leasehold Solutions' Louie Burns discusses the issue of maintenance charges on ITV London News

Leasehold Solutions’ MD, Louie Burns, was recently invited by ITV News to comment on outrageous maintenance charges levied upon the owner of an ex Local Authority leasehold flat in London E6.

Leasehold Solutions’ top three tips to consider before purchasing a property from the council, Local Authority or other social Landlord:

1. Check your lease!
Does it contain a clause requiring you to contribute to any improvement work? If so, you could be facing large bills in the future.

2. Do your research!
Find out when last major works were carried out – does the Local Authority or Council spend considerable amounts of money year on year? Check the organisation’s accounts. How much have they spent on repairs in the past five years? Ask what improvements are planned for the next five years.

3. Check the lease length!
Most LA leasehold properties are sold on a long lease, usually 125 years. This gives you the right to live there during this time but the freeholder in fact owns:

• The actual building;
• The land it sits on;
• The air rights above the building;
• The ground below.

When the lease of your flat runs down to ZERO you will no longer own your flat; your freeholder will.

Need more information or help?

If you are affected by this issue, please call our expert team on Freephone 0808 1311 109 or contact us.

We will be updating our pages soon with more information and resources that will help you with issues you might face if you have purchased or are considering purchasing a leasehold LA or Council flat. Please return to these pages soon.