Information for leaseholders
This page aims to provide answers to common questions relating to home ownership. The information provided here is only a guide and will not cover everything. Our complete guide for leaseholders is available on request.
It should be noted that whilst the leasehold services team are happy to offer advice and guidance, you may also need to seek independent advice from either your solicitor, law centre or local Citizens Advice Bureau.
Can I rent my property out?
Your lease will state whether you may sub-let your property. Some leases allow sub-letting with our permission, whilst other leases do not allow sub-letting.
However, Yorkshire Housing will consider any request from a leaseholder to sub-let on their individual merits and allow a ‘relaxation’ of the clause within the lease, for a stipulated time.
If you are considering sub-letting your property then look at your lease or contact the leasehold services team for guidance and assistance.
Will you buy my home back from me?
Yorkshire Housing have no legal obligation to buy back properties but will consider any request from homeowners to determine whether we will buy back your property.
When considering any request we will require details about your personal and financial circumstances and whether funding is available; we will also refer to your lease before advising you whether Yorkshire Housing will buy back your property.
For a shared owner we may consider that decreasing the share that you own may be a viable option rather than buying back the whole share.
If you are facing financial difficulties then please contact the leasehold services team to discuss the options that may be available.
How do I sell my home?
Your lease will stipulate how you can sell your property and the conditions you are required to meet. In most cases, you are required to notify Yorkshire Housing that you are selling your property.
If you are unsure whether your property requires a valuation prior to the sale proceeding you should refer to your lease or, if you want to use the valuation services provided by one of our partners, please contact the leasehold services team.
Can I carry out home improvements?
Generally you are able to carry out minor works such as putting up shelves or decorating without our permission.
If you intend to carry out major works such as taking down or putting up a wall or building an extension, etc, you may require our written permission and you should contact us before spending any money on improvements of that nature.
You will also need to ensure that any major works are carried out by a reputable builder and comply with all necessary building regulations and local authority planning requirements. Additionally, any works that change the gas or electrical fittings must be certified that the changes comply with current regulations and certification must also be provided once the works are complete.
If you carry out improvements without our permission you may find that you cannot sell your property if permission for major works was not provided by Yorkshire Housing.
Can I keep pets?
Generally your lease will stipulate whether domestic pets are allowed at your property. However, Yorkshire Housing are quite happy to relax this covenant providing complaints are not received from other residents about the behavior of your pets or your failure to ensure that your pets do not foul in the communal areas.
Permission must always be requested before bringing a pet into your home.
What can I do if I think the service charges are unreasonable?
When your service charge is reviewed, Yorkshire Housing gives full details of how your service charge is calculated. In calculating your service charge Yorkshire Housing must comply with the terms of your lease and if you believe that service charges are unreasonable then we would like you to speak to us so that we can provide a full explanation that will make you understand the charges more fully.
If we have made a mistake with your service charge calculation then we will take steps to rectify it, so it is important that you contact us first to discuss the issue that you have raised.
When we review your service charge, we also include a document that provides guidance to Leaseholders on how to challenge the service charge. Access the service charges summary of tenants rights and responsibilities document here.
As a Leaseholder, if you still believe the service charge to be unreasonable, you have the right to take your case to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal, an independent body that provides an accessible and relatively informal way to resolve residential leasehold disputes.
Buildings insurance: What am I covered for?
Can I get my own buildings insurance?
If you reside in a flat or a shared ownership house then, under the terms of your lease, Yorkshire Housing are responsible for ensuring that adequate buildings insurance cover is provided for your property.
In order to achieve value for money, we have engaged the services of an independent broker to provide cover through a recognised Insurance Company. Historically, leases for houses required the leaseholder to insure their property through an insurer either nominated or approved by the Landlord. In line with this, Yorkshire Housing has always provided Building Insurance for all its leasehold properties, with the annual premiums being paid back by the leaseholder through their service charge.
Under new provisions in the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002 which have recently been introduced, the leaseholder of a house is now entitled to arrange their own insurance with an insurer of their choice, provided that notice is given to the landlord and that they comply with certain requirements relating to the cover arranged.
Process for Leaseholders taking up option of providing their own building insurance:
1. In order to take up the option of providing their own building insurance, leaseholders of houses should ensure that they meet the following requirements:
- Their choice of insurer must be an authorised insurer who is operating within the requirements of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000
- The building insurance must cover the interests of both the leaseholder and the landlord
- The insurance cover must be a sum not less that the amount required under the lease, if applicable
- The insurance must cover all the risks which the lease requires to be covered by insurance, if applicable
- Leaseholders should refer to their leases to ensure that their insurance cover meets with the above requirements.
- Within 14 days of having placed their building insurance, or within 14 days of any request from Yorkshire Housing, leaseholders must provide a Notice of Cover to Yorkshire Housing.
2. The Notice of Cover must specify the following information:
- Name of the insurance company
- Address of the house insured
- Insurance policy number
- Period of cover
- Renewal date
- Frequency that premiums are payable
- Details of any excesses payable under the policy and what the excess applies to
- Risks covered by the policy
- Confirmation that the policy has been renewed
3. The lease holder must also provide a statement with the notice of cover that they are satisfied that the policy covers their interests and that they have no reason to believe that the policy does not also cover the interests of the Yorkshire Housing. The Insurance provided by Yorkshire Housing is automatically renewed each year on 1st April.
How is the buildings insurance annual premium calculated?
Each year Yorkshire Housing will apply an average value for our properties and our premium charges are based on that average value. However, this value is only used for calculating the premium and does not mean that if your property was damaged, you will only receive this average value.
What are administration charges for?
Following a period of consultation, administration charges are being introduced on 1st January 2013. These administration charges will apply when a leaseholder requests a particular service or when we have to carry out special work because a lease has been breached (for example, non-payment of charges). We will charge individual leaseholders for any administration we have to carry out because we do not believe that all leaseholders should bear the cost of work done for other leaseholders.
We will always tell you if we will make a charge beforehand and, in accordance with the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002, we must also give you a statement which provides a summary of your statutory rights. If we don’t, you are entitled to withhold payment of an administration charge. See a complete list of all administrative charges.
Contact the leasehold services team
You can contact the leasehold services team on 0113 825 6900 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.