Information for leaseholders

If you have purchased a former council flat either through the right to buy scheme or on the open market and hold a long lease of a flat or maisonette you are likely to be a leaseholder. This means that you are the legal owner of the flat for the period of the lease but the council is responsible for providing common services and maintaining the exterior of the block and common parts.

  • You will have a legal agreement with the council (the owner of the freehold of the block) called a Lease
  • If you have lost or misplaced your lease you can request a copy from Legal and Governance Services or Land Registry. Charges will apply
  • It is your responsibility to inform us if your contact details change. Do we have your correct correspondence address? Please email leasehold.services@southampton.gov.uk if you have recently moved to update our records. We also require an email address and a telephone number so you can be contacted in an emergency

If you are a council tenant and require information on buying your property please visit Right to Buy

New leaseholders

If you have recently purchased a leasehold property it is a good idea to familiarise yourself with your lease as this will contain information on your rights and responsibilities.

When you take possession of the property your solicitor will provide the council with a Notice of Transfer showing that you are now the legal owner of the property. Please make sure your solicitor sends this notice as soon as possible as this will hold up the transfer of accounts. Once we have received notice a new account will be set up in your name and we will send you a Welcome Letter detailing service the charges for your property. Please make sure we have your correspondence address if you are not planning to live at the property as this is not always disclosed in the transfer paperwork.

Your service charges run yearly from 1 April to 31 March. You will be advised of your estimated service charges in March in the form of an estimated statement. In September you will receive a second statement advising you of the actual charges and any credit or debit owing will be applied to your service charge account.

Service charges

Estimated service charges are calculated in March each year with an estimated statement sent out to all leaseholders by 1 April. These charges are then applied to your service charge account in 12 equal instalments on the 1st of every month.

All leasehold accounts are balanced in September against the previous years’ estimates and a credit or debit will be added to those accounts where the charges have been over or underestimated.

Service charges may include:

  • Communal repairs
  • Lighting of communal areas
  • Cleaning services
  • Grounds maintenance
  • Concierge and door entry systems
  • Landlord heating (if applicable)
  • Extra bin collections
  • Buildings insurance

It is the responsibility of the leaseholder in residence to pay these charges and the account must be cleared by 31 March in any given year.

Pay your service charges

Your card must be registered for 3D Secure for the payment to be successful.

For more information on ways to pay, please contact Customer Payment and Debt on 023 8083 3388 or email cpd.general@southampton.gov.uk

Repairs

As a leaseholder you are responsible for the repair and upkeep of the fixtures and fittings within your property up to and including the ceiling, floor, external doors and windows. For more information, please see the details listed in your lease.

Additions such as landlord controlled heating and door entry phones will be maintained and repaired by Southampton City Council.

If you want to disconnect from the landlord controlled heating and either manage the heating bills yourself or install a different heating system, please email leasehold.services@southampton.gov.uk for more information.

To report a repair or maintenance issue concerning the block, communal area or system maintained by SCC you can fill out an online form.

Report a housing repair

Insurance

Southampton City Council provides buildings insurance of which you will pay a proportion of with your service charges. The policy provides cover in respect of loss or damage caused to the building, it does not cover fixtures fittings and possessions inside your property so it is strongly advisable that you obtain contents insurance.

If you are planning to let out your property you must contact the insurance team as this will affect your cover. Please email insurance@southampton.gov.uk for more details.

Buildings insurance documents

If you need any more help or advice please contact the Leasehold Services team at leasehold.services@southampton.gov.uk or call 023 8083 2337. Our phone line is open on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 9am to 12noon.

Making alterations to your property

Before making alterations or improvements to your leasehold property you must first check whether you require permission from Southampton City Council.

Please see list of common alteration requests below

For all improvements and alterations please contact permission.requests@southampton.gov.uk first before pursuing planning permission or building regulations.

If you cannot see an example that fits your job? Email the Permission Request team for more advice.

Useful contacts

Customer Payments and Debt

Direct debits, payments, account balances and charges

Email: cpd.general@southampton.gov.uk

Housing repairs

Repairs to block and communal areas

Report a housing repair

Local Housing Offices

Neighbour disputes, key fobs, warden and cleaner enquiries.

Central Local Housing Office

For properties in the city centre, Northam, St Denys, Portswood and Swaythling.

housing.servicescentral@southampton.gov.uk

Shirley Local Housing Office

For properties in Shirley, Freemantle, Millbrook and Redbridge.

housing.serviceswest@southampton.gov.uk

Thornhill Local Housing Office

For properties in Thornhill, Bitterne, Harefield and Townhill Park.

housing.serviceseast@southampton.gov.uk

Woolston Local Housing Office

For properties in Woolston, Merryoak, Sholing and Townhill Park

housing.serviceseast@southampton.gov.uk