As a homeowner, you don't own the building in which your flat is located. This is owned by the landlord, or freeholder, and leased to you. There are certain rights and responsibilities set out in your lease and referenced in your homeowner's guide.
What is leasehold?
'Leasehold' refers to any property where a lease has been issued by the owner of the land (the freeholder) that allows another party (you, the homeowner) to occupy part of a property, such as a flat. In most cases we are the freeholder, with some exceptions where an individual or organisation has issued a head lease to us, and we have in turn issued a lease to you.
What is a lease?
When you bought a Shared Ownership or other leasehold property through us, you purchased a (residential) lease. A lease is a tenancy agreement for a term of 21 years or more. It grants you, the leaseholder, the exclusive right to occupy your home for a set term (usually 99 or 125 years), provided you comply with the conditions, known as 'covenants', it contains. It also sets out your and the freeholder's obligations to one another. For example, it includes the terms of payment of your service charge and the freeholder's repair responsibilities. A lease gives you more security of tenure than renting privately on a standard tenancy.