Leaseholder rights and responsibilities

The Leasehold Service helps and supports Sheffield City Council leaseholders living in flats and maisonettes originally purchased under the Right to Buy Scheme

Help and advice for leaseholders

We can assist you with any of your leasehold enquiries, including:

  • questions about your annual service charges or major works invoices
  • advice on how to pay or if you're having difficulty paying your invoices
  • permission requests to carry out work to your property
  • complaints about the services you receive
  • if you are suffering anti-social behaviour
  • selling your leasehold flat/maisonette

There are also several more formal information sources available on the laws and Acts of Parliament that protect your rights as a leaseholder. 

If you’re not sure about your rights, you can contact Citizens Advice or a solicitor for advice. You can also get independent advice from Lease an independent advisory service.

About your lease

The lease is a legal contract. It sets out the terms and conditions of your agreement between you (the Leaseholder) and us, Sheffield City Council (the Lessor).

It is a complex legal document that sets out the obligations and rights of the leaseholder and the Council. It should be kept in a safe place.

Your lease will have a plan attached. This plan shows your property and the building in which it is situated, together with any garden or outbuilding, which may be included in the sale. It will also identify any communal areas that you may be entitled to use within the estate.

You have responsibilities and rights as a leaseholder, as do we as your landlord.

The lease sets out the rights and responsibilities of both parties, which are summarised in this section of the Leaseholder Handbook. In addition, you have rights given to you by law. These are called Statutory Rights.

Your responsibilities

When you become a leaseholder, you become a shareholder in your block. This means you have a responsibility to pay your share of the costs of managing and maintaining it. 

We have a legal duty to charge you for your share of the costs.

Leasehold ownership usually includes everything within the four walls of the flat, such as floorboards and plaster. It does not normally include external or structural walls or window frames, which are classed as part of the structure of the building. 

The building’s structure and the land it stands on belong to the landlord (the Council).

Under the terms of your lease, you are required to have your part of the building covered by the Council’s insurers. This is in order to provide protection against storm damage, floods, lightning, earthquakes and malicious damage. It also covers certain fixtures and fittings within the dwelling.


Gaining permission for alterations to your property is part of your Lease agreement. Before making any alterations or improvements to your property, you must have written permission from Leasehold Services.

You may also need to apply for planning permission or building control approval for the work. You cannot apply for them until you have written permission from Leasehold Services.

Sheffield City Council owns and manages the building your property is in and the land on which it stands. This includes: 

  • communal areas
  • gardens areas
  • grassed areas
  • roofs
  • loft space

We must ensure that any alterations/improvements do not adversely affect either the terms of your Lease or the rights and safety of others who live in the building. 

Paying towards service charges

Service charges for leaseholders are paid annually. They vary depending on the cost incurred to the block during the service charge year, which runs from 1 October to 30 September. You will pay your fair share of the costs calculated for your block.

For example: if there are 8 dwellings in your block, your service charges will amount to 1/8th of the total cost.

Service charges cover all works and services carried out to the structure of the block and communal areas. This includes:

  • cleaning of communal areas
  • lighting
  • lift maintenance
  • upkeep of gardens
  • day-to-day repairs
  • maintenance work
  • improvement work

Leaseholders can now pay in instalments and spread the cost over 10 months.

For larger items of work commanding higher costs, leaseholders can ask their lender for a further advance or take out a bank or building society loan.

Anyone having difficulty paying their service charge should contact us for further advice.

Repairs within your own home

You are responsible for repairs within your own flat or home.

If you, or someone you have employed, are carrying out repairs inside your flat, you must make sure that no damage is done to communal areas or the structure of the building. 

You are liable for any damage caused to the building as and you will have to pay for any such damage. This includes any damage caused by visitors or other members of your household. 

Repairs in shared or communal areas

You do not have the authority to carry out repairs in shared areas, such as landings, hallways or stairways. 

You would not be covered by our insurance if you had an accident or caused any damage. Only we may carry out this type of work.

Please report any communal repairs to council housing repairs on 0114 273 5555.

When reporting repairs to the service centre, it is important to let them know any additional information about the reason for the repair. If you feel that the repair is needed due to vandalism or neighbour nuisance, please tell them when you are reporting the repair.. 

Selling and transferring ownership of your home

You have the right to sell your home at any time after purchase. This is proving there are no restrictions on the title.

You or your legal representatives must contact us to clear all amounts on your account up to the date of completion. The purchasers or their representatives must also provide the appropriate Notice of Assignment to Sheffield City Council. This should be within one month of the date of the transfer of the lease.

Sheffield City Council will charge £150.00 for the Leasehold Property Enquiries (LPE1) pack. This is standard for all flats and maisonettes during a sale. Although it is not a legal requirement, most purchasers’ solicitors will not proceed without having sight of the LPE1.

Sheffield City Council will charge £10 to register any transfer and to record the involvement of any banks or building societies which have granted a mortgage against the lease.

If you wish to sell your property within 10 years of purchasing through the Right to Buy scheme (under 156A Housing Act – 1985), you must first offer the property back to Sheffield City Council by contacting

Home Information Packs

The Home Information Pack, or HIP, is compulsory for all homes on the market in England and Wales. 

It is a set of documents that provide the buyer with key information on the property. It must be provided by the seller or the seller's agent.

HIPs are designed to ensure that buyers have easy access to all important information at the start of the sales process. This is to try and avoid delays and extra expense later on.

It is a legal requirement to have a HIP. You cannot put your home on the market without one.


As a leaseholder, you have the right to sublet your home. This means that you may take in lodgers or rent your home to someone else, if you want to. 

You will need to advise your mortgage lender if you do rent out your home. You will also:

  • remain responsible for ensuring that the terms of the lease are complied with
  • remain liable for any breaches, regardless of whether the breaches are committed by you, your sub-tenant or other parties connected to your sub-tenant
  • be responsible for the behaviour of your sub-tenant(s)
Anti-social behaviour

Expect ‘quiet enjoyment' of your home. This means the ability to live peacefully without unnecessary interference from your neighbours or us. As long as you keep to the terms and conditions of your lease. 

Your neighbours have the same right. 

We will try to deal with people who cause a nuisance to you. Equally, you must not cause a nuisance to them. 

People who cause serious harassment to their neighbours can lose their home, including leaseholders.


We are legally obliged to consult leaseholders and seek their views before we carry out any works over £250 for any one leaseholder or over £100 if we enter into “Qualifying Long Term Agreements” for the provision of services. 

We will always tell you why we consider works or agreements to be necessary. 

Under the conditions of your lease, you must contribute towards the cost of any services or work to the building your home is in and the grounds or estate around it. You do this by paying service charges.

However, under section 20 of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1985 you must be consulted.

We must send notices to every leaseholder who will have to pay towards the work or services. These notices are called Section 20 notices. They contain information about what the Council or Council Housing Service plan to do.

Notice of assignment, transfer or change

These are required for re-sales and re-mortgages of properties and land sold on a Leasehold basis.

You need to complete 2 copies of this document and return them, along with the required fee as stated in the lease, to:

Leasehold Service
Housing and Neighbourhoods
Sheffield City Council
PO Box 5967
S2 9GH

Contact Leasehold Service

0114 273 4468
voice mail facility available out of hours

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