Homeowners

Your home is important to you and Cowley RMO and Lambeth Home Ownership Department provide a range of services to you as one of our Homeowners.
The below pages hold all the information you need to know about your homes.

Repairs for Leaseholders

Do you need repair and maintenance works or any other works done in your home? If you do please contact the Cowley Office on 020 7926 0690 and ask to speak to the Repairs & Maintenance Manager.

What repairs am I responsible for?

Leaseholders are responsible for maintaining the inside of their property. This includes:

  • Floor surfaces including floorboards
  • Ceilings and plaster board
  • Plaster or plasterboard to the walls
  • Window frame repairs – Glass in the windows and fittings not included
  • All doors and frames inside the flat, including the front and back doors
  • Pipes, wires and cables that service your property only
  • Decorations inside the property
  • All fixtures and fittings inside the property, including plumbing, sinks, bath and toilet
  • Electrical and gas appliances

What repairs are Lambeth Council responsible for?

  • Repairs to structure including your Roof
  • Repairs to the outside of your property and common areas
  • Blockages to waste pipes external to your property
  • Burst or leaking pipes external to your property

How do I request a repair?

Leaseholders can report a repair in exactly the same way as council Residents. Please refer to the repairs section of the Leaseholders handbook or Cowley RMO Welcome Pack.

About Service Charges

Service charges are collected to cover the running cost of the block in which your property is situated as well as common areas to the estate.

These costs include:

  • Leasehold Management
  • Estate Cleaning
  • Estate lighting
  • Ground Maintenance
  • Pest control
  • General Maintenance
  • Building Insurance

Each year Lambeth Council’s Homeownership, set the service charges for all home owners based on carefully calculated estimates of what the costs will be.

At the end of the year the costs are checked and Homeownership send out a statement of the actual accounts to all home owners, because the service charges are estimated at the start of the year, this can sometimes mean that home owners have been over charged or under charged.

We will always let home owners know as soon as possible about any variation in the service charges, and will notify you of our plan to rectify the problem. If there is a shortfall in the money we have received, we may send out an additional invoice or carry the amount over to the following year’s charges – depending on the amount of the shortfall.

If the service charge was too high at the start of the year and there is money left over, Homeownership would normally use that money to reduce the service charges for the following year.

Common Questions for Leaseholders

What is a Lease?

A lease is a legal agreement between the landlord (the freeholder) and the person buying the lease (the leaseholder). It gives the leaseholder rights over the property for a fixed term of years. For Right to buy leases this is usually 125 years.

Buying a long lease on a property gives you the right to live in that property for the number of years that are remaining on the lease. During that time you are able to sell the lease of the property to another person/company. The lease sets out the obligations of both the leaseholder and the freeholder.

Whether you purchased your home from another leaseholder or from the Council under the Right to Buy, you will have purchased the lease on your home. Although you will own the lease for your property, there is still a landlord and tenant relationship between yourself and the freeholder.

In some cases therefore, in documents and legislation you may find that you are referred to as a ‘tenant’. At the end of the lease, the property will once again return to the freeholder. In most cases you can apply to have the lease extended and in some circumstances apply to buy the freehold.

What if I'm not happy with my service?

We recognise that from time to time things do go wrong. Leaseholders and Freeholders are encouraged to use our complaint’s procedure, which can be found in this handbook.

If however, you wish not to use our procedure you may contact-

  • Lambeth’s Complaint Unit on 0207 926 3497
  • Lambeth’s Home Ownership Services on 0207 926 6700
  • Leasehold advice centre on 01483 889 922
  • The Leasehold Advisory Service (LEASE) on 0207 374 5380.

LEASE is an independent advisory body funded by Central Government. It provides free advice on the law affecting residential leasehold properties.

Get in Touch.

XDHSCowley1@lambeth.gov.uk

0207 926 0690 / 0697

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