In January 2009, the Council recruited its first Leasehold Management Officer whose main task is to act as a focal point for leaseholder's problems and to make sure that the Council is fulfilling its duties. Part of the Council's role is to provide leaseholders with information on items of interest such as service charges and improvement works.
One of the ways we can provide you with information is through the new Leaseholder's Handbook (485 KB) which provides a wealth of information. The handbook covers articles such as service charges and cyclical repairs, your lease, refuse and recycling, disabled facilities grants, home improvement loans and practical help for leaseholders.
Many of the telephone calls we receive are on topics covered in this handbook so it may be an idea to look there first before contacting us. You will also find details about nuisance and anti-social behaviour and how you can get actively involved in leaseholder's issues.
If you have any comments, complaints or questions, please contact the Leasehold Management Officer on 01329 824499 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The leaseholder's handbook (485 KB) contains details of your lease, without the legal jargon. If you have any questions about your lease, please contact the leasehold management officer in the first instance. For more information about leases, please visit the Leasehold Advisory Service website at: www.lease-advice.org/newintro.htm
or write to it at 70-74 City Road, London EC1Y 2BJ or telephone 020 7374 5380.
We offer a choice of payment methods for you to pay your service charge:
You can pay monthly, quarterly or annually. Please quote your account number if you contact us. If you have problems in paying your service charges, please let us know so that we can come to an arrangement with you. You must tell us if you are awaiting the outcome of a benefit claim so we can put your account on hold. Please remember that if you do not pay your service charge, we can take legal action against you.
We will normally repair and maintain the structure and exterior of your home, such as the roof, walls, foundations, external windows and doors, gutters and drains. We will also look after communal areas and door entry systems. You pay for this through your service charge. We know that not all repairs can wait until the next scheduled maintenance for your block or communal area. In such circumstances, please contact customer services on 01329 236100 or e-mail email@example.com (or 0800 374485 emergency/out of hours). As a leaseholder, you are responsible for repair and maintenance inside your home, such as internal walls, floors, ceilings, doors, glazing and fixtures and fittings such as pipes, cisterns and hot water systems. You must arrange for this to be done and pay the full cost of this work. Under the terms of your lease, we can gain entry to your home if you do not carry out a repair which affects or results in structural damage to it and we may take legal action. In an emergency, we may obtain without notice, an order to get into your property and repair the fault, recovering the cost from you.
Did you know that you may be able to get your service charge reduced? The First-Tier Tribunal is independent and impartial and holds semi-formal hearings. Evidence is not given on oath and they are simple and quick alternative to court proceedings. There is a cost involved in submitting an application. It has jurisdiction for these:
If works or services are proposed in the future, the Tribunal can decide if:
You can get more information by calling 0845 600 3178 or by visiting the Residual Property Tribunal Service website at: www.rpts.gov.uk/index.htm or the Lease Advice website at http://www.lease-advice.org/advice-guide/application-to-the-first-tier-tribunal-property-chamber-2/#
The process of buying the freehold of your building is known as enfranchisement and is carried out with other leaseholders in a block, provided you and they qualify under the terms of the legislation. This can be done even if the freeholder does not want to sell it.
Once bought, leaseholders can decide how to manage their block and take over other responsibilities such as maintenance and cleaning of the block and service areas. To do this, a buyer who represents at least half of the flats in the building should be appointed. At least two thirds of the flats must be sold to long leaseholders who have more than 21 years remaining on their lease. No more than 25% of the internal floor area can be, or intended to be, in non-residential use, for example a shop. The process is complex and involves a great deal of work. If you are interested, the Leasehold Advisory Service can help you on 020 2082 3025 or www.lease-advice.org . You can also get a booklet "Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002" from the Department of Communities and Local Government at PO Box 236, Wetherby or on 0870 1226 236 or at http://www.opsi.gov.uk/ or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
The thought of having electrical work carried out within your home can be daunting, especially if you have to put your trust in an electrician you have never used before.
There are a number of ways to find electricians, including 'Yellow Pages' or online at sites such as www.competentperson.co.uk . It's a good idea to get details of at least three electricians and ask for them to provide a written specification and quote for the work. Be clear about what you need. Ask for references as a good electrician will not hesitate to provide them. Compliance with the Building Regulations in England and Wales is governed by DCLG (Department for Communities and Local Government). You can ensure compliance by using certified, competent people registered to carry out electrical work in schemes run by these providers:
If you are a homeowner or own a rental property, you are responsible for compliance with legally binding building regulations. These apply to building work in England and Wales and set standards for design and construction of buildings for the health and safety of people in or around buildings. They also include requirements for conserving fuel and power and providing facilities for people, including those with disabilities, to access and move around inside buildings. If you would like more information about building regulations compliance in England and Wales, you can see it at www.communities.gov.uk or www.planningportal.gov.uk
If you are still affected by anti-social behaviour please contact your local housing officer, the leasehold management officer or customer services. We will investigate the problem and let you know what action can be taken, including any investigation. During an investigation you will kept informed of progress regularly and notified when the case is closed. We use a range of measures to combat anti-social behaviour, including mediation, acceptable behaviour contracts, injunctions, anti-social behaviour orders and, as a final resort, forfeiting the lease. We are committed to dealing with anti-social behaviour to improve your quality of life as leaseholders. Do not suffer in silence – contact us on 01329 236100 or 01329 824499.p>
If so, the first thing to do is talk to your neighbour. This is often the simplest way to resolve problems. Most people are reasonable as often they are unaware that they are causing you a nuisance. If approaching your neighbour you should:
Think about what you want to say and how you should say it Be clear with what you are saying and how it affects you Do not stray from the main issue Think beforehand what the outcome is likely to be Try to choose a good moment Listen to what they say – for example, the TV may be loud because they are hard of hearing Stay calm and friendly; being aggressive is not going to help Remain calm, even if your neighbour does not! Try to stay in control and not be abusive Try not to bring up incidents from the past, especially if they are not relevant to the present dispute. Instead look to the future and how you want things to change If your neighbour is unreasonable, leave the discussion.
From time to time we will send questionnaires to leaseholders about our service and ways in which it can be improved. Please help us to help you by sparing a few minutes to fill it in and return these to us. Please don't assume that we know about a particular issue or that someone else will bring it to our attention.
Our aim is to provide our customers with the highest quality service and we welcome any comment, complaint or compliment you may have as a positive step towards achieving this aim. 'Act now' cards give you the opportunity to pass on your views about our service and are available at most public libraries and the Civic Offices. The cost of postage is pre-paid. These forms can also be returned to us via our website at www.fareham.gov.uk. Once we receive your card we will normally respond to your enquiry within five working days. You can also make comments or complaints to us in writing to the customer services manager at the Civic Offices or by e-mail to email@example.com. You can also contact your ward councillor. If you are still unhappy with your complaint, please contact customer services or look at our website on how to take your complaint further. We want to provide a prompt, speedy and fair investigation and resolution within defined timescales. Anonymous complaints will be pursued, if considered appropriate, along the same lines as our corporate complaints procedure. This monitors feedback on the nature of complaints we receive and any action taken. We use this for quality control purposes and as a source of information for policy development and service quality review.
Satellite dishes must not be fitted to your property without the written consent of our housing team. Although we will not unreasonably withhold permission, it is our policy not to grant permission to residents living in a number of our blocks. You can get more information from our leasehold management officer.
You should tell us without delay about any faults which we have a duty to repair, such as leaking gutters or roofs, faulty communal lighting or door entry system. You can contact us on 01329 236100 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
As a leaseholder, you have a right to carry out improvements and make alterations to your home but in a number of cases you will need permission under the terms of your lease. You may need to get planning permission or building regulation approval for alterations to your home. Examples of such alterations are:
These are examples of home improvements which do not need our approval:
Before making any improvements or alterations to your home, please contact your housing officer or leasehold management officer to get more advice.
You must provide us with a contact address if you sub-let your property. If you have a mortgage you should check with your lender that your conditions allow you to rent out the property. Similarly, you should notify your home contents insurer or you may find that any claim you make is null and void.
With more and more vehicles on our roads, pressure to find sufficient parking spaces has increased. There are no allocated parking spaces for any of our properties but when you are finding somewhere to park, please make sure you or anyone else living in or visiting your home observes these conditions to help reduce any problems:
If you have difficulties involving vehicles, please contact the leasehold management officer on 01329 824499.
Tenancy services manager - 01329 236100 X4540
Senior Housing Management Officer - 01329 236100 X4483
Area Housing Estates Officer (Stubbington and South East Fareham) - 01329 236100 X4464
Area Housing Estates Officer (North Fareham) - 01329 236100 X4463
Area Housing Estates Officer (Western Wards) - 01329 236100 X4458
Area Housing Estates Officer (Fareham South West and Portchester) - 01329 236100 X4484
Building Services responsive maintenance team - 01329 236100 X4829
Building Services planned maintenance team - 01329 236100 X4825.