Buying a leasehold flat
There are two ways to buy a council flat:
under the ‘Right to Buy’ if you are a council tenant and you are already living in the flat (there are certain conditions you have to meet) - this is called the grant of a lease
by buying the lease from the present leaseholder (if the flat has already been bought under the Right to Buy and is being sold again) - this is called the assignment of a lease.
In both cases you should get a solicitor to act for you, or at least someone who is legally qualified to protect your interests in buying the flat. It is important that you know what charges are owed on the property so that you can deal with them before the sale.
If you buy the flat from the previous leaseholder you should tell us straight away. As landlord we have the right to know who is responsible for the flat. Under the lease,the seller is usually responsible for formally notifying the Council and for paying a fee to register the assignment (currently £40).
In some cases Solicitors do not contact us to find out if there are any outstanding charges attached to the Property that you are purchasing, in these cases, new Leaseholders have been liable for bills that relate to the period before the sale, Remember to ask your Solicitor to check these details before you buy the Property!
You have the right to mortgage your flat to a mortgage lender.
Important - Please note
From September 2010 all new leases will contain a specific clause relating to Gas Safety - this means that you will need to provide a valid gas safety certificate to Gloucester City Homes within 1 month of the expiry date of the old certificate. Failure to provide this, may result in legal action being taken.
For more information about gas safety click here and to find a gas safe engineer visit the Gas Safe website.
If you would like, we will arrange for our partner Lovell to carry out a service and check on your behalf, please contact the Home Ownership Team or Customer Services for more details on 0800 408 2000.