Alliance Homes own the freehold of your block. When you purchase your flat or maisonette you are granted a leasehold interest in the property. The lease runs for 125 years from the date the first flat in the block was sold.
Download the new Sheltered Leaseholder's Handbook.
Generally you will be responsible for arranging for any future repairs and improvements that are carried out inside your property, and for any services that solely serve your flat.
As the freeholder, Alliance Homes is responsible for managing the maintenance of the structure, the exterior of the block and all shared services and communal areas.
In accordance with the terms of your lease, Alliance Homes is entitled to recover from you a reasonable proportion of the cost for managing and maintaining the block and associated grounds.
How do we calculate your service charges?
Service charges are distributed according to how many dwellings are in the scheme. The service charge estimate is sent out in March each year and shows a breakdown of the costs for the services provided at each scheme and what your proportion of the cost will be. The certificate and annual statement of affairs is sent out in the summer and shows the actual cost of services you have received in the previous year. At this point, a credit or debit is made to your account.
If your service charge estimate is more than we have spent, we will credit your account. If the actual costs are more than the estimate, we will transfer the balance onto the current year's account.
What Services am I charged for?
Most of the costs for your block are shared out equally between the each of the flats in the block. For example, if your flat is in a block of six, and the cost of repairs to the block is £300, each leaseholder pays £50 towards the repairs (£300 divided by 6).
Any costs that relate specifically to your flat will be charged just to you. You will only be charged for those services provided to your block, which may include one or more of the following:
Day to day responsive repairs
- We do not know how much we will have to spend on repairs to your block during the year, so we charge each flat the same estimated amount.
- We base the estimated charge on the previous year’s cost for maintaining the grounds associated with your block.
- We base this estimate on an average of the previous year’s costs, which have been obtained by the utility provider i.e. EDF Energy
- Servicing of fire detection equipment and security door entry systems.
- Servicing and maintenance to lifts.
- Caretaker costs.
- Laundry maintenance.
- Window and general cleaning.
- Servicing and maintenance of fire fighting equipment.
- Rental of communal waste disposal bins.
Who is responsible for Building Insurance?
North Somerset Council insures the scheme in which you live and is calculated based on each scheme's valuation. This insurance covers items such as damage to the buildings, loss or damage by fire, storm, floods etc or malicious damage.
The buildings insurance will not cover claims for carpets, furniture and other contents and you should make a claim through your own home contents insurance for these.
What are the repairing responsibilities for Leaseholders?
As a leaseholder you must carry out and pay for any repairs or improvements to the inside of the property. You are also responsible for decoration, which should be refreshed every seven years in accordance with your lease, and keeping the interior of the property in good condition.
Such items of work could include:
- The maintenance of the property’s interior eg internal repairs such as blocked sinks or toilets and broken glazing.
- The maintenance of services inside your home such as water pipes, ball cocks, gas, electricity and flues.
You may also be held fully responsible for repairs needed because of your negligence. For example, if you fail to remedy a water leak that is causing damage to a neighbouring flat, you may be charged the full cost of remedial works.
For health and safety reasons, residents must have their gas appliances serviced annually. Alliance Homes can arrange for servicing and a gas safety check; the cost of which will be recovered through your service charge. You may also be interested in signing up to a comprehensive 3* has service contract. The contract includes the annual service and gas safety check, unlimited call outs for repairs and the cost of replacing many parts. For further information and details of the cost please contact the Leasehold Team on 03000 120 120.
If you choose to arrange the annual service and safety check yourself, you must use an engineer who is registered with the Gas Safety Scheme and you must forward a copy of the certificate to Alliance Homes, confirming that your appliance has passed the annual test. Failure to do so may invalidate your insurance cover.
If you rent out your flat and it contains a gas appliance such as a gas fire or boiler, the Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations Act 1998 applies to you. By law you must have your gas appliances checked for safety at least once a year.
What are the Freeholder's repairing responsibilities?
Under the terms of the lease, we are responsible for maintaining the exterior and structure of the building and will recover a proportion of the costs through service charges and major works.
This may include:
- Communal areas such as halls, stairs and landings
- Communal facilities such as lighting, lifts, door entry systems, footpaths, drains and boundary fences
- Foundations (with the exception of Hildesheim Court)
- Roofs and guttering
- Exterior painting
- Structural walls - exterior and interior (with the exception of Hildesheim Court)
- Window frames and exterior doors (not glazing)
How do I get Involved?
We are committed to involving leaseholders in the decisions made about the leasehold service. There are several different ways to get involved, for instance joining a Leaseholder Group to look at services in depth, attending the annual leaseholder open meeting or filling out a satisfaction survey. We can also help you if you want to get involved in your local community.
Further information about the opportunities available is set out on our Ways to Get Involved page as well as in the Leaseholder Involvement Agreement. If you would like to get involved or would like a copy of the Agreement please contact either the Leasehold Team or the Resident Involvement Team.