Leaseholders - information and advice

​Leaseholders own leasehold interest in property usually for 125 years, the freehold of which is owned by council.

On this page you can find out about your lease, your rights and responsibilities as a council leaseholder, what your service charge covers and how to pay it, and the rules for subletting your property.
Hand holding a pen, filling in a form

Your lease

Your lease is a legal contract between you (the leaseholder) and us (the landlord). It sets out the boundaries of your property and your estate (if relevant) and any garden or amenities included in the sale. It also explains your and our rights and responsibilities.

Extending your lease

If you want to extend your lease, you should telephone us on 020 8430 3500.

Getting a copy of your lease or deeds

You will be able to get a copy of your lease from your mortgage company /bank or the solicitor who dealt with the purchase of your property.

Leaseholders’ rights and responsibilities

As a council leaseholder you are responsible for the repair and maintenance of everything inside your home, while we are responsible for the structure, exterior and communal parts of the building.
We are also responsible for providing services for communal areas such as cleaning and lighting.
You are required to pay a share of the costs of managing and maintaining the communal parts of the building. If your property is on an estate, you are also required to pay a share of the costs of managing and maintaining the communal estate areas such as paths, lighting and grounds.

Gas servicing

You are responsible for the maintenance of all gas appliances and flues in your property.
You are required to have them checked for safety at least once every 12 months.
If you sublet your property, you have a legal responsibility to your tenant and you must ensure that an annual safety check is carried out on each appliance and/or flue. A record of each safety check must be kept for two years.
You will receive the bill for your ground rent in January each year. This is set at the figure indicated in your lease.
As a leaseholder, you will be charged for the services we provide to you, as well as the ground rent.

What we charge for

The services you are charged for will vary depending on where you live, the type of property you have, and the conditions of your lease. If you live on an estate, for example, you will receive more services than if you live in a property on a street and your service charge will reflect that.
All leaseholders are charged for:
  • buildings insurance
  • management fees
  • minor repairs.
If you live in a block you may also be charged for:
  • electricity costs for communal lighting, heating and lifts
  • lift repairs and maintenance
  • communal television aerial maintenance
  • caretaking and concierge services
  • maintenance of items such as water tanks, door entry systems, fire alarms, intruder alarms and dry risers.
If you live on an estate you will also be charged for: 
  • maintenance of services such as CCTV and car park barriers
  • grounds maintenance.

Calculating your service charge

If you are living in a block we take the cost of the service to the whole block, multiply it by the rateable value of your property and divide that by the rateable value of the whole block.
If you are living on an estate we take the cost of the service to the whole estate, multiply it by the rateable value of your property and divide that by the rateable value of the whole estate.
You can find more information about how we calculate your service charge on the information pack sent with your estimated and actual charge.

Billing your service charge

Each April, we send you an estimate of how much we think we will spend on your property in the coming financial year (1 April to 31 March). Your bill tells you the date by which you must pay it.
In September we send you details of how much we have actually spent on your property in the previous financial year and a breakdown of that spending.
If we have spent less than we estimated, we will credit your account or you can ask us to refund the overestimated amount.
If we have spent more than we estimated, we will send you an additional bill. It will tell you the date by which you must pay it.

Paying your service charge

You must quote your payment reference number when making payments. You can pay your service charge in the following ways:
  • Direct debit and standing order

    This is our preferred and suggested method. It is efficient, cost effective; it avoids queuing, and unnecessary paperwork. Set up a direct debit to pay your rent from your bank account automatically every month or print off and complete a standing order form and take it to your bank
  • Online

  • Over the phone

    You can pay over the phone using a debit or credit card by telephoning our Customer Service Centre on 020 8430 2000. Follow the automated instructions selecting ‘leaseholder services’ from the list of options. You will need to have your service charge reference number to hand.

If you cannot pay

The standard Newham lease states that the service charges invoice, whether estimated or actual must be paid in full on receipt. However, we know that for many leaseholders this is unrealistic. To help with payment, all resident leaseholders have the facility to pay their estimated service charge invoice over ten equal monthly instalments from April to January, and to pay the actual service charge invoice in five equal monthly instalments from November to March.
Please note that if you do not maintain these instalment plans, the agreement will be cancelled and we will expect you to make the payment in full.
You may be eligible for benefits to help with paying your service charge and other bills.

Major works

By law we must consult you about major works, such as replacing windows, reroofing and landscaping your estate, which are estimated to cost you more than £250. We will send you a separate bill for any major works.

Subletting your property

If you sublet your property to a tenant, you must tell us.
You will also have to comply with our privately rented property landlord licensing scheme.
You also have a legal responsibility to your tenant for gas servicing.



Resident Services Team covers many aspects of housing.

If your query relates to your lease please email the Client Relations Team at

If your query relates to payments please contact your Resident Services Officer using the email address on letters they have sent to you, or email Leaseholder Income Collection at

If your query relates to how your service charge has been calculated please email the Business & Governance Team at​

If you wish to contact by telephone dial 020 8430 2000 and ask for the relevant department.​
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