You have a question? Read our FAQ or contact us

Leasehold apartments can be located in purpose-built blocks, in converted houses or above commercial or retail premises.

Leasehold ownership of an apartment is simply a long tenancy, the right to occupation and use of the apartment for a long period – the ‘term’ of the lease. This will usually be for 99 or 125 years and the apartment can be bought and sold during that term. The term is fixed at the beginning and so decreases in length year by year. Thus, if it were not for inflation, the value of the apartment would diminish over time until the eventual expiry of the lease, when the apartment reverts to the landlord.

The ownership of the apartment usually relates to everything within the four walls of the apartment, including floorboards and plaster to walls and ceiling, but does not usually include the external or structural walls. The structure and common parts of the building and the land it stands on are owned by the landlord, who is responsible for the maintenance and repair of the building.

The landlord can be a person or a company, including a local authority or a housing association. It is also becoming quite common for the leaseholders to own the freehold of the building, through a residents’ management company, effectively becoming their own landlord. With the introduction of the right to manage, the lessees do not own the freehold but are able to manage the building as if they were the landlord.