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Leaseholders

More detailed information for Eastbourne Borough Council and Lewes District Council leaseholders.

Billing

Service Charges 

Advanced maintenance charges (the “interim charge”) are invoiced at the 1st April and the 1st October every year.  

At the end of the year (the “accounting period”) the total expenditure incurred is apportioned to each flat in line with the rateable value, where any payments made against the advanced maintenance charges are deducted. At year end a final invoice is issued generating either a balancing charge or surplus. 

The year-end accounts are usually produced in June of each year, but must be issued within 18 months of the first advanced maintenance charge. The actual costs of any major works completed are included within the year-end accounts. 

Reserve Fund Transactions 

Contributions to the reserve funds are invoiced annually as part of the service charge to cover the cost of future anticipated repair works required to the block. 

Management and Administration Fees       

The management fee is calculated using the following formula, applicable to service charges including major works:         

Flat rate of £45 per property per annum  

15% of the actual service charge (additional to the flat rate)*

Capped to a maximum of £150.00 per property/pa

Payment terms  

The lease requires service charges to be paid within 28 days from the date of billing. If you have problems paying any of your charges you should contact the council immediately. Any single invoice up to the value of £1,500 can be paid over 12 months*. 

*Subject to conditions. 

Payment methods   

  • Direct debit 
  • Standing order
  • Cheque
  • Telephone payment
  • Payment card

Building Insurance

  • The premium: The council renews its insurance annually, normally on the 1st April. You are billed a proportion of the premium for the total rebuild cost, as new, of the block and all the flats it contains
  • Claims: To make a claim or notify an incident likely to become a claim the council on 01273 471600. Please do not delay as this could affect your claim. Please also inform us if there has been fire damage, a water leak, or if you have worries about the structural safety of your home
  • Excess: There is currently an excess of £250 per claim for you to pay towards some insured damage claims; for others the excess is nil. For subsidence, the excess is £1,000
  • Where damage affects common parts or more than one home, the excess is usually shared between the flats including those owned by the council

Prolonged absence 

If your home is/will be unoccupied for 30 consecutive days please get in touch to inform us.

Sub-letting

Lewes District Council properties may be rented out and we simply require a forwarding address. Make sure your tenants keep to the terms of the lease, as you are responsible for their actions. You may forfeit your lease and could lose your property. The service charge is still the leaseholder's responsibility to pay. Invoices will be sent to your forwarding address.

Estimates of service charges are invoiced on the 1st April of every year. The estimate is based on the average cost of the last five years’ actual charges, where available, allowing for inflation. This is then adjusted for any expected or known reductions or increases in costs. If major works are planned the estimated cost will also be included within the service charges as per the lease.

A second invoice will be produced on the 1st October, which will reconcile the actual costs against the estimated service charge for the previous financial year. The invoice will either produce a surplus or balancing charge.

Management fee

The management fee is calculated as a percentage of the service charge (less insurance and ground rent). For the general service charge the rate is 15%, which is reduced to 5% for major works.

Payment terms

Typically the leases for general needs blocks require the service charges to be paid in advance in equal half yearly instalments. 50% should be paid on account at the 1st April and the remaining 50% at the 1st October, plus any balance from the reconciliation for the last financial year. Sheltered blocks (i.e. Riverbourne House) are required to pay all service charges, including estimates, in advance monthly.

Not all leases are identical and some may have different payment terms. Please check your own lease for confirmation.

Where estimated major works costs are included within your service charge estimate the Council will not enforce recovery. Once the major works are completed and the final costs have been established you will be invoiced for the actual cost at the 1st October (18 months after the estimate). This is a concession on the terms of the lease and may be withdrawn if you fail to meet your other liabilities on time.

Payment methods

  • Direct debit (*Pay by direct debit and get £10.00)
  • Standing order
  • Cheque
  • Telephone payment

*Subject to conditions. 

We ask you to pay your service charges within 28 days of your invoice unless you have made a prior arrangement with us. If you have problems paying any of your charges you should contact the council immediately. 

Miscellaneous charges

A tariff of miscellaneous charges can be seen below within the 'Leaseholder's charges' document.

Insurance

A copy of the current buildings insurance policy for your block can be seen below. The Legal and General leasehold scheme policy wording.

Block repair and re-decoration programme

Where the council proposes to carry out major works to your block the ‘Resident Information Procedure’ will be followed and can be seen attached for your information. Further details will be provided on this procedure, and the plans included, at the time any works are proposed.

The Leaseholders Panel

The Leaseholders Panel is a consultative body which represents the interests of residential leaseholders and shared owners. The panel provides the main channel of communication between the council and leaseholders.

Remit

The panel's remit is to:

  • Work with EHL on matters relating to leasehold services with the joint aim of driving continuous improvement
  • Act as the point of contact between the body of leasehold residents and EHL (on the behalf of EBC)
  • Report back to leaseholders and bring the views of leaseholders forward to the Panel
  • The panel will not take up individual complaints or concerns but will signpost people to an EHL manager or the complaints procedure as appropriate

The composition of the panel consists of the following:

  • An independent Chair (specialising in leasehold matters)
  • 7 leaseholders forming the voting members
  • An EHL representative

If you wish to contact the Leaseholders Panel then you can do so directly via: EHL_LeaseholdPanel@eastbournehomes.org.uk  [Note: There is an underscore between 'EHL' and 'LeaseholdPanel'].

Alterations

You must get written permission before you carry out any alterations to the property. A request for permission is available to download below. You should also check to see whether it will be necessary to obtain Planning or Building Control Approval. It will be your responsibility to check and prove that they are or are not necessary.

Sub-letting

If you are looking to sub-let your property your lease requires that you register this with the landlord. Please download a copy of the subletting form below.