Leaseholders

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

News update

Final account reconciliation

We published final accounts recently, comprising the actual costs for the April 2020 to March 2021 financial year. These accounts also include costs for programmed major works, completed between 2019 and 2020. If you have any queries on these accounts, please contact the Leasehold Team via the Contact Centre or email Leasehold@lewes-eastbourne.gov.uk.

Future Major works

We also plan to start formal consultations with Leaseholders soon, to find the best contractors to complete the works over the next 5 years. We encourage you to get in touch if you have any queries about the proposed works.

LDC Leasehold update October 2021

Fire Doors

As part of our building safety reviews, we have identified several front doors that do not comply with fire-safety regulations. Doors affected open unto communal areas in our blocks and therefore form part of the fire safety measures for the block. Leaseholders are responsible for their own doors, so we are encouraging those affected to make the necessary changes as soon as possible. 

We have now contracted with Kier to supply doors to our social housing properties. Leaseholders can also take part in the contract with interest-free, 24-month repayment available. We will write to Leaseholders again shortly with door choices and costs so we can schedule the replacements. Please contact us for more details at Leasehold@lewes-eastbourne.gov.uk or write to: The Leasehold Team, Property Services, Southover House, Southover Road, Lewes, BN7 1AB.

New Reserve Fund Scheme

Currently, Lewes Leaseholders pay a fixed, nominal amount for future works. However, this is not considered best practice. We will start reviewing the current arrangement this year (2022) and will consult Leaseholders about any new proposals in the coming months. 


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 to September 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. 

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

Reserve funds

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

 

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*. 

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

*Subject to conditions. 

Payment methods   

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

Buildings 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 contact the council on 01273 085255. 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

If your home is/will be unoccupied for 30 consecutive days please inform the council.

It is your responsibility to insure the contents of your leasehold property.

Block repair and re-decoration programme

Repairs to your block are now carried out under the Block repair and re-decoration programme. This programme operates on a 7 year cycle.

Service improvement plans

Coming soon.

Property alterations

You must get written permission before you carry out any alterations to the property. A 'permission for alterations form' 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

Lewes District Council properties may be let. We require your 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 if the lease is breached by you or your tenants' actions.

The service charge is still the leaseholder's responsibility to pay. Invoices will be sent to your forwarding address.

Leaseholders Sub-letting request form Homes First

Leaseholders Sub-letting request form Homes First
Summary: A form to request sub-letting for a property within Eastbourne Borough Council or Lewes District Council
File Size: 137KB
Type: Files / Images
Created: 01 August 2017
Last Modified: 06 December 2019

EBC Leasehold Website update October 2021

Fire Doors

As part of our building safety reviews, we have identified several front doors that do not comply with fire-safety regulations. Doors affected open into communal areas in our blocks and therefore form part of the fire safety measures for the block. Leaseholders are responsible for their own doors, so we are encouraging those affected to make the necessary changes as soon as possible. We have contracted with Kier to supply doors to our social housing properties. Leaseholders can also take part in the contract with interest-free, 24-month repayment available. Please contact us at Leasehold@lewes-eastbourne.gov.uk for more details.

Fire Safety Works

We are consulting some Leaseholders within Eastbourne about essential changes to comply with fire safety regulations. Affected blocks are Renfrew Court, Lanark Court, Perth Court and Kinross Court. Some of these changes include how residents dispose of their household rubbish. We invite all affected Leaseholders to engage with us so we can consider all views. First stage of formal consultations ends on 1st November 2021. We look forward to hearing from you.


Service charges

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.

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 fees

The management fee is currently 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 (such as 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.

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.

Buildings insurance

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

It is your responsibility to insure the contents of your leasehold property.

Block repair and re-decoration programme

Repairs to your block are now carried out under the Block repair and re-decoration programme. This programme operates on a 7 year cycle.

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

Service improvement plans

The council strives to continuously maintain and improve the service provided to leaseholders. This is managed and implemented through leasehold management service improvement plans ("SIP's").

A copy of the current SIP can be accessed below together with summaries of improvements implemented under past plans in previous years.

Leasehold consultative group

In 2018, Leaseholders decided to engage with the Council via a fully independent group. 

The new group called “Eastbourne Leaseholders Association” was set up in 2019 but does not currently have legal representation status. However, members of the group engage with the Council regularly, working through the Leasehold Service Improvement Plan through a series of planned meetings.

Leaseholders can contact the group via their email address, ebleaseholders@gmail.com

Property alterations

You must get written permission before you carry out any alterations to the property. A 'permission for alterations form' 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 'sub-letting request form' below. 

You can find further information about being a leaseholder of Eastbourne Borough Council by downloading the Leaseholder's Handbook below.