Leaseholder rights and responsibilities

A leaseholder owns their flat or apartment in a building that Gentoo owns. Your lease allows you to own your flat or apartment for 99 to 150 years.

Service charge

Your lease will usually include a monthly service charge. Your service charge pays to:

  • maintain the land around your building, like cutting grass and gardening
  • clean communal areas
  • decorate communal areas
  • maintain fire alarms, emergency lighting and lifts
  • supply communal electricity and water
  • insure the building
  • repair the building

Find out more about how we set your service charge.

Ground rent

Your lease also includes a £10 ground rent. This is different to the service charge and you pay it once a year. We will send you a letter 30 days before the payment is due.

Our responsibilities to leaseholders

To meet the terms of your lease and give you reassurance we will:

  • provide a high-quality service to manage and maintain the place where you live
  • give you accurate and timely information about services and their costs
  • consult with and involve you when reviewing all services that affect you directly
  • help you enjoy suitable, safe and secure living conditions
  • have different payment methods so you can pay in a way that suits you
  • give you advice on any payment problems

Neighbourhood safety

We want everyone in our neighbourhoods to feel safe and secure. We want to prevent and reduce as much antisocial behaviour, domestic abuse, hate crime and hate incidents as possible.

There is help and support available if you have a problem in your neighbourhood.

Repairing and maintaining the building

We will repair and maintain communal areas and the structure of the building. Any repairs needed to the inside of your home are your responsibility.

We will repair the communal areas inside the building, including:

  • internal walls, like cracked brickwork
  • floors and ceilings
  • communal fire and smoke alarms
  • leaks from the communal water tank and pumps
  • communal cables, wires and supply lines
  • inside the building, like passages and staircases
  • lifts
  • lofts

We will repair the structure of the building, including:

  • chimney stacks
  • windows if you bought the lease on or before 22 May 1989
  • doors and door frames if you bought the lease on or before 22 May 1989
  • sewers, drains, water pipes and utility access hole covers
  • joists
  • balconies
  • the roof
  • rising damp in foundations

We will repair some areas outside of the building, including:

  • communal gardens
  • gutters
  • communal TV aerials
  • pathways and pavements

To report a repair, you can:

Your rights and responsibilities

Right to manage

If you live in a leasehold flat, you can take over and manage the building with the other leaseholders. You can also arrange for a managing agent to take over and manage the building.

To find out more about your right to manage, you can:

Altering your home

You will need written permission from us for any work that changes the structure or outward appearance of your home. You will need written permission to:

  • replace doors and windows
  • remove internal walls
  • install a satellite dish
  • install a new boiler

You do not need written permission to replace the kitchen. But you do need permission for work that affects the structure of the building, such as replacing pipework.

You do not need written permission for minor work, like decorating.

You must pay £61.50 to get written permission.

Call us on 0191 525 2759 to find out if you need written permission before altering your home.


You must ask us for permission before you get any pet. If you want a pet:

Major works

We will consult you of any major repairs or structural changes to the building. We will send you a letter that includes the:

  • work we are planning to do
  • contractors we want to hire
  • cost of the work

You will have 30 days to respond with any comments or observations.

After the work, we will send you an invoice for your part of the cost.

Gas safety certificate for appliances

As part of your lease, you must have all your gas appliances checked once a year by a Gas Safe Registered tradesperson.

We will write to you once a year to remind you that your gas safety check is due and to send us a copy of the certificate. You can email a copy to

Selling your home

If you decide to sell your property, we provide information to solicitors about:

  • service charges
  • asbestos
  • major works
  • external wall system fire review certificates
  • fire risk assessments
  • insurance

This information is in a management pack and costs £120.

If you bought your home through a preserved right to buy or right to acquire scheme

If you sell your home less than 5 years after buying it, you will have to pay back a percentage of the discount you received when you bought your home.

Subletting your home

You can sublet your home, but you must give us the contact details and managing agent of the tenant living there. To tell us information about who you are subletting the property to, you can: