Leasehold FAQs


A lease is a legal agreement between the leaseholder and the freeholder (see below). It tells you how many years you'll own the property. Once the lease comes to an end, ownership of the property returns to the freeholder.

The freeholder is usually a company or person that owns the land on which your home sits. In most cases we (Red Kite) will own the freehold and be the freeholder.

Service charges

Service charges are payments made by leaseholders for services that are provided by the freeholder. This might include cleaning, maintenance of any grounds, minor repairs and major works.

We accept payment throughout the year, based on the itemised estimated costs we'll send you each April. The following September we provide a breakdown of what we've actually spent, and will either credit your account with any overpayment or ask you to make up any shortfall.

Yes, but only if our costs increase. We do not make a profit on service charges.


Your lease will set out your exact obligations, but in general you (as leaseholder) will be responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the interior of your home.

Ground rent

Ground rent is an additional amount which leaseholders pay to the freeholder. It's a fixed annual payment.

Only if your lease allows it to increase.


Yes, but normally you must ask for our permission before you start.

Shared ownership only

Extra shares may be bought via what's called 'staircasing'. The cost will depend on what percentage you want to buy and the value of your home at the time you apply. Contact our home ownership team for further information.

It's a fixed percentage (usually between 2.5% and 3%) of the value of the share in your home that we retain. It'll be increased every year in accordance with the terms of the lease.

Got another question?

Use this form to ask us anything we haven't covered in these FAQs - we'll get back to you with an answer, and we'll add it to this list if we think other tenants will find it useful as well.

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