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When you buy a flat from MDH it’s sold to you on a long lease.  You become a leaseholder.  Your rights and responsibilities as a leaseholder are set out in your lease agreement.

What is a lease?

A lease is a legal agreement or contract between you and the person who owns the land and the building your home is in. The lease sets out both parties’ rights and responsibilities. The lease also sets out your rights and the procedures you must follow if, for example, you want to sell (assign) your lease, alter your home, or sublet it.

Your lease is a type of tenancy that allows you to live in your home for a set period of time; usually this can be for a maximum period of 125 years, starting from when the first property in your building was sold. The set period of time is known as the lease ‘term’.

What are my responsibilities as a leaseholder?

  • Paying any service charge and rent by the agreed dates
  • Obtain written permission from MDH before carrying out major alterations to your home
  • Maintaining and repairing the inside of your home, including fixtures and fittings
  • In the event of any major works, you’ll be required to allow our contractors access to your home to carry out necessary repairs.
  • Keeping communal gas and water supplies to your home in good condition
  • Insure the building and personal possessions

Meet statutory obligations e.g. fire regulations

Leaseholders pay £10 ground rent a year as well as a service charge for the cost of running services.  These services include:

  • Day to day repairs to communal areas
  • Grounds maintenance
  • Communal electricity – lighting, TV aerials, door entry systems
  • Insurance
  • Repainting of internal or external parts in a block
  • Management charge for account administration (£20? Or 15% of service charge bill)

Further information can be found in our Leaseholder Handbook


  Direct Debit: You will need to complete a direct debit mandate form 

  By phone: 01884 255255 or via an automated system 01884 233000

 By Bank Transfer:             

Please quote your account number as the reference.

Mid Devon District Council
Sort code: 60-21-27
Account number 72621192

All leases state that service charges must be paid within 28 days of the invoice being sent

Your lease details what repairs you are responsible for and what repairs MDH are responsible for.  Common repairs include:

  • External boundary walls
  • Doors and window frames
  • Stairwells
  • Parking areas
  • Communal areas
  • Shared pipes, drains and sewers
  • Bin stores

We’ll send you details of any planned maintenance in advance of any works starting.  More information on your responsibilities for maintaining and repairing the structure and outside of your property, including communal areas can be found in your leaseholder handbook.

You need to apply for permission to make alterations to fixtures, fittings and property structure. 

If you’re a leaseholder you’ll need to sell your property on the open market and pay all outstanding service charges once the property has been sold

If you’re selling your home in the first 5 years you must:

  • pay back some of the discount you were awarded
  • offer to sell the property back to the council and give us first right of refusal

If you’re selling your home in the first 10 years you must offer it to us before putting it on the open market.

As a leaseholder, you can sublet your property.  However, please refer to your lease or Title Document as you may need our consent. 

Your responsibilities as a landlord:


  • Ensure a smoke alarm is installed on each floor of your home
  • Carbon monoxide detectors are present any room with a coal fire or wood-burning stove
  • Any electrical items must be in good and safe condition and have at least the CE marking which shows it meets the manufacturer’s requirements of EU law.
  • Installations and inspections of any electrical items should be carried out by a qualified electrician - Electrical Safety
  • Ensure that any gas appliances installed are maintained by a Gas Safe registered engineer
  • Have a gas safety check carried out every 12 months by a Gas Safe registered engineer
  • Give your tenant a copy of the gas safety check before letting the property

Your tenant should know:

  • How to report repairs to you
  • How to use the fixture and fixings in the property.  Where possible, try to provide instruction manuals for appliances
  • When and where rubbish should be disposed and/or recycled
  • Who to contact in an emergency.  

Legal documents you need to provide your subtenant

  • Provide a copy of the How to Rent Guide
  • Provide an EPC - EPC Register
  • Provide a gas safety certificate if there is a gas supply to the property
  • Provide an electrical certificate

Do I need to let my mortgage company know?

You will need consent from your mortgage company before subletting your property.

If I sublet who pays the service charge?

The payment of service charges and ground rent are still your responsibility.  We require you to update us with your contact details, details of your tenant and any management company in case of emergencies. 

What about anti-social behaviour and nuisance?

It is your responsibility, to ensure that your tenant abides by the tenancy agreement and they must behave in a way that does not cause a nuisance to other tenants.  You should ensure that tenants do not breach the terms of your lease.  If they do, and nuisance continues, we may take legal action to apply for forfeiture of your lease.


If you would like to provide feedback or comment on our service you have received, we would love to hear from you.  

If you have been dissatisfied with the service, or wish to make a complaint, please visit our Complaints and Feedback page. 

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