Flouting your flat lease can get you into trouble

When you bought your flat, your conveyancing solicitor, if diligent, will have pointed out to you any clauses in the lease that you need to be aware of. Flouting the lease will, at least, get you into hot water with the freeholder or agent, not to mention your neighbours.

At most, it can lead to you losing your flat – the ultimate sanction of forfeiture still exists.

Some things are common sense: keeping reasonably quiet between 11pm and 7am is normal, not blocking corridors and stairwells (fire hazards), checking if pets are allowed and what alterations you can make without the freeholder’s permission (again usually because of fire risk concerns) whether not you can light a barbeque and if there is a requirement to lay carpets to avoid nose for the folks below.

You will also find confirmation of the details of what you have agreed to pay in ground rent and as a share of service charges, and if the freeholder or their agents can include certain items in your bill. It will almost certainly mention the freeholder’s duty to insure the block.

It’s an important document, and we hope you will read and understand it. At the very least, make sure you have a copy to refer to if there are ever any queries.

Generally speaking, once you get past the ‘legalese’, you’ll find that it’s all about common sense living in a shared building.

All the same, most leases are, frankly, a boring read. That might be why one cheeky tenant, identified on social media as GloriusGherkins,  snuck in his own clause before signing, requiring that the landlord provides him with a birthday cake each year. What clause would you add?