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Your lease is a legal agreement between you and us that allows you to live in a property owned by the council. Every leaseholder has an equal responsibility for ensuring that a lease’s terms and conditions are met.

Your lease includes a plan that shows your property (edged in red) and any garden, storeroom or parking space that were previously part of the tenancy and included in the sale of your lease.

The building in which your flat is situated is part of an estate. This may be as small as a single block containing two flats, or a larger area containing several blocks in a common area. The estate is shown edged in blue on your plan.

The lease sets out your obligations and rights as a leaseholder of a leasehold property and our obligations and rights as your landlord. These obligations and rights are known as ‘covenants’. You should refer to your lease for the full definition of these covenants.

Please note that we no longer accept payments made by cheque. All payments must be made online.

Your rights

Your rights are what you are entitled to do or receive in your leasehold property. They include the right to:

  • occupy the flat without interruption or disturbance from us
  • receive and use services provided by us
  • use any common parts of the building/estate
  • access an adjoining property to make good any damage (having given reasonable notice)
  • require us to enforce restrictions or covenants on other residents
  • sub-let the property
  • manage your block

Your obligations

Your obligations are what you must do as a leaseholder. They include the requirements:

  • to pay ground rent
  • to pay the service charge and any interest (unless fully paid within 21 days of the due date)
  • not to make any alterations to the property without first obtaining our agreement
  • to inform us in writing within one month that the lease has been assigned (sold on)
  • to keep your flat clean and in good repair
  • to repay any discount received under the right to buy (if selling within five years of the lease)
  • not to use the flat for a trade or business without our agreement
  • not to attach any outside aerial to the building

Subletting an ex-council property

If you want to sublet your ex-council property (where the council retains the freehold) we recommend you check with your mortgage lender that you are authorised to do so. You must remember that under the terms and conditions of your lease, a formal notice of sublet should be served on the council.

There is a charge of £194 to register a notice of sublet.

Within one calendar month of the sublet, require the following information:

  • written notice the property is going to be sublet, together with the leaseholder’s correspondence address
  • the full name and address of any letting or managing agent used, or a statement advising how the property is to be managed and the number of inspections carried out each year
  • a copy of the signed short-term lease or tenancy agreement, with updates provided at each new signing

Failure to comply may mean that you are in breach of any mortgage that is secured against the property. It may also mean that the buildings insurance policy held with Ocaso S.A. UK is invalidated.

Pay to register a notice to sublet

Please note that we no longer accept payments made by cheque. All payments must be made online.

Private Rented Property Licensing  

You will also need to apply to register your property with the council for our Private Rented Property Licensing scheme. This is compulsory for anyone renting out a property in the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham.

For further information on the licensing scheme and how to apply, view our property licensing page:

Private Rented Property Licensing


Extending the lease of your property

As a Leaseholder, you can extend your lease by following the procedure in the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993. One condition is that you must have owned the property for two years.

The lease of your flat gets shorter every year. If you let the length of your lease drop too low, it can reduce the value of your property. The shorter the lease the more expensive it will be to extend. If your lease is less than 80 years, then it may become more difficult to sell your leasehold property, so it is important to apply to extend it.

Once your lease has been extended, you no longer have to pay ground rent, although it may be still be in your lease, it is called 'peppercorn' rent - this means you don't have to pay any. Also, an extra 90 years will be added on to your remaining lease term, in return for a payment called a ‘premium’. For example, following a statutory extension, an 89 year lease becomes a 179 year lease.

The Sales and Leasing team do not provide advice or provide an indication as to the premium. We therefore suggest that prior to making an application to extend your lease, you should seek independent advice.

You can obtain information on the Leasehold Advisory Service website.

In addition to this, they provides the Leasehold Advisory Service's online calculator which may assist in establishing what the premium may be for extending  your lease.

You are strongly advised to seek your own professional advice from a solicitor and a surveyor about any application for extension of the Lease. Please refer to the guidelines, which will help you to understand the process.

Lease extension guidelines (PDF, 97 KB)

If you decide to proceed, then you would need to appoint a solicitor to submit a formal notice under section 42 of the Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act 1993, to:

Sales and Leasing team

Town Hall, 1 Town Square, Barking, Essex IG11 7LU.

Selling your leasehold property

As a leaseholder you may sell your property and assign the lease to a new owner at any time.

If you completed your purchase under right to buy, you may have to repay some or all of the discount you received when you bought the property. The amount of discount you have to pay back is a percentage of the property value on resale. This figure will be reduced by one fifth for each full year after the original date of completion of the sale.

Right of first refusal

If your application to buy your property was made after 17 January 2005, your lease or title deeds will state that you have an obligation to offer the property back to the council before offering it for sale on the open market, if you wish to sell within the first 10 years of acquiring your property through the right to buy scheme.

This is called the right of first refusal and means we have the right to buy the property at the full open market value price before any other buyers are sought or considered. We will let you know in writing if we choose to exercise this right and our requirements for the issue of a Certificate of compliance.

Sales and Leasing team

Town Hall, 1 Town Square, Barking IG11 7LU
Email: righttobuy@lbbd.gov.uk
Telephone:  020 8227 2906

Pre-assignment enquiries

The person who is buying your property will want details of:

  • service charges
  • Reserve Fund account
  • any service charge arrears
  • planned major works for which they might have to pay
  • they might also want details of the building’s insurance and other information about the block and estate

These are called pre-assignment enquiries. Your solicitor should contact our Sales and Leasing team for this information.

Sales and Leasing team

Email: leasehold@lbbd.gov.uk

The charge for providing pre-assignment information is £461 including VAT.

Pay for pre-assignment information

Please note that we no longer accept payments made by cheque. All payments must be made online.

Notice of assignment

Within one month of the sale of your leasehold property taking place, the solicitor acting for the new leaseholder must register the change of ownership with our Corporate Legal Services Division. This is known as a notice of assignment.

Sales and Leasing team

Email: leasehold@lbbd.gov.uk.

The charge for a notice of assignment is £194.

Notice of charge

If there is a mortgage on the flat, you must register your lender’s interest. This known as a notice of charge.

Sales and Leasing team

Email: legalrtb@lbbd.gov.uk.

The charge for a notice of charge is £194.

Pay for a notice of assignment or a notice of charge


Your repair responsibilities

As the leaseholder in a leasehold property, you must keep the inside of your flat in good repair, and you are responsible for the cost of all repairs to your home.

It is your responsibility to maintain and repair the following:

  • cisterns, tanks, pipes and wires which serve only your property
  • stopcocks, including those between the mains supply and pipes serving the property - if you need to repair or replace the stopcock, it is likely to disrupt the whole supply to the block temporarily; we will carry out the work if you ask us to but we will charge you a small fee.
  • non-structural walls
  • doors and frames inside the property, including other internal joinery
  • any entrance doors (and frames) which open onto a landing or corridor (not onto the outside of the building)
  • window panes
  • plaster, tiling and other wall and ceiling surfaces, and the inside surface of walls
  • any heating or hot-water services which serve only your property
  • redecorating (every seven years) including the surfaces of any window frames, sills, entrance doors and frames which open onto the outside of the building
  • any boundary walls or fences marked with a ‘T’ on the property plan
  • problems relating to condensation
  • individual heating systems and appliances
  • sanitary fittings
  • internal fixtures, fittings and equipment
  • individual store sheds, washing lines and posts in an area included in the lease plan (edged in red)

Contact us to report a repair

Council house repairs

Our repair responsibilities

As the landlord, we are responsible for repairing and maintaining the structure and exterior of our leasehold properties including communal areas and services. We are also responsible for taking reasonable steps to make good any faults which affect the structure. However, under the terms of your lease you must contribute to the cost of such repair work.

Our responsibilities include the repair of:

  • cisterns, tanks, pipes, wires and drains in the property which also serve other properties, such as soil stacks or rising mains
  • gas and water pipes or electrical supply cables and wires into the block, up to but not including the meter or stopcock within your property
  • outside and inside structural or party walls (but not the inside surfaces)
  • entrance doors (and frames) which open onto the outside of the building (not onto a landing or corridor)
  • frames and sills of any windows that open out to the exterior of the building
  • roofs, chimney flues and stacks, gutters, rainwater and soil pipes, sewers, drains channels and watercourses
  • balconies, passages, landings, staircases and other shared parts of the estate
  • any TV or radio-receiving aerials installed by us or on our behalf
  • estate roads, shared gardens, car-parking areas, playgrounds and play equipment
  • walls and fences on the estate and general areas you use with others
  • storage sheds in a block or shared part of the estate
  • shared washing lines and posts
  • entryphone or door-entry systems
  • foundations
  • lifts and lighting to shared passages, landings, staircases and other shared indoor parts of the estate

Paying your service charge

COVID-19 - If you cannot make payments that are due and are experiencing difficulties as a result of a reduction in your income, illness or caring responsibilities, please contact us by emailing income@lbbd.gov.uk or call 0208 227 3597. 

COVID-19 support, information and advice 

Please note that we no longer accept payments made by cheque. All payments must be made online.

General Income Section

Service charge invoice payments are due immediately. If you are not able to pay immediately, in some cases we can agree to accept instalments. To discuss instalment repayment, or other invoice repayment queries, contact the General Income Section by mail: income@lbbd.gov.uk.

General Income Team

Revenue Services, Town Hall, 1 Town Hall Square, Barking, IG11 7LU

Telephone: 020 8227 3597
Email: income@lbbd.gov.uk

Any other queries relating to invoices should be directed to the Sales and Leasing team.

Sales and Leasing team

To discuss your service charges and reserve fund, contact the Sales and Leasing Team by email at Leasehold@lbbd.gov.uk.

To discuss Major works consultation notices and costs, contact the Sales and Leasing Team by email at myobservations@lbbd.gov.uk

Sales and Leasing Team
Town Hall, 1 Town Square, Barking IG11 7LU
Telephone:  020 8227 2906

Direct Debit

Direct Debit is the easiest way to pay and you never have to remember to pay once your Direct Debit is set up. Download our Direct Debit form to complete and return to us.

Direct Debit form (PDF, 289.00 KB)

Pay online

You can pay online using a credit or debit card. You will need to enter your 14 digit reference number, which can be found on the invoice we've sent you.

Pay your service charge online

Pay by telephone

You can pay by telephone using a credit or debit card. You will need to enter your 14 digit reference number, which can be found on the invoice we sent you. This is available 24 hours a day. Select option 3 for invoices.

020 8227 2050

Pay at a bank

You can pay at any bank using the payment slip at the bottom of your invoice. Some banks make a charge for this service. Allow five working days for your payment to reach us.

Payzone and Paypoint

You can make a payment at outlets which display the Paypoint or Payzone logos. Contact us to request a barcoded letter if you want to pay this way.

Standing orders and bank transfers

Payments can be made by bank transfer and standing order. You'll need your 14 digit reference number, and our bank details.

Our bank details

Lloyds TSB plc, City Office, PO Box 72, Bailey Drive, Gillingham Business Park ME3 0LS

Sort code: 30 00 02

Account number: 01526028

If you don’t pay your service charge

COVID-19 - If you cannot make payments that are due and are experiencing difficulty as a result of a reduction in your income, illness or caring responsibilities, please contact us by emailing income@lbbd.gov.uk or call 0208 227 3597. 

COVID-19 support, information and advice 

If payment is not received on time, further action will be taken. To avoid this, contact the General Income Section.

General Income Team

Revenue Services, Town Hall, 1 Town Hall Square, Barking, IG11 7LU

020 8227 3597


Action we may take

To recover the leasehold charges, further action can include, but is not limited to:

  • debt collection agency – the debt will be referred to a debt collection agency to recover money from you
  • county court judgement – this will severely affect your credit rating and may affect your ability to get loans, including mortgages, credit cards, store cards and increases in credit limits (further costs will be incurred)
  • charging order – this prevents you from selling assets such as property, investments or land without paying what is owed
  • an application to your mortgage lender