The information below is for leaseholders, including shared owners.

Can I extend my lease?

You may be able to buy a new lease for 90 more years on top of the time left on your current lease if you:

  • own 100% of a property and
  • have held the lease for at least two years.

You can usually choose to buy the freehold if you have a house. You will be able to extend your lease for 50 more years if you don’t have that right.

You need to give us notice if you want to apply for a new lease. You will be asked to say how much you will pay for this new lease. This offer might be based on a professional valuation. You will need a solicitor to act for you in agreeing the new lease.

You will have to pay our administration and legal costs for your case from the date you tell us you want to buy a new lease. This is the case whether your application is successful or not.

More information can be found in the Government’s Guide to Your Rights and Responsibilities document, on the LEASE website or from your legal advisor. You can also contact your leasehold services officer.

Can I change, improve or add to my home?

Please fill in and return the alterations request form or contact your leasehold services officer if you want to change or improve your home. You must get our permission before carrying out any work. We will charge a small fee for considering any requests.

Which repairs and maintenance are my responsibility?

You must keep your home in a good state of repair. You are responsible for the cost of repairs and maintenance. You might need to get our permission, depending on the type of work you want to do.

If you are in a flat or maisonette, your landlord is responsible for the building and communal areas. You are responsible for your flat. Full details are in your lease.

Please report a repair online if we are your landlord or the management agent for your building.

Please contact your management agents directly to report communal repairs if we don’t own the freehold or manage the building.

What is a service charge?

You will have to pay a service charge if you buy a property with communal areas. This charge is to cover the cost to us of providing communal services like cleaning hallways and gardening.

We will also use this charge to build up funds for future maintenance.

You will pay a monthly charge based on an estimated annual cost. We will send you information on the actual costs you have incurred at the end of the financial year. You will also be given a summary of the services you receive.

You might also be charged ground rent if you live in a flat or maisonette.

Your leasehold services officer will have details of what is covered by your service charge.

Does Orbit buy back properties?

If your property was once owned under a shared ownership lease you might not be able to sell it without first asking us if we want to buy it back.

If this applies to you, it will apply for up to 21 years from the date the last shares were bought. Whether we will buy back your home will depend on our plans within your area at the time you want to sell.

You will not be able to sell your home unless we provide you with a certificate saying you’ve asked our permission. We will charge a small fee for providing this certificate.

Speak to your leasehold services officer to find out more.

Will I have to pay an administration charge when I ask Orbit to do something?

We might ask you to pay a small administration charge to cover our costs:

  • when you’ve asked for permission to change your lease or for something else that needs our official consent
  • for supplying information or documentation.

This leaflet has more information on our administration charges.