Leaseholders – estate improvements – what to pay?


With a number of estate improvements/regeneration (and some might say over-development) going on we have been asked by some leaseholders if they have to pay towards estate improvements.

Improvements - How much - Who pays - Who knows?

Improvements – How much – Who pays – Who knows?

The answer is it depends on what your lease says.

Does your lease say you need to pay towards improvements? Generally their are two types of leases:

  • the GLC lease
  • and the Tower Hamlets lease
Tower Hamlet leases seem not refer to improvements and the GLC leases do and say for estate improvements your flat needs to be affected by the improvement for it to be chargeable.

In the GLC Lease Clause 5.(h) refers and says:

‘If and whenever the Council shall make any improvement affecting the Flat to the Estate or any part thereof the Lessee shall upon the service of a written demand pay to the Council a fair proportion of the cost of the improvement based on a comparison of the RV of the Flat at the time with the RV of all other dwellings and other premises comprised in the Estate and affected by the improvement’

Based on this, if the flat is not affected by the estate improvement we would not expect a contribution towards the cost of the estate improvement to be asked for. We think this will also mean each improvement will need to be evaluated independently of all other improvements.

If you have this condition in your (GLC) lease and are being asked to pay towards estate improvements, you should ask EEH to define “improvement affecting the flat” and how the flat is “affected by the improvement”.

You should also ask for precise clarification of the estate improvements that you are being asked to contribute towards – not all estate improvements will affect all flats.

It is a complicated area and leaseholders should check the wording in their leases. If you would like our view on any specific point please contact EEHLFA (website here)

On a general note we think the subject of estate improvements and liability for paying towards them should be resolved via discussions with leaseholders before demands for payments are issued – and ideally before the improvements are carried out.

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