Buying and selling leasehold flat

There are a number of differences when you buy a flat that you need to understand before submitting your application to buy. If you are considering buying your council-owned flat, please ensure that your solicitor explains the details of the lease clearly. Please note there are certain qualifying criteria for the Right to Buy scheme.

Buying your council flat

When you buy a Brent Council owned flat you become a “leaseholder” and you are actually buying a lease from the council which gives you the right to live in and use of the property for an agreed period of time, usually 125 years. The council continues to own the block including the exterior structure of the flat.  


As a leaseholder, Brent Council owns the freehold and as landlord, is obliged to provide you with specific services and you will be charged for those services.


These include:

  • Service charges to cover the costs incurred for the day to day repair, maintenance and management of the block and for your share of the cost of any major works to your block.
  • Ground rent on an annual basis.
  • Buildings insurance.
  • Management and administration costs.

Selling your flat

Residents who buy a property through the Right to Buy scheme will not be able to sell their property for 10 years unless they meet the conditions of the Housing Act 1985.


This means that residents must give the landlord the right to buy back the property first. The leaseholder or freeholder selling their property must serve a notice on Brent Council.

The council then has eight weeks to tell the leaseholder or freeholder if they want to buy. We advise all leaseholders and freeholders to get legal advice before selling their home in this period.


If you need any more information, please contact the Right to Buy Team.

Buying the freehold

Leaseholders can act together to buy the freehold of their building if they meet certain qualifying criteria. This is known as collective enfranchisement. Leaseholders can apply to buy the freehold where at least two-thirds of the property is sold and that two thirds want to buy. Click on the following link to use our online checker.


Check if my block is 100% owned


You should seek specialist advice on the best option for your particular circumstances. Alternatively you can obtain further information from the Leasehold Advisory website and they will provide you with free advice and information.


A valuation will be carried out by an independent Chartered Surveyor on each of the individual flats in the block subsequent after a Section 13 notice has been received. You will be responsible to pay our valuer’s fees of the sum of £912, legal and administrative cost of approximately £3000 as well as the value of the freehold.