If you've bought a council flat or maisonette, either directly through the right to buy scheme or from a previous owner, you're a council leaseholder.

Your rights and responsibilities

Your rights and responsibilities are set out in your lease. If you have any questions about your lease please contact Right to Buy and Leasehold Services on 0117 922 2200 (option 2, then option 5) or email leaseholderenquiries@bristol.gov.uk.

How to report a repair

Repairs we can fix

We're responsible for repairs to the exterior and structure of leasehold buildings and for the maintenance of communal areas.

To report a repair to the exterior of your property or to a communal area, call the repairs team on 0117 922 2200. Lines are open Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 6pm.

To report an emergency repair out of hours call our emergency team on 0117 922 2050.

Repairs you need to fix

As a leaseholder you're responsible for most repairs to your property. These include:

  • all internal repairs
  • repairs to window glass
  • repairs to doors (unless they open directly outside)
  • internal pipes and electrical wiring
  • plumbing and heating
  • repairs to sheds sold with the property

Fire safety

Visit fire safety for advice on how to prevent a fire in your home and what to do if there's a fire in your home or block.

Major works

We're making sure that all of our blocks of flats meet the Decent Homes Standard. It's likely that at some point your block will need refurbishment or maintenance.

Major work projects (where the cost of your contribution is more than £250) include:

  • roof repair and replacement
  • external repairs and maintenance
  • new windows
  • lifts refurbishment and replacement
  • laundry refurbishment and replacement
  • external decorations
  • communal  internal decorations

See the pdf leaseholders handbook (349 KB) for more information.

Pay your service charge

See rents and service charges for how much you need to pay.

See pay your service charge for different ways to pay your service charge.

If you're concerned or unsure, see advice on service charges for leaseholders.

If you have any questions about your service charge, please contact Right to Buy and Leasehold Services on 0117 922 2200 (option 2, then option 5) or email leaseholderenquiries@bristol.gov.uk.

Making improvements to your home

If you want to make improvements to your home, you'll need to get permission.

Get permission to make improvements to your home

Improvements might include:

  • installing a new bathroom or shower
  • installing a new kitchen
  • changing electrical wiring
  • replacing external doors or windows

Adapting your home

The right adaptations or equipment can help you to carry on living independently at home.

See adapting or improving your home for general advice on maintaining your home and information on a range of loans and grants available to homeowners.

Extending the period of a lease

As a leaseholder you legally have the right to extend your lease.

You will be given a new lease with a 90-year term, plus the remaining term of the old lease.

If you need to know exactly how many years are left on your lease, you should check your sale documents. This should have the date on which your lease started.

This may not be the date you bought the lease for the property as this is dated at the date the first property within that block was sold. 

If you do not have a copy of your sale documents, email home.ownership@bristol.gov.uk

More information can be found on lease extensions on the Leasehold Advisory Service website.

Building insurance

We have an obligation to provide building insurance for our leasehold properties bought under the right to buy scheme.

Reserve funds

Many leases provide for a contribution towards a reserve fund or sinking fund in the service charge payment.

Although reserve funds and sinking funds are different things, it has become common for either term to be used in residential leases.

They are funds built up, over a number of years, to cover the cost of significant expenditure. That expenditure can either be planned and recurring, such as redecoration every 5 or 6 years or more major one-off replacements, such as replacing a worn-out lift.

At the moment Bristol City Council don't operate Reserve Funds for Leaseholders. If we decide to introduce reserve funds, you will be consulted.

Contact us

You can use this form to contact us about your lease, service charges, or any other general questions.

Leaseholder enquiry form

Get involved: Leaseholders forum

This is a new way for you to comment on how housing services are run.

The Leaseholder forum will meet three times a year.

Next forum meeting

Time and date: 6pm to 8pm, Tuesday 16 April 2024.

Location: Online

Book a place on our Leaseholders Forum eventbrite page.

What you can do at the forum

At the forum you can:

  • meet with Housing Staff to comment on the service and put forward ideas
  • discuss issues with other leaseholders
  • nominate a leaseholder representative to the Housing Management Board 

If you've any queries email: leaseholderenquiries@bristol.gov.uk

Find out about other ways to get involved on the Tenant participation page.

Previous forum minutes

Housing News magazine

This is our magazine for all tenants and leaseholders

You can look at past issues online at our Housing News issue page Go to https://issuu.com/bristolcitycouncil/stacks/9a00b175a51f4f6ea49d0e2bcc51e58b (opens new window)

If you have any feedback or ideas for Housing News, contact housing.news@bristol.gov.uk or 0117 352 1444.