Wealden District Council
You are using an unsupported version of Internet Explorer.
Parts of our website may display incorrectly or not work at all. Please consider downloading an up to date browser such as Chrome or Firefox.

Retirement Living Leaseholders Handbook

Welcome to your new home

This handbook outlines everything you need to know about living in your home, your rights and responsibilities as a Leaseholder of Wealden District Council. It also gives details of Wealden District Council’s responsibilities and the services they provide and help on how to find out more information should you need it.

The information does not replace your Lease. Any details in the Handbook can only be regarded as a general guide with the lease taking priority. If you have any queries regarding your Lease you will need to consult with your legal representative.

As a Leaseholder you should keep a copy of your Lease as this sets out your rights and obligations and is the legal agreement between you and the Council. A copy should be obtained from your solicitor, if this is not possible you will need to contact the Council’s Leasehold and Right to Buy Officer who may be able to provide you with a copy. There is a charge for this service.

If you have any enquiries regarding any of the matters contained in this Handbook, please contact the Leasehold & Right to Buy Officer.

A bit about Wealden

  • Wealden is the largest district in East Sussex covering 323 square miles.
  • Half of its population live in the five main towns of Polegate, Hailsham, Heathfield, Uckfield and Crowborough. The remaining population live in the 37 smaller and more rural parishes in
  •  High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the South Downs National Park together cover some 60% of the District.
  • In addition, Wealden has 34 conservation areas and 32 sites of special scientific interest. Wealden has more than 2,500 listed buildings.

A bit about Wealden District Council’s homes

The Council continues to own and manage its own housing stock of around 3,000 homes.  The stock is made up of Retirement Living, flats, bungalows and houses. In addition, the service manages some housing association properties,
leasehold flats sold under the Right to Buy, retirement leasehold properties and Right to Buy shared ownership properties.

By Telephone

Our office is open 8.30 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday (9.00am on Wednesdays) and can be reached by calling 01323 443322.

To report housing repairs (24 hour line)
call 01323 443375.

To report any housing emergency (not repairs) call 01772 678941.

By Email

You can email us at: housing@wealden.gov.uk for general enquiries or to report a repair: repairs@wealden.gov.uk

In writing

Contact us in writing at: Housing Services, Wealden District Council, Vicarage Lane, Hailsham, East Sussex BN27 2AX

In Person

Our office is located at Vicarage Lane, Hailsham, BN27 2AX and is open 8.30am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday (9am on Wednesdays). Please always try to make an appointment prior to visiting the office. If you visit the office without an appointment the appropriate person to deal with your enquiry may
not be available. Appointments can be made by calling us on 01323 443322.

Accessing Services

For information about the Council’s services visit our website  


The council’s online portal for Wealden residents to make service requests 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It allows you to report that your bin was missed alongside other waste enquiries, request removal of graffiti, report pollution, property name change and registering an address. www.mywealden.gov.uk.

Within MyWealden via MyAccounts tenants can view their rent account statement, look at the contact details we hold for them and inform us if any changes are needed and view repairs and their status for the past 6 months.

The Council offers a free weekly email information service to provide households with information about their waste and recycling collection dates, local planning applications as well as the latest news and events in Wealden. If you haven’t already done so and would like to join the 29,000 households who currently receive Wealden Weekly, just go to www.wealden.gov.uk/wealden-weekly and fill in your details.

The Court Manager is usually on site Monday to Friday between 8am and 4pm (some smaller Courts share one Court Manager between two Courts). When the Court Manager is away for whatever reason a colleague from a neighbouring Court will provide some cover, but there will be times when a Court Manager is not at the premises.

When the Court Manager is not on site, and there is an emergency, Lifeline should be contacted on 01772 678941.  If you have a non-urgent enquiry, please wait to see the Court Manager when they are next on site.

What is the Role of the Court Manager?
The Court Manager makes sure residents are safe, the building is secure, and that any emergencies and repairs are dealt with. They enable residents to live
independently within their own homes whilst offering regular support planning and signposting to relevant services where any additional support needs are identified.

Lifeline provide two types of service:
1. An out of hours cover to the housing service to deal with emergencies both in and outside Retirement Living housing. Additionally it provides emergency cover during office hours in Retirement Living housing if the Court Manager is not on site.
2. A 24 hour  telephone response service which residents pay for in their service charge. This is connected to a pull cord system within each property which can be used to raise the alarm in an emergency for example if you fall.

Every Retirement Living property comes with pull cords in every room and a fixed speech unit. Other equipment such as fall detectors are available but are only provided on assessment and charges may be applicable.  If you would like more information, please speak to your Court Manager.

Key Contacts

Housing Repairs – Please speak to your Court Manager for advice on what is your responsibility as a Leaseholder.  When the manager is off site and the repair relates to a Communal issue:  24 hour repairs line 01323 443375

Lifeline – for out of hours emergencies and lifeline
calls 01772 678941. 

Housing Income Team Leader – overall responsibility for leasehold service charges.  Telephone: 01323 443374 or email:  leasehold@wealden.gov.uk

Leasehold & Right to Buy Officer – deals with queries on accounts, leasehold repairs, surrender and sales. Telephone: 01323 443283 or email:  leasehold@wealden.gov.uk

Tenant Involvement – for all forms of resident engagement. Telephone: 01323 443256 or email: tenant.participation@wealden.gov.uk

Things to remember to do when you move in.


  • Please discuss television licensing arrangements with your Court Manager.
    • Contact your electricity supplier to put the account in your name.
    • Set up an account for your landline telephone and broadband, if applicable.
    • Inform Council Tax.
    • Arrange for the post from your old home to be re-directed to your new property.
    • Bungalows only – contact your gas supplier to put the account in your name and speak to the Court Manager about arranging for the gas to be reconnected.
  • You will have been supplied with refuse and recycling bins, if these are ever damaged/lost/stolen there will be a charge for replacements – please contact the Council to arrange this. Use our Bin Day Search to find out when your collection days are.

Remember to inform (as applicable):
• The Housing Benefits team.
• Pension Services (for state pension or pension
• Disability and Carers Service, for:
• Disability Living Allowance
• Personal Independence Payment
• Attendance Allowance
• Carer’s Allowance

Update details for:
• Bank/building society accounts.
• Driving licence.
• Insurance policies e.g. car, pet, life insurance,
contents insurance.
• Credit cards or store cards.
• Doctors.
• Dentist.
• Solicitor – e.g. to update your will

Looking after your home

Buildings Insurance

1. The Council insures the Development/Retirement Living Court and property against loss or damage by fire and other risks as necessary to the full rebuilding cost. The cost of the buildings insurance for your property is recoverable from you on an annual basis in advance under the terms of the lease (see Section 5) with the exception of the Newnham Way Bungalows, where residents are responsible for ensuring that the correct level of cover is in place for buildings insurance.
2. Further information on Wealden District Council’s buildings insurance may be obtained by emailing leasehold@wealden.gov.uk  

Contents Insurance
The Council does not insure your furniture and belongings against theft, fire, vandalism, burst pipes and other household risks. It is therefore important that you take out Home Contents Insurance. This may be done with an insurance company of your choice and you are advised to shop around for the best deal.

Internal Decoration
Internal painting and decoration is your responsibility and is required once every 7 years under the terms of the lease. 

Now that you have moved home you may require some new furniture or may wish to get rid of some of your existing furniture, particularly if you have downsized.  There are local charities that may be able to assist you.

If you live in a flat which has a door entry system, please ensure that the door is closed properly behind you, do not wedge it open and do not let strangers into the block.

If someone knocks on your door claiming to be an official person, for example:  an officer of the Council or one of its contractors, always ask for ID before letting them in and if in doubt do not let them in.

Living in a flat is a greater responsibility than a house in many ways as your actions can affect your neighbours safety – and vice versa. We have listed below some things you can do to live together more safely:

No Smoking
The shared areas of our flats are ‘no smoking’ areas, this includes all corridors and stairwells and in addition all bin stores, drying areas, etc.

Corridors and Meter Cupboards
These must not be used for storage, for bicycles, mobility scooters, etc.  Please do not put up pictures or curtains and do not lay carpet or doormats unless agreed by the Court Manager.

Bin Areas
Please ensure that where possible the bin area/bins are locked or closed.  Do not store rubbish outside the bins and especially not against the building or any timber fences, etc.

Fire Doors and Fire Equipment
The entrance doors to the Retirement Court and most corridor doors are self-closing fire doors. Please do not alter these or prop them open – if they are faulty report this promptly. Where there are designated fire exits and routes from the building make sure you know where these are in case of an emergency.  There are fire alarms and emergency lighting within the main building which are tested and serviced regularly.

Fire Alarms will be tested weekly so please see your Court Manager or Notice Board for details on which day/time the fire alarms are tested in your Court.

Flat Entrance Doors
All doors to individual flats are fire doors, both to prevent fire spreading into your flat and from your flat. All doors must be fire rated doors, with fire rated glass, intumescent strips on the edges and be self-closing. Under no circumstances must any alterations or replacements be made to the door or frame without the prior express written consent from the Council.

Loft Areas (bungalows only)
Loft areas should be kept clear and not used for storage as they are an important part of the fire integrity of the building.

What can you expect from the Council

All Retirement Living properties have been fitted with a smoke detection system that is connected to the main electrical supply. The Court Manager carries out
a weekly fire alarm test and the system is serviced by a specialist contractor. Should you be concerned at anytime that there is a fault please report it to us as a

Communal Areas
Do not leave any personal belongings in internal and external communal areas, as this is a health and safety risk.

Rubbish Disposal
Normal waste (including items that can be recycled such as paper, plastics, tins and cardboard) is collected from the Court. However if you have large items such as furniture to dispose of please take them to a waste disposal centre or contact the Council to arrange for a special collection – please note that there will be a charge for this service.

Living in your home

Booking, and checking in and out of guest rooms, is arranged through the Court Manager.

Some Do’s and Don’ts


  • Make use of all the communal areas which are part of the Court in which you live.
  • Join in activities provided within your Court.
  • Report any repairs or concerns to your Court Manager.
  • Be considerate and responsible towards your neighbours.
  • Abide by your legal responsibilities as set out in your lease.
  • Pay any rent, service charges and other charges on time.
  • Allow us access to your property at a conveniently agreed time as necessary.
    Abide by your maintenance responsibilities.
  • Get involved in improving your community and the services provided to you by speaking to your Retirement Living representative or the Tenant Participation Officer.


  • Do not smoke in communal areas.
  • Do not breach any of your legal responsibilities as set out in your lease.
  • Do not prop open communal doors or entrances.
  • Do not store personal belongings in communal areas.

Getting on with other residents is not always easy; however it is essential for a happy and peaceful life for both yourself and others.

Acceptable Behaviour
With residents we have agreed the following definition:
“Acceptable behaviour is behaviour that is considerate and responsible; empathises with the individual circumstances of our neighbours and is respectful of our community”.

What do we expect from you?
It is expected that residents will be considerate of one another. Antisocial behaviour means different things to different people, and what might appear to
be acceptable behaviour for one resident, may not be acceptable to another.
With regards to issues which could cause antisocial behaviour, your lease states that:
You must not and you must not allow your visitors to do anything within the Retirement Living complex which may be or become a nuisance, annoy, damage
or inconvenience the Council or anyone else living in the Court or surrounding area.
You must not play any music or musical instrument loudly or in any other way to cause annoyance to the Council or other occupiers.

You must not leave boxes or anything else including rubbish in any communal areas, whether internal or external.

You can only keep a pet in the property if you have been given written permission by the council. If the pet causes a nuisance or annoyance to the Council or
other occupiers at the Court then permission may be withdrawn.
Each property is allowed to park just one private motor vehicle in the parking spaces contained within the Court. If you have visitors then they must find
alternative parking if you already have a private motor vehicle parked within the Court. Please note that no privately owned commercial vehicles must be parked
within the Court/Development.

What to expect from the Council
If you are experiencing problems with another resident you may be able to resolve it yourself by approaching them to discuss an issue of concern.
If this is not possible, or if the nuisance continues, then speak to your Court Manager for advice. We treat antisocial behaviour very seriously and are committed to preventing and tackling the causes of antisocial behaviour.

What is a shared ownership lease?
As a leaseholder you have bought the right to live in your property for a fixed number of years – initially, up to 99 years. Your lease is a legal document/binding
contract, enforceable in law, which contains both your rights as leaseholder and the council’s rights as freeholder. Your legal representative should have
explained it to you before it was signed.

The Council is the freeholder and as such owns the building in which you live, and is responsible for looking after the structure, exterior and common areas
of the Court, as well as the services and facilities in common areas.

You are a leaseholder and as a leaseholder you have to pay your flat’s/bungalows share of the council’s costs of maintaining the Court and providing services.

The service charge is your share of the council’s costs in the day to day running the Court and/or services received.

Some leaseholders own 100% of the lease and others own as little as 25%. For those that do not own the whole lease there is a rental charge for the share of the
property not owned.

In addition you are responsible for a percentage of the cost of planned renewals such as communal lighting, boilers, lifts, laundry equipment, etc. The details are
set out in your lease and the costs are calculated as a percentage of the units within the development – e.g. if there are 20 properties (flats or bungalows) you would pay 5% or 1/20 of the costs of the works).

Your property – Your responsibilities as a Retirement Living leaseholder
It is a condition of your lease that you must not do any of the following:

  • Carry out any structural alteration to your home without first obtaining Wealden District Council’s written consent.
  • Not to use the property other than as a place of permanent residence and private dwelling for persons aged 60 years or over.
  • You must not and you must not allow your visitors to do anything within the Retirement Living complex which may be or become a nuisance, annoy, damage or inconvenience the Council or anyone else living in the Court or
    surrounding area.
  • Not to hold or permit any sale or auction on the property.
  • Not to erect any structure within the boundary of the Property nor to make any structural alteration or addition to the property. Not to erect or allow
    on the Property or any part of it any advertising board without the prior consent in writing of the Council.
  • Not without the prior consent in writing of the Council to erect or permit the erection on the exterior of the property any aerial or other apparatus for the reception or transmission of radio or television.
  • Not to leave boxes or anything else including rubbish in any communal areas, whether internal or external. Not play any music or musical instrument loudly or in any other way to cause annoyance to the
    Council or other occupiers.
  • To the satisfaction of the Council to maintain in good repair order and condition the boundary walls or fences to the property as marked ‘T’
    inwards on any plan attached to your lease for bungalows or flats with garden.
  • No fence gate or other structure shall be erected neither shall any hedge be grown on the boundaries without the prior consent from the
    Council for bungalows or flats with garden.
  • Do not cut, lop or fell or in any other way interfere with any trees within the boundary of the property if a bungalow or flat with a garden, without the
    consent of the Council.
  • You must repair and keep in good condition the interior of the property including drains and fixtures.
  • You must decorate the interior of the property at least once every seven years.

Changes to your deeds
If you change your name or marital status you will need to contact your legal representative and Wealden District Council. Please forward the relevant details to the Council’s Legal Services at the Council Offices so that the records held by the Council can be amended. If the change is because of a marriage please forward a copy of your marriage certificate. A fee will not be charged for this service.

Your Neighbourhood – Your Rights & Responsibilities

We will maintain the communal grounds (including flower beds and borders), through contracts for grass cutting, tree and shrub maintenance. The Council
supervises these contracts and grass cutting is usually carried out every two weeks between April and October (weather dependent).

Please be sensible when using communal parking bays, Retirement Living leaseholders may have the use of one car parking space if available along with all
other residents.

You should not park any untaxed or unroadworthy vehicle in a parking area. The Council will take action to remove the vehicle if you do not do so within a
reasonable period of time and the cost of this will be recharged to you.

Your Lease requires occupants to avoid causing a nuisance to other residents. Sometimes people, especially those not used to living in flats, can forget
that it is necessary to have consideration for their neighbours. This is particularly relevant for noise nuisance and people having their televisions, radios
or stereo systems too loud. It is important to be quiet especially in corridors and on staircases.

Your Rights as a Retirement Living leaseholder

There may be occasions where we need to gain access to your flat/bungalow for example to carry repairs or to examine the state and condition of the property relating to our lease obligations. We will of course, give you reasonable notice and request a suitable time by appointment to access the property.

Wealden District Council must keep in good and substantial repair and condition and renew, amend and clean where necessary the Development/Retirement
Living Court. This includes the entire structure from foundations to floors, walls and roofs to window frames and communal doors. It does not include the
finishing’s in your flat/bungalow or fixtures such as kitchens, bathrooms or internal doors.

Wealden District Council must maintain communal areas and items such as lighting, corridors, door entry phones and systems, pathways and stairs. The Council will also maintain fencing and gates (except those that are marked in the lease as your responsibility).

Wealden District Council must also maintain cisterns, tanks, drains, sewers, gutters, pipes, wires, cables ducts and conduits (except those that are for the
sole use of your flat/bungalow).

As a Retirement Living leaseholder you will be required to pay in your service charge for the above items as per the terms of your lease.

What are service charges?

Service charges are payments by the Retirement Living leaseholder to the landlord for all services provided to the Development/Retirement Living Court and are payable monthly in advance on the first day of each month. Your service charge includes your contribution to the Council for the provision of services and carrying out obligations or functions as specified in Schedule 5 of your lease. This includes contribution towards the current management of the Development/ Retirement Living Court, communal facilities, keeping in good repair and condition the main structure of the buildings within the development/Retirement Living Court, drives paths parking spaces landscaped areas and grounds of the development/ Retirement Living Court and pipes cables gutters and drains that are communal.

Types of charges:
Service charges for Retirement Living housing are
made up of 3 areas:

1. Retirement Living Support Charge:
• Court managers services.
• Lifeline.
• Door entry system.

2. Other Charges (sometimes called service charge):
• Property management.
• Maintenance of communal areas including
cleaning, lighting and renewal of equipment e.g.
washing machines.
• Grass cutting, sweeping and general grounds

3. Shared utilities including electricity, gas, water and
sewerage, also heating and hot water (flats only) and insurance.


Rent is charged annually to Retirement Living leaseholders who do not own 100% of their lease. Rent is calculated by the council based on the current yearly rent for that type/size of property and you will be charged a proportionate amount depending on the share that you own in the property. 

For some leaseholders who own 100% of the lease an annual ground rent of £10 is payable. The charge is payable on 1st April in advance.

Your rent charges are subject to an annual review, and you will be given written notice of any rent increase and the amount due.  If you are entitled to assistance with paying your rent it is your responsibility to apply for it through
the Housing Benefits team. Please note that you cannot claim Housing Benefit on the heating charge.

You will also receive a quarterly rent statement showing the payments, debits and balance of your account. Contact the Income Team between 8.30 am to 5.00 pm Monday to Friday to discuss any matters relating to
your rent account.

Management Charge

The management charge under the terms of the lease is set at 10% of the actual annual cost of providing services and carrying out the obligations and functions
as stated in the Schedule.

Building insurance

The Council insures the Development/Retirement Living Court including individual properties (except the Bungalows at Newnham Way). The cost of the buildings insurance for your individual property is recharged to you through the service charge.  

As a Retirement Living leaseholder, please be aware that a proportion of the cost of planned work to the development will be charged to you. The development is the building and grounds of the Court that are defined in your lease. This proportion will depend on the number of properties in the development, so if there are 40 properties in total, your proportion will be one 40th of the cost of the work.

To avoid any possible misunderstanding, this proportion is not affected by the percentage ownership of the lease.

In order to reduce the impact of these works, each development has a sinking fund. This is a sum of money set aside that can be used to help pay for these costs. When a property is sold, 1% of the value is put into the sinking fund. Additionally, we have a weekly charge to supplement the sinking fund. This is collected with the weekly rent (where applicable) and other service charge costs.

Ways to pay your rent/service charge

Direct Debit
This is the safest and easiest way to pay. All you have to do is fill in a direct debit instruction form, choose either the 5th or 20th of the month, sign it and send it to us.  If the amount you have to pay changes, we will give you at least 10 working days notice and in the unlikely event of a mistake being made, your bank will give you an immediate refund. More details are on the direct debit mandate form.

By phone, 24 hours a day
If you have a debit (not Electron) or credit card, you can pay at any time over the phone. All you have to do is phone 01323 443188 and follow the instructions. You will need to know your account reference number which can be found on your rent statement – it’s a 6 digit number. There is no charge for using this service.

Over the internet
You can use your credit or debit (not Electron) card to pay at www.wealden.gov.uk and click on “make a payment”. You will need to select “Housing Rents” and enter your rent reference number which can be found on your rent statement– it’s a 6 digit number. There is no charge for using this service.

Through your bank
Most banks offer internet or phone banking services, including bill paying services, or you can pay by debit card or cheque at the counter. Your bank’s website will give you instructions on how to register and pay bills. The Council’s details may already be on the bank’s payment system but if not you will need to give the Council’s bank details.
These are:
Sort code: 30–80–12
Account Number: 10341360
Account name: Wealden District Council
You will need to enter your rent reference number which can be found on the front of this statement – it’s a 6 digit number.

You can pay by cash at any Pay-Point or at any Post Office using a Pay-Point card.  If you don’t have a Pay-Point card, please phone us and we will be happy to issue one.  You will need to tell us your account number when you phone.  You can also pay cash at your bank or any branch of Lloyds Bank using the Council’s bank details above.

Please do not bring or send cheques or cash to the Council offices, as we cannot accept them and they will not be receipted onto your account.

Problems paying your Rent
If you are having difficulty paying your rent or any other charges please contact us to discuss.

Your Responsibilities for Maintenance and Repair

Regardless of the share purchased in the Lease, Retirement Living Leaseholders:
1) Own and are responsible for the maintenance and repair of everything inside the home or which relates solely to it.
2) Are also responsible for:
• Internal doors.
• Internal repairs.
• Undertaking decoration of the flat/bungalow once every seven years and in the last year of the said term.
• Glass in the windows (damage due to vandalism may be claimable under the leaseholder insurance) but not window frames.
• Fixtures, fittings, pipes, tanks, cisterns, plumbing and wires used exclusively by your flat/bungalow.
• Television points.
• Letterboxes, locks and window catches.
• Internal walls, ceilings, floor surfaces and plasterwork including Artex.
• Gardens and steps if they are for your sole use and have been included in your lease plan.

Employing Contractors
Since you are responsible for many repairs it may be necessary for you to employ a trade’s person at some point. For your own safety it is essential that you employ someone with the correct insurance and qualifications. How can you ensure this:

Buy With Confidence
East Sussex County Council’s Trading Standards Service run a “Buy With Confidence” scheme which puts local consumers in touch with approved traders
who have agreed to provide high standards of customer service, including dealing promptly with any complaints.

How does it work?
Approved traders are vetted before they join and agree to:
• Ensure that staff are properly trained for their work.
• Respond promptly and correctly to customer complaints.
• Get Criminal Records Bureau clearance for all staff who carry out work in people’s homes.

In addition, Trading Standards will provide a mediation service if there is a dispute that cannot be resolved between the parties concerned.

For more information including details of local traders visit the Buy with confidence website.

Reporting Repairs
If you need to report a repair which is not your responsibility  including communal repairs please speak to your Court Manager or in
emergencies call the 24 hour repairs line.

Carrying out alterations
Alterations include putting in a new kitchen or bathroom or adding a conservatory. Due to the specialist nature and construction of Retirement Living
Courts, improvements and alterations will not usually be permitted, unless detailed plans and Liability Insurance details are submitted and approved by Housing Services before any works are started. It is essential that you take advice from the Leasehold & Right to Buy Officer before undertaking any works in your property, please email Leasehold@wealden.gov.uk or call 01323 443283.

If your alterations/improvements are approved by Housing Services you are responsible for the on-going maintenance on works that you have carried out.

If you add a conservatory or make any other alteration to your property you may need to inform your insurance company.

Satellite dishes
Before installing a satellite dish you must get our written consent and also check with the Planning Service to ensure that you are not restricted from doing so.

For advice on dealing with mice, rats, cockroaches or other types of pest in your home, contact the Environmental Health department at the Council. Please note that there may be a charge for this service.  If the pests are within the communal areas then the Council is liable to deal with the problem, in which case please report it to your Court Manager.

Gas leaks
If you smell gas act quickly, call Transco – freephone: 0800111999
• Turn off all gas appliances.
• Do not smoke, use naked flames, or touch any electrical switches.
• Open doors and windows.

Boiler/Gas Servicing
For leasehold flats the Council will maintain the communal hot water and heating systems.  For bungalows you are responsible for dealing with repairs and getting an annual service on your boiler and you must provide the Council with a copy of your service certificate.

As an alternative, the lease allows you to benefit from our current Gas Servicing Contract, for an annual premium. This contract would provide you with an annual service for the boiler and repairs, although complete replacement of the system would be at the leaseholders expense – please contact us for more information.

In most cases reports of damp and mould are due to condensation. Effects of condensation can be improved or eliminated by changes in lifestyle. It is
important to maintain a balance between warmth and ventilation. By keeping a low background heat and using vents helps achieve this balance. For further
advice on damp and mould please visit our website:

Damp and mould – Wealden District Council – Wealden District Council

Planned Works 
We are responsible for the upkeep of the development as a whole, ensuring it is maintained properly and in addition that major components such as lifts and roofs are replaced as and when necessary. This includes ensuring that sufficient money and resources are available to complete the works. 

To enable this we hold detailed records of all the major components on all our sites and how long they are likely to last – ideally replacing them just before they fail to achieve the best value for money.

To ensure this is accurate we carry out regular surveys of the condition of these components and maintain a planned works programme on a bespoke asset

We will also wherever possible include in the replacement works upgrading to modern standards, for example replacing single or double glazing with triple glazing,
upgrading lighting to more energy efficient equivalents, also considering options such as solar panels to generate electricity and reduce running costs.

Energy Efficiency
In order to keep down your fuel costs, make your home warmer and help protect the environment it is important to use energy efficiently.

For further advice on energy efficiency view our Home Energy Efficiency webpage. 

Some properties contain asbestos; however this is generally bound within another material, such as asbestos cement sheeting or board, and is only harmful if damaged or disturbed.

We adhere to the recommendations of the Health & Safety Executive by identifying and managing all materials containing asbestos, encapsulating or
removing them if they deteriorate.

We maintain an asbestos register and can provide details on request; in addition, we carry out regular surveys to the communal areas to ensure we hold current details on the condition of these materials.

Resident Involvement and Improving your Community

Wealden wants to involve as many residents as possible in what happens in their area. We therefore aim to encourage and facilitate opportunities for every
tenant/leaseholder/resident to become involved in the decision making process to the degree and level they choose.

Resident Participation Team
Wealden employs a small team to help residents to become involved in their area, including help with setting up resident associations or with community
surveys or applying for funding to deliver community projects.

Resident groups across the District

There are a number of existing resident groups across the district set up to work together to improve their neighbourhood.  More details can be found on our website  or by contacting Tenant.participation@wealden.gov.uk. 


Staircasing: what is it and how can I do it?

If you do not buy the maximum share of the lease to start with,  you can purchase additional shares in your property at some point in the future; this is known as staircasing. You can buy additional shares, up to a maximum of 80% and your rent will be reduced accordingly.  

If you would like to buy additional shares, then under the terms of your lease you must let the Council know. The Council will then undertake the
necessary work including instructing an independent valuation. You will be required to pay all of the costs associated with buying more of your home including
valuation costs and legal costs.

Moving On
You can give up the lease on your property at anytime. This is called surrendering your lease. If you decide to do this you must offer the lease back to the Council.

The Council will decide within 1 month of receiving a request, whether to accept the surrender. This decision is called the Option Notice.

If the Council accepts the surrender of the property, an independent valuation will be obtained and you will be notified of the value of your share. Please be aware that the value may have gone up or down since purchase, according to how the housing market is performing.

Deductions are made to cover the following:
• Any arrears of rent or service charge as well as any other outstanding charges .
• Any amount of money required to put the property in a good state of repair.
• The Councils reasonable and proper costs and expenses relating to the surrender of the lease.
• A 1% deduction of the full market value of the property will be made for the sinking fund.

Once the final figure is agreed the lessee has one month to decide whether to proceed with the surrender.

What happens if I die whilst a leaseholder?
On the death of the lessee they can leave the property to their spouse or family member if:
• He/she is residing at the property when the lessee dies, and
• Is aged 60+

If the person cannot meet the terms of the lease e.g. is not aged over 60 years old then the lease shall be offered back to the Council (i.e. surrendered).



Lifeline provides a 24-hour alarm system that is installed in all of our Retirement Living properties. There is a charge for this service and this is paid annually via the service charge for your property.

Other Support Services

It is important to help support people to live independently within their own home and Housing Services and East Sussex Social Services work together to ensure that there are services to meet people’s needs.

To find out what current support services are available and whether you qualify visit the Council’s website at: www.wealden.gov.uk or contact your Court Manager.


As an owner occupier if you or a person living with you is disabled, you may qualify for a Mandatory Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) to adapt your property and enable the disabled person to live as independently as possible.

The DFG must be for a person who is registered, or could be registered as a disabled person. The disability can be caused by physical illness or injury, a major sight, hearing, speech or mental-health problem, or a learning disability.

The Council work closely with East Sussex Social Services and the disabled person will need to undergo an assessment by one of their Occupational Therapists, who will advise us what works are considered necessary and appropriate for their needs.

To arrange for an assessment to be carried out, you will need to contact Health and Social Care Connect on 0345 6080191. Should the Occupational Therapist decide that adaptations are required, they will then forward recommendations to the Council.

Further Information

Health and Social Care Direct:

Telephone – 0345 60 80 191

Getting help from us | East Sussex County Council

Sensory Impairment Team:

South Wealden Telephone – 01323 747333

North Wealden Telephone – 01273 482770

To find out more about the adaptation process please read The communities and Local Government website

Private Housing Team

Telephone – 01323 443321 or email privatehousing@wealden.gov.uk


The legislation concerning consultation is extremely complex. Below we have given a brief outline of the basic requirements.

What must we consult you on?

The Commonhold & Leasehold Reform Act 2002 requires the council to consult with you before it begins any major repairs, maintenance or improvements for which you have to pay a share, and which will cost any leaseholder in the building/bungalow more than £250.

You must also be consulted on certain long-term agreements, or contracts lasting more than 12 months, which the council intends to enter into, and will cost you more than £100 a year. When existing long-term contracts are due for renewal we will also carry out consultation with all leaseholders in line with current legislation.

How will we consult with you?

Works with new contractors
You will be written to with an outline of the proposed works (known as a ‘notice of intention’) and ask if you wish to nominate a contractor. We will allow 30 days
for written comments.


if the contract for services, supplies or works exceed the set thresholds and we are legally required to publish invitations to tender in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU), you have no right to nominate a contractor but we will write to you telling you about our intentions. In each case we will give you 30 days to reply.

Housing Services will invite the contractors who have been nominated by the majority vote of leaseholders to quote or in the case of OJEU we will select a shortlist from those contractors who apply in response to the advert. The contractors will, as a minimum, have to meet the Wealden District Council criteria for finances, health and safety and workmanship.

Works with existing contractors

On major works to the Development/Retirement Living Court where we have an Existing Long Term Agreement with a contractor we will provide you with
details of the works we propose together with a reason why the works are required and an estimated cost. This is classed as a section 20 notice.

Your Comments on the Estimates

We will invite your comments on the proposed works (notice of intention) and on the estimated costs. You will be invited to send in written observations on
the estimates within 30 days. Housing Services must have regard to these written comments. We will then award the contract.

However, we do not have to write to you again if the chosen contractor has been suggested by a leaseholder, or has sent in the lowest estimate.


In exceptional circumstances we can carry out emergency or urgent works, for example if a roof has collapsed. This will be without consultation with leaseholders in advance, although the costs will still be charged to you providing we have gained permission from the First Tier Tribunal Property Chamber (who is
able to decide on a variety of leasehold disputes). We will notify you as soon as is practicable of the costs.

Giving a Compliment

If you are pleased about something, we have done or the service we provide please let us know. Compliments are appreciated and help us to know what we are doing well. Compliments can be made in writing, by phone or by email: housing@wealden.gov.uk or by visiting our website: www.wealden.gov.uk

Room for Improvement

If you have a suggestion how we can improve one or more of the services that we provide, please let us know.


The Council has a clear published complaints procedure which is outlined on our website.

You can make a formal complaint by:

  • Telephone
  • Email
  • Writing to us
  • Visiting us at our office
  • Or visit our website: wealden.gov.uk

Data Protection

Wealden District Council is committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected and will only use and store your personal data in line with the General Data Protection Regulation 2016 and the Data Protection Act 2018. Our Privacy Policy sets out how we collect, use, and securely hold your data. For more information view ouData Protection page  

The information you provide will be treated confidentially at all times. Security safeguards apply to both manual and electronically held data and only relevant staff can access your information. As a data controller, we also have a responsibility to make sure you know why and how your personal information is being used in accordance with relevant data protection law.

How we use your data

We will use your personal information for the following purposes:

  • Managing your tenancy, including the provision of support and advice to you as a tenant.
  • Arranging and carrying out repairs and maintenance on the

How long we hold your data for

We will store your personal data for the duration of your tenancy. Following the end of your tenancy, your data will be archived for six years and then destroyed.

Sharing your data

We may share your personal data with other Council departments in order to provide the service you have requested and to ensure that the information we hold about you is accurate and up to date.

Your personal information may also be shared with third parties for the purpose of: prevention and/or detection of a crime/ fraud or we are otherwise legally required to do so; where it is in the public interest or our legitimate interests to do so (e.g. to utility providers if your bills remain unpaid); or in the interest of safeguarding yourself or others.

If we wish to use or share your information for any other purposes, we will seek your consent.

If you have any questions or concerns about how your personal data is handled you can contact our Data Protection Officer (DPO), at dataprotection@wealden.gov.uk.