Assignment: When you sell your flat, you 'assign' or pass on the lease and all its conditions to the new owner. This new leaseholder is the 'assignee'

Block: The lease definition of the building your flat is in

Communal areas/common parts: Parts of the building or estate that can be used by all residents, such as stairs, lifts, paths, communal gardens and so on

Consultation: The process of asking for homeowners' opinions on a subject, especially repairs and maintenance. Where possible we will consult you about any planned works that affect your property

Covenant: A condition in your lease that you are responsible for carrying out or keeping while you own the property

Cyclical maintenance: Work that we do regularly, usually as part of a repeat programme

Common parts or demised premises: This includes your property, garage or other structure specifically set out in your lease

Enfranchisement: A process allowing leaseholders to buy the freehold of their block if all the conditions under the lease or the general law are met

First Tier Tribunal (FTT): A legal body empowered to make legally binding decisions about repair responsibilities and service charge disputes between landlords and service charge payers. It is made up of a panel of people with experience of property disputes such as solicitors and surveyors

Fixtures and fittings: Items in your property that cannot easily be removed and are considered part of the property such as kitchen units, bathroom suite, light fittings and any central heating system. You are responsible for maintaining these items

Forfeiture: If you breach a term in your lease the council can apply to the courts for 'forfeiture'. Your lease may be terminated and the council can repossess your property and require you to vacate it

Freehold: Absolute ownership of the property and the land it is on

Ground rent: Rent paid to the landlord during the lease. This is a small yearly sum paid by the leaseholder to the freeholder as recognition of the legal contract between them

Improvement works: Works that go further than repairing and maintaining a property 

Landlord: The person, company or entity owning the property and/or freehold who is entitled to give a lease or tenancy to a leaseholder or tenant

Lease: A contractual agreement that describes the ownership of a property and sets out the responsibilities and rights between the landlord (the council) and the leaseholder 

Leasehold: The ownership of a property in a building where leaseholders are responsible for paying service charges and ground rent for a set period of time 

Leaseholder or Lessee: A person who has been given the lease by the landlord. Also known as the 'tenant'

Mortgagee: A bank or building society lending the money to buy a property 

Mortgagor: Someone who has borrowed money from a bank or building society to buy a property

Rateable value: A value given to each property by the Inland Revenue originally used for local taxation but now used to apportion service charges across each block or estate 

Section 20 Notice: The consultation letter we are required to send you when we intend to carry out works that will cost more than £250 per property 

Service charges: A payment made by the homeowner to the freeholder to pay for services provided and the proportional cost of carrying out the freeholder's repair responsibilities

Subletting: When you rent out part, or all, of your property

Tender: When the council advertises with a detailed specification to invite builders and contractors to submit their best price for carrying out works or providing a service 

Transfer Deed: A document that transfers the ownership of a property