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Buildings insurance on a leasehold flat - who pays?

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Hi all,


Looking for some advice from those people out there who own or have owned a leasehold property.

I'm in the process of buying a leasehold flat and in the paperwork that the solicitor has sent me is a copy of the buildings insurance policy taken out by the freeholder.


While I understand that normally it is the freeholder's responsibility to get the insurance in place, who actually pays?  

Do they pass on the cost to all the leaseholders somehow?  I don't see it specified on the past annual service charge bills, so wondering if it is covered separately.


Any experience you've had with leasehold properties would be much appreciated.




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Hi Kylie


Step one is to always check the terms of the lease between the freeholder and you - it should be set out in there. It is long, boring and full of legal speak but essential reading.


Normally, the responsibility to arrange lies with the owner / freeholder and mostly the cost of passed down to the leaseholder, either directly by paying a bill for insurance, or indirectly as a component of the service charge or perhaps included within the ground rent (although the latter is unlikely). I guess it is possible that no additional charge could be passed on by the freeholder also but I have never seen that!


The lease should set things out but also bear in mind that this insurance relates to the building only and so a Landlord's contents and liability policy is also advisable for you to arrange yourself.


By the way - when you are reading the lease terms, also look out for conditions around rentals and permissions etc...I had one where the freeholder could vet tenants and also charge me a fee for giving their consent and similar with sales...cheeky b.....s!!

Richard W J Brown a.k.a. The Property Voice

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