Leaseholder protections: deed of certificate – frequently asked questions

The Government has jus published a list of FAQ’s which outlines details and frequently asked questions regarding the deed of certificate in the context of the Building Safety Act and leaseholder protections.

It can be read in full here, and covers:

  1. Deed of Certificate: The deed of certificate is a document that demonstrates eligibility for protections under the Building Safety Act. The template for the deed of certificate is available for download, providing the necessary information to include.
  2. Information and Evidence: A table containing the required information and evidence for completing a leaseholder deed of certificate can be found on the mandatory information required from leaseholders and current landlords page.
  3. When to Complete: Leaseholders can choose to complete and send a deed of certificate to their landlord at any time. It becomes mandatory to complete if the landlord notifies the leaseholder, either due to property sale or a relevant defect in the building. Failure to complete may result in the leaseholder not benefiting from the protections.
  4. Timeframe for Completion: If a landlord requests a deed of certificate, they must notify the leaseholder in writing, providing at least 8 weeks to provide the certificate, with an additional 4 weeks if requested.
  5. Cost of Completion: Leaseholders cannot be charged by the landlord to complete the deed of certificate. There may be a small charge to access necessary HM Land Registry documents as evidence.
  6. Submitting the Certificate: A completed deed of certificate should be sent to the landlord, and if requested, the landlord’s return address should be provided. Future owners of the property must also receive the deed during the conveyancing process.
  7. Acceptance by Landlord: The deed of certificate does not need formal acceptance by the landlord. If the lease qualifies, and the certificate is completed and sent, the landlord must treat the lease as qualifying for relevant protections.
  8. Developer’s Building Safety Pledge: Even if a developer has signed the building safety pledge, leaseholders are still required to complete the deed of certificate. This ensures eligibility for protections, including coverage for defects not the responsibility of the developer.
  9. Joint Leaseholders: Only one leaseholder needs to sign the final page of the deed if there are multiple leaseholders for the same property.
  10. Principal Home: The principal home is defined as the main home where an individual spends the most time.
  11. Evidence of Principal Home: Evidence, such as a Council Tax bill, utilities bill, or bank statement, is required to demonstrate that a property was the principal home on a specific date.
  12. Shared Ownership: Individuals who purchased a property through the shared ownership scheme need to provide evidence of the price paid, share size, and any increases through staircasing.
  13. Witnessing the Deed: The deed of certificate should be witnessed by an adult who is not a party to the deed, and they should be at least 18 years old.
  14. Lender Considerations: Major lenders have agreed to lend where there is evidence of a qualifying lease certificate, subject to meeting individual lenders’ policies and regulatory requirements.

This information provides a comprehensive overview of the deed of certificate and its implications for leaseholders under the Building Safety Act.

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