The Leaseholder Deed of Certificate (LDoC) is an essential but little-known element of the Building Safety Act 2022 that every dwelling in a in pre-2022 block may need to complete.

Read on to discover everything you need to know about the Leaseholder Deed of Certificate to make sure your leaseholders are charged the correct costs for non-cladding related remediation.

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What is a Leaseholder Deed of Certificate?

The Building Safety Act 2022 lays out special financial protections for leaseholders of units in buildings above 11 metres or 5 storeys in height. The Leaseholder Deed of Certificate is one of several documents that are needed required in order for landlords to recoup costs for non-cladding related remediation. If the certificate is not completed correctly, your landlords may not be able to reclaim any remediation costs at all.

The LDoC can be understood as the leaseholder’s counterpart to the landlord certificate. It’s a document which formally records the status of a leasehold dwelling, to demonstrate which financial protections from building and fire safety remediation costs it qualifies for.

The GOV.UK template for the Leaseholder Deed of Certificate can be found here.

How does the Leaseholder Deed of Certificate fit into the Building Safety Act 2022?

The regulations laid out in the Building Safety Act 2022 provide leaseholders relief from some of the costs associated with of building safety-related remediation. Leaseholders are almost completely protected from the costs of cladding remediation, for example, but other fire safety costs may be charged to them, up to a capped amount. Other costs may be completely drawn from the service charge.

Leaseholder Deed of Certificates, provided by every leaseholder within a building, help the landlord to see which leaseholders can be expected to contribute towards those remediation costs, and know what the charge cap for each dwelling is.

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Who is responsible for the Leaseholder Deed of Certificate?

The responsibility for the LDoC can be broken down into two areas: who completes it, and who it is for.

 

Who should complete the LDoC?

If their landlord requests an LDoC and provides the correct template, the leaseholder must complete it with their information within 8 weeks. It is the leaseholder’s responsibility to find and provide all the information and documentation necessary to prove they qualify for remediation cost caps.

The length of time given may appear quite long, but some of the information required to complete the LDoC, such as finding information about the residential status of previous leaseholders of their dwelling, may take some time. The leaseholder may request an extra four weeks to complete the LDoC, giving them up to 12 weeks to return the documentation to their landlord.

 

Who is the LDoC for?

The Leaseholder Deed of Certificate is intended for the landlord, so they can understand how much their leaseholders can be expected to financially contribute towards non-cladding related building safety costs and ensure that no more than is legally required is charged.

A copy of the LDoC should also be retained by the leaseholder so that they can provide it to the conveyancer in the case that they ever decide to sell their dwelling. The LDoC will become a vital part of the unit’s provenance going forward.

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What information must the leaseholder provide in their Leaseholder Deed of Certificate?

The GOV.UK template for the Leaseholder Deed of Certificate is in the form of a series of tickboxes that the leaseholder must fill out, as well as requiring some supplementary documentation to evidence the information given.

The essential information the leaseholder must provide includes:

  • The current leaseholder’s name and address
  • Details of who owned the lease on February 14 2022
  • The date the dwelling was last sold
  • Whether the dwelling was owned under shared ownership on February 14 2022, and what percentage the share was.

As this information may pertain to a time before the current leaseholder owned the dwelling’s lease, obtaining all the information required may involve the leaseholder reaching out to previous owners or conveyancers. This is part of why the leaseholder may take up to 12 weeks to provide this information to the landlord.

The accompanying documents the leaseholder must provide include:

Evidence to show the dwelling was only or principal home at the beginning of 14th February 2022 (eg utility bill, council tax statement)
Where the dwelling to which the lease relates was disposed of on the open market before 14th February 2022 —
Evidence of the most recent sale before that date, including an official copy of the register of title at HM Land Registry which shows the date of the sale in question
Evidence of the price paid at completion (in pounds sterling to the nearest pound) in respect of that sale

Additional accompanying documents where lease is shared ownership lease:

A copy of the shared ownership lease
Evidence of the percentage share under the shared ownership lease held at the beginning of 14th February 2022

When in the Leaseholder Deed of Certificate necessary?

The landlord must request a LDoC within 5 days of finding out that:

  • The leaseholder intends to sell their property, or;
  • There is a relevant defect in the building requiring remediation

The leaseholder may also provide their Deed of Certificate at any time without being asked.

 

How do you request a Leaseholder Deed of Certificate? 

As the LDoC is a legal document required under the Building Safety Act 2022, there are certain hoops that a landlord must jump through in order to make sure they request the certificate in a legal way.

Landlords may not charge their leaseholders in any way for submitting the LDoC or any related notices (such as a request for more time to complete the document).

When giving notice for an LDoC, then landlord must:

  • Leave the notice at the leaseholder’s address, both by first-class post and an email.
  • State that it is a notice for the purposes of paragraphs 13 and 15 of Schedule 8 to the Building Safety Act 2022
  • Include a copy of the form the leaseholder must fill out, such as the Government-provided template
  • State the date by which the LDoC must be returned by, which must be at least 8 weeks from the date of receipt
  • State the landlord’s current address, where the LDoC must be sent to in reply
  • Explain the consequences of failing to complete the certificate

 

What if the leaseholder does not complete the Leaseholder Deed of Certificate in time?

If the leaseholder does not complete their LDoC before the reply date (within 8 or 12 weeks, depending on if they have requested a 4 week extension), they effectively forfeit their right to capped remediation costs despite the fact their property may qualify for them.

If the property is under shared ownership, the landlord may assume that the leaseholder owns a 100% share and charge them accordingly. Similarly, the landlord may assume that the property has a higher value than it actually does, and charge the leaseholder a larger share.

This will also affect future leaseholders if the property is ever sold, so may make the property less attractive to prospective buyers.

 

What if the landlord fails to request a Leaseholder Deed of Certificate in time?

If the landlord does not request an LDoC within the 5-day period after discovering that one is needed, the leaseholder will be deemed as qualifying for financial protections whether or not they actually do.

In effect, the landlord forfeits their right to claim uncapped costs from the leaseholder, regardless of if they qualify for them or not.

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