Volunteer spotlight: Unit property

The Property Team is here to help you with all things related to your unit’s premises, from leases and liability to building projects

Painting at Southampton unit

Why do units need support with property issues?

The advice covers subjects such as buying new buildings, renewing leases, your repairing liability if you lease the property, disputes with landlords, dealing with subtenants, construction, alterations, redevelopment, refurbishment, and finding architects and other professionals, so there are a lot of areas where units might need our help.

What help is available? 

MSSC has two part-time chartered surveyors who work across all six areas and are based at the National Support Centre. Part of their role is to help units with property advice. The surveyors work with the area Volunteer Business & Support Managers to support the Unit Management Teams. 

What are some of the most frequently asked questions from units?

A lot of units want advice on interpreting their lease, particularly around what their repairing responsibilities are and what to do if their lease is coming to an end. Others are interested to know how to go about negotiating a lease and need advice on what to cover in their discussions with a landlord. Another popular request is for help on kicking off a new build project, maybe for an extension to a unit building, and the team advises on the process that needs to be followed.

What’s the difference between freehold and leasehold? 

If you own a freehold property, you have more freedom over the changes you want to make to it, subject to planning permission and any other relevant consents. You also have more flexibility regarding selling it. Leasehold has more limitations on what you can do and you are likely to need the landlord’s consent for most alterations and to approve a sale of the lease.

3 top tips for units wanting to make improvements

  1. Check your ownership of the property 
  2. If you have a lease, find it and check the requirements relating to alterations
  3. Contact the team to plan the next steps

Watch these short videos about common property queries and the advice available:

How to get in touch with the Property Team

If you need help with your property, you can contact your Volunteer Business & Support Manager at Area office or contact our surveyors directly:

Liz Marsh (Northern, North West and Southern Area) 


Marcus Henley (Eastern, London and South West Area) 



Please help us to collate each unit’s property documents and plans, so that we can support you and so these documents are easy to find for any future members of your Unit Management Team. To do this, find your documentation, scan it (in colour) and upload to Westminster.

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