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Our code of ethics ensures a fair deal for leaseholders

Common Ground has set up a new code of ethics for developers to help ensure leaseholders receive the best possible service when they move into their new home.

We are proud to always put the needs of leaseholders first and require developers and freeholders to comply with these requirements, so everyone benefits.

Alan Draper, managing director of Common Ground, said: “Too often leaseholders have ended up in dispute with developers over a range of niggling issues which should never have happened in the first place.

“This code of ethics makes details of the leasehold far more transparent for both the resident and developer and will ensure the process operates smoothly.

“Developers have had a bad press recently, but this will help them avoid being burdened with enquiries or complaints while putting the needs of leaseholders first.”

Meanwhile, we can advise developers in the creation of a building that will ensure a low but realistic service charge.

We ask developers to:


  • Grant leases for a minimum of 125 years
  • Create an honest and realistic budget from day one to include contributions to reserves to cover the first redecoration cycle and any items that may need to be renewed within the first 10 years
  • Set up a leaseholder-run residents’ management company or appoint a managing agent
  • Include a facility to cover snagging (defects) for two years on minor issues and 10 years on major problems
  • Rectify any building non-compliances or faults at their cost (never the leaseholders)
  • Avoid signing long-term agreements where the rent of equipment such as access control systems is added to the service charge
  • Prevent the installation of equipment tying leaseholders to a single maintenance contractor
  • Avoid sub-contracting the issue of the final building compliance certificate to the same organisation providing buildings warranties/insurance
  • Exclude offering capped service charges to parts of a development (meaning other parts must cover potential shortfalls)
  • Ensure the management company has responsibility for both selecting and arranging insurances
  • Sign up to this code of ethics and include it in their sales packs

Contact Us

Property Management Office


Sandford Gate, East Point Business Park
Oxford, OX4 6LB

01865 910 169

Finance & Administration Office


Chiltern House, 45 Station Road
Henley-on-Thames, RG9 1AT

01491 525 940

London Office


Ealing Cross, First Floor
85 Uxbridge Road
London, W5 5BW

020 4551 9116