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Service charges

Service Charges

 

Some tenants, leaseholders, shared owners and freeholders have to pay service charges in addition to their rent. This section explains why.

 

Who pays service charges?

Service charges usually apply to residents who live in flats. The charges cover the costs of things like cleaning of shared hallways, electricity for hallway lighting and grass cutting in communal areas.

Service charges are only paid by residents in properties that have a direct benefit from a shared service.

The charges are divided equally among the properties. The number of people living in the property will not affect the charges.

For example:

  • The cost of cleaning communal areas in a block of flats will be divided between the number of properties in that block.
  • Charges for grass cutting on an estate will be divided between all the properties that use the estate and its facilities.

 

Services provided

 

Responsive repairs

Responsive repairs for Leaseholders are the repairs that are carried out to the shared parts of your block. 

Under the terms of your lease we are responsible for this work, but you must pay a reasonable proportion of this cost. We estimate this cost for the year in advance by using a set fee.

If you are a tenant, responsive repair costs will be covered by your rent payments and no costs will be added to your service charge.

Cleaning

Cleaning charges can include cleaning the shared areas of a block of flats inside and outside, sweeping, litter-picking, clearing away bulky items, cleaning bin stores and communal  windows.

This is the same for tenants and leaseholders.

Estate lighting

Charges for Estate lighting include the costs associated with all street lighting on all schemes that are not yet adopted and provided by the local council. The charge also includes the cost of replacing light bulbs and any necessary repairs.

This is the same for tenants and leaseholders.

Building insurance

If you are a leaseholder we, in line with the terms of the lease, insure the building and structure (of which your homes are a part).  This insurance does not include cover the contents of your home.  If you wish you now have the right to organise your own buildings insurance following recent changes in the law.

If you are a tenant we insure the building and its structure. This does not include the contents of your home.

We strongly advise all residents to take out Contents insurance that fully covers their personal possessions inside their own homes.

Grounds maintenance

Where we provide this service, leaseholders and tenants will be charged for the maintenance of shared open spaces.

This includes grass cutting, hedge trimming, maintaining shrub beds and planted areas and any paved, gravelled and other hardstanding areas.

 

Different types of service charge

Variable service charges

Shared Owners and Leaseholders pay variable service charges.

We estimate the amount your services will cost for the financial year ahead. This estimate is based on the amount we have spent in the previous years and estimated charges for the year ahead.

At the end of each year, once we have received all invoices due, we reconcile what you have been charged and what the services actually cost us. This usually takes place in May or June when you will be notified of the new charges.

If you have not paid enough the balance due is added on to the next year's charge. If you have paid too much the balance is deducted from the next year's charge.

If you want to know what services you will be charged for, check your lease.

Fixed service charges

All tenants will pay fixed service charges.

Fixed service charges are worked out each year by looking at previous costs and by predicting the costs for the year to come.

An increase or decrease will be made once each year and is usually done at the same time as rent increases.

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