What is a service charge?
We are responsible for maintaining buildings and looking after the shared areas in and around our homes. Residents are required to contribute to the actual cost of providing these services through a service charge.
Homeowners' service charges are set out in their leases and tenants' service charges are paid as part of their rent.
Residents are charged only for the services provided. We do not make a profit on these services and we work hard to ensure that the charges are reasonable and represent value for money.
How do we set service charges?
Some tenancies involve a charge for services. This is for services in blocks and on estates which are not covered by the rent and include:
- Door entryphones.
- Gardening in communal areas.
- Lighting in communal areas.
- Communal TV aerials.
For those receiving Housing Benefit, their payments will usually include the charges for communal services. However, Housing Benefit will not cover charges for services to individual homes such as heating, hot water, lighting and water charges. Payments for these services will need to be paid separately, either to a utility company or via a service charge.
We review service charges once a year, with changes taking place in October when rents are reviewed. The information used to calculate the charges is taken from the statement of actual accounts prepared in June/July each year. Tenants have the right to see a summary of the costs that make up the bill.
For our Leasholders and Shared Owners, you can read our Service Charge Expenditure Booklet.
And for our Tenants, (not Supported Housing Tenants), please read our Service Charge Tenant Booklet.
We look at what services we have provided to each block/estate/property during the year and how much these services have cost. We use this information to calculate the following year's service charges. The estimates are prepared and sent to Leaseholders and Shared Owners in March and the new charges take effect on 1st April each year.
There may be occasions when you feel that you should not have to pay your charges and you wish to dispute these with us. Please see this document which gives information about our Service Charge Dispute Resolution.