What are service charges and how do they apply to me?
- Service charges cover the cost of any extra services we provide in the area you live.
- Not everyone pays a service charge so we will make it clear at the start of your tenancy if you need to pay for any extra services in addition to your normal weekly rent.
The cost is shared between everyone who receives these services. Some examples of what you may be asked to pay for are:
- The cleaning of communal areas.
- Gardening services.
- Window cleaning.
- The cost of a warden or an estate caretaker.
Service charges are covered under the terms of your tenancy agreement. They will vary depending on the number of different services you receive.
What work is included with the service charges?
We provide a wide range of extra services. The services we provide differ depending on where you live and the local facilities available. Not everyone receives these services as it’s not always possible to provide them in your area. Here are a few examples of the services that may be included in your service charge.
- Heating and hot water.
- Caretaking and warden services.
- TV aerials.
- Concierge and CCTV.
- Door entry system.
- Grounds maintenance.
- Electricity charges.
- Lighting maintenance.
- Lift maintenance charges.
- Refuse containers.
- Fire equipment protection.
- Management fee.
If you would like more information on these examples and to see how they are calculated, please contact us.
How are service charges calculated?
The cost for providing most services is shared out equally between all the properties in the block or area.
To make sure charges are fair for everyone we apply a ‘variable standard charge’. This is a legal term and makes sure we keep to a strict set of rules on deciding how much the charge will be each year.
At the start of the year we have to estimate how much the services will cost throughout the year, which is then shared out equally to all those who receive the services.
At the end of the year we look back over all the costs and if we have charged too much we will take the difference away from next year’s cost, and if we have not charged enough the extra amount will be added to the next year’s service charges. A small increase is applied each year in line with inflation but we always monitor and continue to improve our services to make sure we provide good value for money.
When will I be told about any price changes?
This depends on the type of tenancy you have with us.
If you have an assured tenancy we will tell you in March what your service charges and/or rent will be from April onwards. Other types of tenancy differ, but we will give you plenty of notice about the changes.
Why do the descriptions on my service charges look different?
Many customers have told us the descriptions of our service charges were not clear. So, we’ve changed the wording to try to tell you, in a clearer way, exactly what services you pay for. The nature of services we deliver has not changed – we’re simply changing the way we describe them. Find out more here.