If you’re one of our shared ownership, leaseholder or freeholder customers, you’ll shortly be receiving your end of year service charge statement. Below, we answer some of your frequently asked questions about this statement and your service charges.
Important message: Your end of year service charge balance (deficit or credit) has been added to your account earlier than normal. We understand this may cause some concern. Please do not get in touch until you’ve received your ‘End of year service charge statement’ next week. If you have questions once you've looked over your statement, please do get in touch via phone or email and we’ll be able to support you with your query.
Shared ownership, leaseholder or freeholder customers pay a variable service charge for the services you receive, which relate to the communal areas and the maintenance of your estate or block.
Each financial year (for most customers this is from April to the following March), we set an estimate of what we think these costs will be. And at the end of the financial year, we let you know what the actual costs of delivering these services was in an end of year statement. This is produced within 6 months of the end of the financial year, so most customers receive this by the end of September each year.
We’ve recently finalised the April 2022 to March 2023 accounts and you’ll shortly be receiving your letter which shows the actual charges against the estimate charges, and we’ll let you know if there’s a credit or deficit on your account. If your account shows a deficit, the actual costs were higher than the estimate and you owe us money. If your account is in credit, we owe you money as the actual costs were lower than the estimate costs.
If a deficit balancing charge is applied, we’ll expect to have the balance repaid by the end of the current financial year (March 2024). If you pay by Direct Debit, and unless you already have an arrangement in place, we’ll amend your payments from the next available date onwards to settle your account by March 2024. You’ll receive a separate written notification confirming these changes.
If a credit balancing charge and you pay by Direct Debit and have no other debts with us, we’ll automatically refund any credit over £50 to you by 31 October 2023. If the credit is less than £50 and we don’t hear from you, we’ll offset it against your remaining charges this year, reducing your direct debits from November 2023 to March 2024. If you don’t pay by Direct Debit and want to arrange a refund, please contact us.
Why did I get a letter/statement?
You received the letter because it’s a legal requirement of the lease.
I don’t pay by Direct Debit how else can I pay the amount due?
We have lots of different ways that you can pay – find out more on the 'paying my rent' page.
My account is in credit - can I have my money back?
If you pay by Direct Debit and have no other debts with us, we’ll automatically refund any credit over £50 to you by 31 October 2023. If the credit is less than £50 and we don’t hear from you, we’ll offset it against your remaining charges this year, reducing your direct debits from November 2023 to March 2024. If you don’t pay by Direct Debit and want to arrange a refund, please contact us.
I can’t afford to pay the amount due.
If you’re worried about paying the amount due, please get in touch with your Income Officer so we can support you.
I have a query about my statement, what can I do?
If you have a query about your end of year service statement, please get in touch with us as soon as possible. We will review your account and log all adjustments agreed up until the end of October 2023. After the end of October, we’ll then process any adjustments to the relevant rent and/or service charge accounts and send each affected customer a credit note letter confirming what service charge adjustments have been made. We will aim to send out the credit note letters by the end of November 2023.
I just bought my property, why am I paying for last year when I wasn’t there?
The charge relates to the property not the person. Your solicitor should have made a provision for this and therefore you should contact them to discuss any concerns you have.
I’ve just purchased the property but received the letter addressed to the previous owner
The mailing list was up to date at the point of production, but if ownership has just changed hands it may have missed the cut off point. Please return the statement and we can re-send in the correct name.
My property was a new build and I only lived there for a few months of 2022/23, why am I paying for the whole year?
You’re not, the charges are only for a proportion of the year.
What repairs have been completed on my property?
Please contact us, and your Leaseholder Officer who can provide a repairs report to show a breakdown of all works and costs completed in the financial year.
The figures on the statement don’t add up
Please contact us and our Finance team can investigate.
I’m don’t want to pay because I don’t receive the service
Please contact us and your Leaseholder Officer will confirm any details or investigate further if required.
Where can I get further details on what the service charges cover?
Please visit our rent and service charges web page which contains further information.