Customer news Leaseholder Shared ownership

Service charges - what you need to know

We often receive a number of queries from leaseholders and shared owners about service charges. So below, we’ve answered some of these frequently asked questions:

What’s a service charge?

A service charge is a payment towards the cost of managing, maintaining, repairing or providing services to your home, that isn’t specifically for your individual house or flat. For example, if you live in a block of flats with a communal garden, the cost of maintaining that garden is covered by a service charge. 

What do my service charges cover?

The specific services you pay for will be set out in your tenancy agreement or lease, but could include:

  • Cleaning communal areas
  • Gardening and grounds maintenance
  • Repairs to communal facilities such as door entry systems or lights
  • Utility supplies to communal areas.

How are my service charges calculated?

A variable service charge is applied to your account on 1 April, following an estimate made in February of the expected cost of delivering services over the next financial year (from 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019). This is then broken down to monthly payments throughout the year.

At the end of the financial year, a comparison is made between the actual cost of delivering services and the estimated cost charged. Where the actual cost is higher than the estimate, there’s an additional charge to you. Where the actual cost is lower than the estimate, there’s a refund to you. You’ll receive your balancing statement in September, which will detail any shortfalls or refunds due.

If you have any further queries, please contact our Customer Experience team.

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