Please note: if you are a home owner, a resident in an almshouse, or a tenant on a six-month assured shorthold tenancy who has paid a deposit, this section may not apply to you.
In addition to their rent, many tenants also have to pay a service charge. Service charges pay for a range of communal services like grounds maintenance, and lighting in hallways. The services available will vary from one location to another - the service provision statement for your area will detail what's included.
We calculate service charges by adding together the costs for caretakers, cleaning and grounds maintenance services, and electricity used in communal areas. We then add in an amount to cover the replacement or servicing of larger items such as lifts, fire alarms and floor coverings.
Sometimes we don’t spend as much as we thought we would. When this happens, we will refund you by reducing your service charge payments proportionately for the following year. Similarly, there are times when we spend more than we planned. In this case, we will recoup the money from you by adding the extra costs to your service charge payments for the following year.
Where your tenancy agreement sets out a fixed service charge, we have calculated the service charge in accordance with the terms of your tenancy agreement.
We work hard to ensure we provide value for money: we constantly review our own services and those that are provided by contractors.
Service charges are used to pay for:
- Grounds maintenance of communal gardens and open areas
- Utility costs for communal areas - such as hallway or carpark lighting
- Providing and replacing communal items like floor coverings, fire alarms, ventilation and emergency lighting systems, door entry and security systems, lifts and so on
- Visits from scheme managers - the hourly rate is calculated, and travel time is allowed for
- Caretaking, including cleaning and monitoring of health and safety in communal areas.
Most caretaking services are provided by our scheme managers, and include:
- Window cleaning - for flats
- Removal of litter and dumped rubbish
- Servicing of fire alarm and emergency lighting systems to meet fire safety regulations
- Servicing of lifts and electric entry gates to meet health and safety regulations
- Servicing of communal water treatment and drainage systems to meet environmental regulations
- Monitoring and maintenance of CCTV.
How often are services provided? It depends. For example, we mow grass more frequently during the summer months. Cleaning will depend on the needs of the estate or scheme - some schemes are cleaned every week, while others need cleaning less often.
Check your service charge
The service provision statement for your area will explain what's provided.