We maintain the communal areas of your building and estate for a service charge. This pays for:
- building insurance
- grounds maintenance
- communal services and supplies (including electricity and safety inspections)
- shared block maintenance
- concierge services
- heating and hot water
- management of services and administration costs
- bin hire and cleaning costs
- repairs and maintenance services to your flat or the block
The way we calculate your service charges is set out in your lease. If these charges meet set levels we may need to consult with you. For details of charges for larger items, see our major works page.
Each flat or maisonette in a block had a rateable value determined by the Valuation Office Agency. For some charges we use these rateable values to work out the percentage you need to pay.
Your service charge invoice
You will receive a breakdown of the service charges for your property before each accounting year, which starts on 1 April.
As these are produced at the start of the year we won't know the exact costs for every item and will supply estimated costs based on the previous year’s charges. We will try to take any anticipated changes, such as increases to fuel costs, into account.
You will receive an invoice with your service charge breakdown telling you your total estimated service charge for the year and the monthly amounts you need to pay. Under the terms of your lease payments are due in advance on 1 April, 1 July, 1 October and 1 January but we allow monthly payment as customers have told us they prefer this.
Once we have reached the end of the accounting year we will be able to work out the actual costs of the services to your block. Once we've done this we will send you another statement telling you the actual cost of services for that year. This needs to be sent to you by October and will tell you if the actual costs were more or less than what we estimated.
If the costs are less than the estimated amount, you will receive a credit on your account and this can be used to pay toward your charges for the rest of the year. If you pay by direct debit this will automatically be reduced.
If the costs are more than the estimated amount you will receive a debit on your account and an invoice. Your lease states that full payment must be made, but we are happy for an arrangement to be made to clear this by the end of the current financial year. If you pay by direct debit this will automatically be increased.
You can pay by direct debit by completing this form (PDF) and returning it to us.
Disagreeing with charges
If you see anything you don't understand, you can contact us to get a full breakdown of how we have calculated your costs.
If you disagree with any charges, you can raise a dispute with us explaining why you disagree and what you would like us to do to put things right.