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You will be charged for the works, utilities and services we provide to your block and/or estate.
Service charges are calculated from 1 April to 31 March each year and are broken down into a number of categories:
- buildings insurance (leaseholders only)
- cleaning and grounds maintenance
- concierge (where applicable)
- heating standing charge
- lighting, electricity and heating fuel (where applicable)
- management fees
- repairs and maintenance
Service charges are divided fairly between all flats in a block. We pay the proportion relating to the rent paying tenants which is then recharged to tenants through the rent and service charge they pay.
We will send you bills about your service charges twice a year, which will be:
- estimated bills (issued before April each year), based on the estimated costs of providing the service for that financial year – our service charge estimate 2019-20 booklet provides information about your estimated service charge costs for 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020
- actual bills (issued by the end of September each year), based on the actual costs of providing the service for the previous financial year
Some service charges result in costs greater than £250 and are invoiced separately. These are referred to as major works.
Pay your charge
If you have a query about your bill, (for example, you think it has been miscalculated or you have been charged for a service you have not received) contact our Service Charge Accounts Team. We will look at your account and if we can see that you have been charged incorrectly we will make arrangements for any necessary adjustments. If you are not happy with the outcome of our investigation, you can make a formal complaint.
Complaining about your lease and service charges
As a leaseholder, you can apply to the First Tier Tribunal if you dispute matters such as service charges, extending your lease, buying the freehold and the management of your building. The tribunal is independent and can decide if a charge is unreasonable, or if changes to the lease are fair.
The Leasehold Advisory Service can provide free and independent advice on the law affecting residential leasehold properties. Whether you are a leaseholder or freeholder, you can get advice on service charges or extending the lease.
If you are a shared owner, the level and frequency of rent increases should be detailed in your lease agreement.