Every tenant pays for Service Charges with their rent.
How much Service Charges you must pay
Everyone pays a different amount.
How much you pay depends on how many services you receive.
Everyone will receive a letter around February/ March saying how much you’ll need to pay for the next year.
Benefits of Paying Service Charges
By paying service charges there are many benefits to you as a tenant:
- Services are divided and paid for properly
- Can show value for money
- It’s a fairer system, you will not pay for services that you don’t receive
- You will have a better understanding of what services are offered to you and how much they cost
- It will be easier for you to keep an eye on services that you receive and challenge things you don’t receive
Difference between Service Charge and Rent
Rent money goes towards:
- Maintaining the building
- Housing management, this includes paper work from start to finish
Service Charges money goes towards:
- Staff costs – Caretakers and Site Managers
- Communal Areas and Facilities
- Electronic door entry system
- Estate maintenance
- Fire Safety in Communal areas
How we calculate service charges
- We will estimate the total costs for an estate or block of flats for a year
- The charges will include some admin fees
- We will then divide the costs with all the properties in the estate/ block
- Larger homes will pay more
If a service charge for a block of 4 flats with two bedrooms the same size is £60.
We will divide this with 4.
So, every flat will pay £15.
We will then add a management charge of 10%
If you’ve paid too much by the end of the year, we will reduce your service charge next year.
If you haven’t paid enough by the end of the year, we will increase your service charges for the next year.
Worries that you can’t afford the service charges
Housing Benefits or Universal Credit
The Department of Works and Pension decides which ones.
Service Charges that are covered
- Communal grounds, maintenance, car parks and open spaces
- Maintenance and repairs of inside areas of communal areas (hallways and communal lounge/rooms)
- Emergency lights inside and outside communal areas
- Heating costs for communal areas
- Cleaning inside communal areas and windows
- Cleaning the outside windows in sheltered flats
- Decorating communal areas including material costs
- Health and safety charges in communal areas
- Maintenance, cleaning or repairing communal lifts
- Maintenance or repairing door entry system
- Maintenance or repairing TV aerial, cable or satellite (free-to-view only)
- Maintenance or repairing CCTV
- Costs for site managers/ caretakers
Service Charges that are not covered
- Communal laundry facilities
- Heating of individual flats
- Water Supply Charges
- Repairing or replacing white goods
What to do if you are already claiming Housing Benefits/ Housing Elements (Universal Credit)
Tenants receiving Housing Element (Universal Credit) will need to provide proof of the new service charge at your local Job Centre. This may change in the future when you can access your own personal Universal Credit Portal.
Unhappy with how much service charge you pay
Contact us if you are unhappy with the standard of the service charges or how much you pay.
We will work with you to resolve any issues.
- You have a right to receive a service charge statement within 6 months of receiving your annual service charges letter. This will show you how we come to the total.
- There are service charges involved with some adaptations in your home. Read more about them on our adaptations page.