Frequently Asked QuestionsRent & Service Charges

What is included in the service charge?

By November 15, 2017 No Comments
The following lists a short description of each of the service charges that may be payable for your property. It tells you how those charges are calculated and answers some frequently asked questions.

For the service charges that apply to your home please see your service charge statement.

The items of expenditure that appear on the service charge summary are based on both fixed contract costs and on predicted variable costs for the forthcoming year. It is payable in advance as laid out in your tenancy agreement.

Bulk Rubbish

We will charge for removing any items left in the communal corridors (fire risk), bulk rubbish, fly-tipping or dumped furniture and white goods. If you witness one of your neighbours or someone else dump items in the communal areas, then please contact us.

When we’re told someone is responsible for the dumped items then we will try to recharge them directly rather than apply a service charge to the entire block.

If you have items that you wish to dispose of that are too big for a household bin then please contact your local authority and they may be able to collect these items from you.

Combined Cleaning

The service includes internal and external cleaning in communal areas.

For flats and maisonettes it includes:

  • Sweeping / hoovering shared parts of a block
  • Cleaning entrance halls and lifts
  • Sweeping bin areas
  • Removing low level graffiti
  • Cleaning communal windows
  • Removal of leaves from hard standing/car parking areas.

Other intensive cleaning work is carried out from time to time in addition to the above cleaning service. These services can vary from area to area.

If you live in a house or a bungalow then it may include cleaning of any shared/communal areas.

Communal Electricity

Communal electricity supply to all electrical installations such as communal lighting, pumping stations, lifts, door entry systems car park, bike store and street lights.

Communal Lifts

Servicing and repair of the lifts in communal blocks.

Communal Lighting

Maintaining the lighting columns and other fixtures in your block or scheme. This also includes regular inspections, testing emergency lights and replacing bulbs.

Communal Pumps

Cost of an annual service and repairs to the pumping station.

Communal Water

Supplying water to bin sheds, pumping stations or sprinkler systems and for laundry, communal kitchens, toilets and showers where applicable.

Contract Management

This is for monitoring the cleaning, caretaking and grounds maintenance contracts to ensure standards are met.

Door Entry

Servicing and repair of the door entry system.

Equipment Usage Charge

To fund the replacement of communal items such as furniture, carpets and white goods in communal areas at the end of its life or the cost of providing the equipment in the first place. This will also include equipment in external areas such as play areas, gazebos, car ports etc.

Equipment and Laundry

This is the servicing and repair of the equipment in the communal areas of your scheme other than pumping stations, lighting and fire alarms, such as CCTV installations, playground equipment and white goods ie. laundry equipment.

External Managing Agent

In some cases we are obliged to use the services of an external managing agent. This is usually where:

  • The homes are part of a larger estate which we do not own.
  • We lease homes from someone else.

In both these cases, the companies which do own them instruct an external managing agent to maintain and manage.

Fire Safety Compliance

By law, we are required to have fire safety equipment in some blocks. This service covers the cost of maintaining any fire safety equipment and includes:

  • Servicing and repairing fire alarm systems, emergency lighting systems, fireman’s switches and sprinkler systems in the communal areas
  • Servicing and repairing dry risers which distribute water to different levels of a building
  • Servicing and maintaining portable fire extinguishers and fire blankets.

Some blocks may not have fire protection equipment but will have a charge for the risk assessment carried out for the communal areas.

Grounds Maintenance and Gardening

Some areas have lawns, shrubs or communal car parks that are there for everyone’s benefit. The cost of maintaining these areas is shared by the properties in that area. To find out how frequently these tasks should be carried out for your block, check the notice in your communal hallway.

If the service is provided in your area or estate then generally this will include:

  • Grass cutting
  • Litter picking
  • Shrubs and hedge pruning on communal land will be trimmed twice a year, usually in July/August and then again in late autumn.
  • Weed killer will be sprayed where necessary

Intensive Housing Management

This charge applies to all residents living in Sheltered Housing accommodation. This service is to provide a management function in order for residents to sustain their tenancy.

Internet Service / Alarm Monitoring Service

This is the provision, servicing and repair of the alarm system or appliances and / or internet service costs where we have provided this service.

Tree Surgery

This represents the costs incurred in undertaking tree surgery within communal areas.

Personal Service Charges

These charges relate to services specific to your property.

Pest Control

This refers to the treatment that may be required within common parts for the prevention and extermination of pest infestations on your estate and/or block.

Garden

This is a charge for the maintenance of individual gardens for tenants which you opt into. If you join the scheme you must commit to one year. You can ask to stop receiving the service on or around the anniversary.
If you wish to stop receiving the service before the anniversary of when you started receiving it, you will be liable to pay the charge for the whole year.

Personal Electricity, Gas & Water

This charge is applied when there is only one meter that provides the supply for gas, electricity or water to the communal areas and individual properties in one or more blocks.