Grounds Maintenance - Residents Voice

Service charges

Service charges cover the costs of maintaining communal areas for your estate and/or block.

You can find more details about service charges and the different types you might come across by reading our frequently asked questions below.

Please take a look at our information sheet for details on 2017 service charge estimates.

General information for rent and service charges 2017


Frequently asked questions

Service charges cover the costs of maintaining communal areas for your estate and/or block.

  • An estate can include a number of houses and/or one or more blocks.
  • A block is a group of properties which share a roof (for example, a block of flats).

The service charge for your property may include costs for a particular service at both estate and block level.

A fixed service charge is where we estimate the cost of providing services to a property at the beginning of each financial year.

You then pay the service charge throughout the year. There won’t be additional amounts to pay or any refunds due.

Most residents with assured and assured shorthold tenancies pay a fixed service charge under the terms of their tenancy agreement.

Variable service charges occur when we set an estimated charge at the beginning of the financial year and then produce a final account once the year is complete.

The final account compares our actual costs in delivering services to a property against the estimate that we set. This may result in an additional amount due or credit back.

All leaseholders, shared owners, and some residents on assured tenancies pay a variable service charge.

If you have an assured tenancy, your tenancy agreement specifies whether the service charge is fixed or variable.

The amount will be added or deducted from the following year’s estimated service charge. For leaseholders, where the amount exceeds £100, a refund may be applied for.

Even though you receive the same services as your neighbour, the terms of your tenancy agreement can sometimes mean you pay differently.

Over the years, we’ve used many different tenancy agreements that set out how we must calculate your charge; for example, some agreements may specify your annual charge is paid over 48 weeks and others over 52 weeks.

It also states whether the service charge is fixed or variable, which can affect the amount you pay because a variable service charge includes the adjustment from the previous year (see answers above).

The management charge includes the costs we incur when we’re:

  • tendering for a new contactor
  • managing the contracts
  • dealing with queries and complaints
  • checking and paying invoices
  • preparing, calculating and issuing service charge statements

For leaseholders it also includes the leasehold management costs, such as rent collection and site visits.

If you rent your home, the management charge is 15% of the total cost of eligible services.

If you’re a leaseholder, your fee may be fixed depending on the level of services provided and whether you have an external management company. The fixed fee is adjusted each year in line with inflation.

This guide and the general information about service charges for the current year should answer your question.  If not, please contact our Connect team. If they can’t answer the query they’ll forward it onto the appropriate person to look into it and get back to you within 5 working day.
This should be reported to your Housing or Leasehold Officer at the time the service is provided, so we can work with you and the contractor to resolve the issue.

We’ve tried to make your statement easy to read and have grouped similar costs together under a general heading. This list shows the services that could be included in each cost and a brief description. Please remember that only some of the services in each heading could apply to you. 

If you have any further questions, please contact us.