Service charges and services in communal areas and on estates
If you live on an estate, a private road, or in a block of flats, you will probably be paying a service charge in addition to your rent. A service charge is a charge connected to facilities or services that are related to your home, but do not form a part of your actual property. We organise and pay for these services, then pass the charge on to all residents affected via the service charge. Some examples of the sorts of things that are part of the service charge are set out below. You can also download a copy of our ‘Your Service Charge Explained 2014‘ leaflet.
- Gardening in communal gardens, or planted areas in-between homes.
- Keeping clean and tidy car parking areas and roads not maintained by the Council.
- Looking after the lighting in car parking areas.
- Communal gates, parking barriers or car parking schemes.
- Refuse collection, including dumped rubbish or abandoned cars.
Inside (in blocks of flats)
- Keeping the stairways clean.
- Looking after fire alarm systems.
- Maintaining the lift.
- Providing a door entry system.
- Maintaining the TV aerial system.
For certain items of equipment (a lift, for example) there are two separate charges – maintenance to pay for the running of the equipment, and depreciation, where we collect money and hold it for the eventual replacement of the item.
Electricity for lighting in the shared hallway of house conversions
If you live in a flat in a converted house there will usually be a small hallway that you share with your neighbour. Occasionally, there is a separate meter for the electricity supply for the lighting in this hallway, which we will arrange to pay for, but more often the supply is run off the meter of one of the flats – usually the ground floor flat. Your Housing Officer should be able to advise you if the supply is from your meter and if so you can claim a set sum each year as reimbursement for the expense. Contact your Housing Officer for more information.
Information for residents
Every year, when your rent is reviewed, we will produce a schedule that sets out your service charge for the forthcoming year. We calculate the charge based on what we have spent in the previous year. You can get details of your service charge, or a copy of the latest schedule, at any time, on request to the Customer Services Centre. You can also get details of the particular services provided where you live – who the cleaners are, for example, and on what day they visit your estate. Please contact the Customer Services Centre for more information.
All our estates are visited regularly by Housing staff and Technical Services staff. If we see any problems with the estate services, we will take it up with the contractor. If you are not happy with the estate services where you live, for whatever reason, please contact our Customer Services Centre.