Service charges are payments towards the cost of providing services and maintaining buildings and land beyond the costs of your home.
For example, if you live in a flat, then the cost of maintaining any shared areas, such as corridors, stairs or a shared garden, will be covered by service charges. The amount charged depends on the services you benefit from. If you don’t receive any services, then you won’t have to pay any service charges.
We only charge for the cost of providing the services. We do not make a profit on these services. The cost is worked out from an estimate of what the services will cost over the year based on what they have cost in previous years.
If you are a tenant you’ll receive details of the cost of your weekly service charges every February, at the same time as your rent review notice. This will also tell you all of the services you are receiving and their individual costs. If you receive Housing Benefit then this will also cover the cost of some services that are not provided inside your home. For example, it will cover the cost of cleaning communal areas, but it won’t cover water charges.
If you are a homeowner then you’ll receive a service charge statement from us every spring. We calculate how much your services have cost over the year and compare that to what we have charged you. If we have charged you more than we have spent, the surplus will be deducted from the next year's service charges. If we charged you less than we spent, then the deficit will be added on to your charges for the next year.
We regularly review our service charges to make sure they provide value for money.