Service charges

If you live in a flat or a house that has shared areas or facilities, you’ll pay a service charge towards the cost of providing services and repairs to those areas.

The service charge will cover things such as:

  • cleaning shared areas and gardening;
  • maintaining door-entry systems and lifts;
  • buildings insurance;
  • administration contracts with suppliers; and
  • a ‘sinking fund’ to cover future work, such as replacing shared carpets, redecorating, and major repairs like new windows or roofs. You should remember that the sinking fund may not cover the full cost of all future major repairs, but is a contribution towards it.

Working out your service charge

As it’s not possible to know exactly how much we will need to spend on your building over a year, we estimate your service charge based on past costs. If we spend more or less than we estimated, we will adjust future charges as appropriate.

We will make sure we send you statements that explain exactly how much we have spent each year. There are laws to protect you from unreasonable service charges.

Please remember that if you pay service charges as a leaseholder, you will continue to pay service charges even if you buy all of your home.

If you are a member of a recognised residents’ association, you have the right to have your own qualified surveyor give you advice on service charges. The surveyor will have the right to inspect and copy any documents we hold on service charges, but you will have to pay their fees.

If you think your service charges are unreasonable, or you would like more information about your service charge, please speak to your Neighbourhood Officer (Community Officer for 55+) or leasehold customer service advisor.

If you are still unhappy, you can contact your local leasehold valuation tribunal so they can decide whether the charges are reasonable. You will have to pay any costs involved in this.

For more help, please contact LEASE, the Leasehold Advisory Service. LEASE is a government service that provides free legal advice on residential leasehold issues.

Phone: 020 7374 5380

Management fee

Management fees cover the administration costs involved in managing your account.
These costs include:

  • managing your lease;
  • collecting and working out your rent and any service charges;
  • providing services, for example giving you advice on buying shares in your home;
  • employing our staff; and
  • dealing with questions from leaseholders, your mortgage lender and other organisations such as the council’s Housing Benefit department.

Consulting you on long-term agreements and qualifying work

The law says we must consult leaseholders on long-term agreements and qualifying work.

A long-term agreement is an agreement or contract for more than 12 months, such as contracts for cleaning shared areas, gardening, maintaining door-entry phone systems and auditing accounts, or surveyors’ fees.

If we have to ask you to pay over £100 (including VAT and any associated costs) towards the cost of a service in one financial year for a long-term agreement, we will discuss this with you.

Qualifying work includes repairs, maintenance and regular decoration or improvement work.

We will consult you if you have to pay £250 or more towards the cost of any work.

If the work affects more than one leaseholder, we will also consult any residents’ association.

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