All the information to understand your service charges
Service charges are the cost of any repairs and services we provide to you during the year.
This includes services such as cleaning, or grounds maintenance in shared areas. Repairs include communal internal repairs or repairs to the exterior of your building.
All homeowners who receive services must pay their share of the full cost of services they receive as shown in the terms of their lease.
These are known as ‘variable service charges’, as the amount you must pay varies (up or down) if the cost of providing the services changes during the year.
Before April 1 each year we estimate – based on our experience and past costs – how much it will cost to provide services in the year ahead. You are charged your proportion. At the end of the year, we compare the actual costs with our estimates. The difference between the two is either refunded to you if we spend less than we estimated or charged to you if we spend more.
We will normally charge you monthly – spreading your service charge estimate across the year.
By the end of September each year, we will send you a summary of the accounts for your building, showing the comparison between the actual cost and our estimate.
If our estimate was lower than the actual cost, your summary will include a bill for the difference – this will show on your account at the beginning of October.
If our estimate was higher than the actual cost, your account will show a surplus. If your payments are up to date, you can ask us to refund you that money (contact our homeownership customer service team) or you can leave it in your account as a credit.
We may use the same division of costs that the freeholder uses. It really depends on what your lease says.