Guide to service charges

What are service charges?  

Service charges cover the services we provide to look after the areas of your building or estate we’re responsible for.

How do you work out what to charge?

There are three parts:

  • known costs which cover services where we have a contract in place, and we know how much it is going to cost. Examples include cleaning and grounds maintenance
  • unknown costs which are for services where will not know the exact figures in advance, so we estimate an amount based on our knowledge and experience of previous years
  • an administration fee.

 How do you know the amount you charge is accurate?

We carry out regular reviews of our service charge setting procedures and we listen to what tenants say and issues they raise.

If we do get it wrong and you should have paid more than we charged, we will cap any increase in the next year’s charge to £5 per week. This cap will show up on your service charge schedule as ‘Wandle discount’. We will absorb any additional costs.

Why is it called a fixed service charge?

It is called a fixed (as opposed to a variable) service charge because we cannot ask you for more money at the end of the year, even if we have spent more. Equally, if we have spent less, you do not get a refund.

What services do I pay for in this charge?

By law we can only charge separately for certain services. For example, repairs to the outside or structure of your building, repairs to the inside of your home and to heating or water systems are covered by the rent you pay, and we do not charge for them separately.