Introduction to service charges

Service Charges

This information applies to homeowners. If you are looking for information for tenants, please go here.

Service charges are charges billed to homeowners for the cost of any repairs and services we provide during the year.
Services we provide might include for example cleaning, or grounds maintenance in shared areas. Repairs we may undertake might include communal internal repairs or repairs to the exterior of your building.

How much do I have to pay?

All homeowners who receive services must pay their share of the full cost of services they receive as per the terms of their lease. These payments are known as ‘variable service charges’, as the amount you have to pay varies (it can go up or down) if the cost of providing the services changes during the year.

How do variable service charges work?

Before the start of the financial year, which begins on 1 April each year, we estimate how much it will cost to provide services that year. In accordance with the terms of your lease, you pay an estimated service charge for the year ahead. At the end of the year we prepare accounts for each block/scheme, comparing the estimates with the actual costs incurred. The difference between the estimate and the actual spend, is either refunded to you if we spend less than we estimated or charged to you if we spend more.service charges illustration

  1. During the financial year, we will normally charge you on a monthly basis - spreading your service charge estimate across the year.
  2. At the end of the financial year, which ends on 31 March, we compare the amount we have charged you and your neighbours, with the actual amount spent. We aim to send you a summary of the accounts for your building, showing this comparison, by 30 September each year.

Balancing charges

A balancing charge is your share of the surplus or deficit as detailed on your service charge actual accounts. This is also known as an actual invoice or statement.
For example:

Total actual cost 18/19 = £1,075.00
Less estimate paid 18/19 = £900.00
Your balance = (Deficit) £175.00

If there is a surplus

If the actual cost of providing services is lower than the amount we have estimated, there will be a surplus on your account. When this happens we will put a credit on your account. If the payments due on your account are up to date, we can refund this money to you directly if you wish. To arrange this, contact us and let us know if you would prefer a cheque or bank transfer. If you would like a bank transfer, please provide your bank account number and sort code.
You can email us to request a refund at or write to us: Income team, Wandle Housing Association, Second Floor Minerva House, Montague Close, London SE1 9BB

If there is a deficit

If the actual cost of providing services is higher than we have estimated, there will be a deficit on your service charge account. Almost all leases require you to pay your share of any deficit on demand, once you have been notified of the amount. The letter enclosed with your actual statement is a formal demand for payment. All deficits will be applied to service charge accounts at the beginning of October. If there is a deficit on your account and you cannot pay it immediately, contact us as soon as you can to discuss options (you can email us on, and our Income team will work with you to agree a payment plan.

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