Changes to Merton service charge for block caretaking
We recently reviewed the Merton service charge costs and spotted that we’ve been providing caretaking estate services but haven’t been charging the full amount to your service charges since March 2019.
Please do not worry though. As this is our error, we won’t be asking for the costs.
It does mean, however, that we will be increasing the costs by £4.33 per week to your service charge account from April 2024.
We will continue to subsidise the costs of this service until April 2025. At that point the full cost of the service will be introduced at £8.66 per week.
If you have any questions about these charges, our FAQ below may help.
For any further queries, you can contact us by telephone quoting “cleaning charge change” 0300 500 8000 (open from 08:30 to 17:00 Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and from 10:00-17:00 on a Wednesday) or email: MertonEstateQueriesTeam@clarionhg.com
What are caretaking estate service charges?
The charges cover the cost of cleaning and tidying the internal communal areas of your building and/or estate. This work is carried out by our internal caretaking team.
Why am I being charged for grounds maintenance and caretaking services?
Before 2019/20 you were charged because you received a caretaking service to your block and or/estate as per the terms of your lease. Due to an internal error, Clarion then stopped charging for these services. We will not be recovering the costs for this period as it is our error.
I already pay for cleaning estate services why am I asked to pay this charge?
Over the past three to four years, we failed to charge you the full cost of providing the cleaning service. This was because of a system and administrative failure.
How have you calculated this cost?
The cost has been calculated by using the salary costs of estate services staff across all 5,981 homes in the Merton area. All homes on each site are included in the total, and any unrecovered cost will be covered by Clarion.
What is the method used to calculate my cleaning and grounds maintenance service charges?
We have introduced a new transparent way to calculate your cleaning and grounds maintenance service charge, starting this year. Our cleaners and grounds maintenance operatives now use a monitoring system to record the time they spend cleaning your communal areas. This will also include the tasks they undertake during each visit. You will only be charged for the actual time spent cleaning the communal parts of your building and maintaining the grounds.
Will the grounds maintenance and caretaking charges be backdated?
We will not backdate these charges for the previous years and will subsidise these costs until the full cost of the service is introduced. This will be in April 2025, for the financial year 2025/26.
If I receive help with the payment of my rent and service charges, will Universal Credit or Housing Benefits pay these charges?
If you are eligible for benefits, Universal Credit or Housing Benefits will pay these charges once they are aware of the date they need to be paid from.
I do not get help with the payment of my rent or service charges, can Clarion provide any support?
If adding these charges to your service charge account will cause financial difficulties our Clarion Futures team will be able to provide advice on the support you may be eligible for. You can find out more from Clarion Futures here.
I’m not happy with the standard of the cleaning and grounds maintenance at my building and on the estate. What can I do?
We're sorry you’re not happy with the standard of the service. Please contact our Customer Service team on 0300 500 8000 (open from 08:30 to 17:00 Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and from 10:00-17:00 on a Wednesday) or contact us via Live Chat on www.MyClarionHousing.com to share more information.
How can I get further information on these charges?
You can contact us by telephone quoting “cleaning charge change” on 0300 500 8000 (open from 08:30 to 17:00 Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and from 10:00-17:00 on a Wednesday) or email us on MertonEstateQueriesTeam@clarionhg.com
Why does this charge increase affect some residents and not others?
While transferring from our old system to the new system, we reviewed all tenancy agreements and previous charges, and discovered the error. Some leaseholders and freeholders across the estate will have been told about the new costs before tenants, as their details were transferred first to the new system.