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If you have any queries about your certificate or service charges, please complete the form below providing as much detail as possible.
Affordable tenancies have communal service charges included within the rent charge. You won’t see a breakdown of the services provided or the charges. Where applicable you may see a breakdown of personal charges, such as heating and hot water, personal electricity or water. These service charges are not included in the rent.
Properties are grouped into blocks or estates for the purpose of apportioning service charges. The block or estate does not necessarily reflect the physical layout of a development. Service charges are apportioned to your property either equally by number of units, number of bedrooms, old rateable values or the square feet of your property. The basis used may differ depending on the service being provided.
For leaseholders and shared owners, your lease may require you to pay ground rent to the freeholder of your property. Your lease will also say if the amount of ground rent payable will increase over time. Ground rent is only payable if you receive a notice of demand, which will usually be sent to you annually before the start of each financial year.
In accordance with your lease or transfer document we will provide you with an estimated service charge at the beginning of the financial year. Within six months of the end of the financial year, we’ll send you a certificate of actual expenditure which outlines the variance between what we estimated and the actual cost incurred. The deficit or surplus from this will be applied to your account on 30 September.
The breakdown of your service charges outlines the charge for services you receive that are not covered by your rent.
We calculate your estimated service charge by looking at how much the service has actually cost in previous years and estimating the cost for the coming financial year.
The actual costs are calculated by determining the costs incurred in the year.
A range of fixed and variable service charge agreements exist. For fixed service charges, this means that where we have overestimated charges in a particular year, we will not be able to refund the amount through your following year’s charges. Equally if we underestimate, we would not recoup this amount.
If your tenancy agreement states you have variable services charges, we have to provide you with a certificate of actual expenditure within six months of the end of the financial year. Any deficit or surplus will be carried over to your next year’s charges.
Please note: you only receive services stated on your breakdown. Below you can find a description of some of the services.
The cost of removing abandoned vehicles on your estate.
Under the terms of your lease (where applicable), we have an obligation to insure the building on behalf of the leaseholders against risks like fire and flooding. Leaseholders and shared owners are charged the cost of this insurance.
Building insurance policy details:
Building insurance provider – Igloo/Protector
Policy number – Igloo/ASG2/2018-932838
Claims telephone number – 01245 341218
This charge covers the cost of removing bulk refuse left on the estate where we’re unable to identify and prove who was responsible for leaving it. This is not for the removal of household refuse from bins the council collects and that are paid for within your council tax.
On some developments we have caretakers providing both internal and external services. This cost includes vehicle hire, cleaning materials, a proportion of the caretaker’s salary, supervision, overheads and equipment.
The cost of cleaning communal parts in a block, such as stairs, communal hallways and pathways.
The cost of electricity and power to communal areas, including power to lifts, communal boilers, air source heat pumps and water pumps, if applicable. Charges are based on the amount billed by the energy provider and/or include an estimate for any bills not paid in the financial year.
The cost of repairing and maintaining block and street lighting.
Communal window cleaning
The cost of cleaning of communal windows in a block. This will not include the cleaning of personal windows.
This covers your share of costs for day-to-day repairs to communal areas of your block. This cost can include repairs elements such as lighting, lifts and communal doors.
Door entry service contract
The cost of maintaining door entry systems.
The cost of servicing and maintaining items such as emergency lighting, alarms, sprinklers and automatic opening vent systems. This may also include the cost of the fire risk assessments that are carried out every three years.
The cost of maintaining the grounds of the estate around or near your property. This includes grass cutting, tree surgery, maintaining flower beds, planting and pruning. This work may be carried out by external contractors or our staff.
Lift and stairlift servicing
The cost of servicing and maintaining lifts and stairlifts.
The cost of protection the building in the event of a lightning strike.
Major, cyclical or planned works
Applicable only to shared owners and leaseholders, these charges tend to be larger than day-to-day service charges. These costs are usually for major works such as roof replacements, lift renewals, redecoration and cyclical works. Before any works are started a consultation process, under the provisions of S.20 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, takes place during which residents are informed of the projected cost of works and any feedback is considered.
Managing agent services
Where we don’t own the freehold, we work with managing agents that provide a variety of services for our residents. The managing agent provides us with the costs and these are then recharged through the service charge, in line with your lease or tenancy agreement.
For leaseholders and shared owners, these charges may include buildings insurance, repairs, sinking funds and maintenance to the fabric of the building.
Management and administration fees
An administration fee of 15% is charged on the total cost of communal service charges. This provides a contribution towards central costs, such as processing payments, providing estimates, statement of accounts and all other administrative costs.
A separate management fee may be chargeable under the specific terms of some lease or transfer documents.
Many leases provide for the landlord to collect sums in advance to create one or more reserve or “sinking” funds. The purpose of these funds is to build up a sum of money to cover the cost of irregular and expensive works, such as external decorations, structural repairs or lift replacements.
There are usually two reasons for maintaining a fund. The first is to ensure all occupiers contribute to major works, not just those who are in occupation at the time they are carried out. The second is to even out the annual charges, avoiding large one-off bills and so assisting with budgeting.
Leases sometimes say how much is to be contributed each year, but usually don’t and it is left to the landlord to determine the contributions.
Reserve funds should earn interest because they are generally held for a longer period than day-to-day service charges. Contributions to the reserve fund are generally not repayable when a flat is sold, but may be if the lease so provides.
TV and aerial servicing contract
On most blocks there will be a communal aerial which individual units connect to. This cost is for the rental, servicing and maintenance of the communal aerial.
Water hygiene management
If there is a communal water tank in a block this needs to be tested annually for legionella. This charge covers the cost of testing and any associated work required.