What is your service charge?
Your service charge is your contribution towards the day-to-day costs of maintaining and repairing the structure, exterior and shared parts of your property.
It also helps pay for things like lighting to shared areas and certain specialist services, such as pest control and tree maintenance in communal garden areas.
Your service charge also covers administration and management costs.
Your service charge doesn’t include costs for services we only provide to tenanted homes in your building, such as internal repairs and heating services.
As a leaseholder, you are responsible for any internal repairs inside your flat and heating. You are also responsible for the upkeep of your private garden, if you have one.
How we share the cost of services and major works.
We share the cost of repairs and services to your building among all the homes in the property. According to your lease, the Council (and Partners, as managing agent for the Council) can choose any fair and reasonable way of sharing costs.
At the moment, we use a points system to decide your share of service charges and major-works costs, based on the number of rooms in your home. We allocate a point each for a hall, living room, bathroom and kitchen and one extra point for each additional room (so bedsits and studio flats would be allocated four points and a one-bedroom flat would be allocated five points).
How we work out your service charge
Your Estimate Service Charge Statement.
On 1 April or soon after each year, we will send you your Service Charge Estimate. This sets out your share of our estimated costs for the coming year, which runs from 1 April to 31 March. The statement will be a combination of estimated and known costs. For example, we know how much the yearly building insurance premium and management fee is, but we cannot determine and predict the extent of any day-to-day repairs and maintenance works to your building over the coming year. When you receive your Service Charge Estimate, you can pay it over the year in instalments, monthly or every three months, by direct debit.
After the end of the accounting year, we know how much everything has actually cost, and we then work out your share. We compare the difference between the estimated charges and the actual charges, and adjust your service-charge account accordingly.
Your Actual Service Charge Statement
This is a statement of your share of the actual cost of services and repairs over the last accounting year. We send you this six months after the end of the accounting year, on 1 October or soon after. If your estimated charge for the previous year was more than the actual charge, we will put a credit on your service charge account for the difference. If the estimated charge for the previous year is less, we will ask you to pay the amount you owe us.
Explanation of the headings in your service charge statement
- Communal Repairs The cost of day-to-day repairs and maintenance to your property, including the structure, exterior and communal areas.
- Communal Services The cost of communal electricity, pest control services, tree maintenance and grounds maintenance will be deducted separately if you receive these services.
- Ground Rent £10 payable each year under the terms of your lease.
- Buildings Insurance Insurance cover for damage to fixtures and fittings inside your home (eg damage to your ceiling from a water leak). It also covers any insurable damage to communal areas and to the structure of your building. You are responsible for insuring your personal belongings and decorations.
- Management Fee The staffing costs of Partners’s staff who provide leasehold services such as calculating your service charge, preparing your annual accounts, consulting and billing for major works, recovering service charges and dealing with enquiries from leaseholders who wish to alter or improve their homes. It also includes a contribution towards other staffing costs. These may include dealing with things like anti-social behavior problems between leaseholders and tenants and reporting communal repairs. It will also include the costs relating to other Partners staff involved in managing the leaseholder properties and any associated office costs.
- New Services Partners may, in agreement with the Council, introduce new services to the properties it manages. Before Partners introduces a new service, it must consult all the residents affected by the change.
Ways to pay your service charge
Most leases require leaseholders to pay their charges yearly in advance or quarterly (every three months). With Partners you can pay by:
- Cheque – Payable to Hyde Housing Association and sent to:
- Partners, 4-6 Colebrooke Place, London, N1 8HZ.
- Please write your 7 digit payment reference and address on the back of cheque
- Direct Debit – Call the Customer Services Team with your bank details and we can set up your direct debit for you over the phone
- Bank Transfer - you will need the following information to set the payment up. If you do not know which round you fall under please contact the Customer Services Team and we will let you know.
- Round 1 - Sort Code: 62 - 29 – 46, Account Number: 0000 0000 (8 zeros), Your 7-digit payment reference number
- Round 2 - Sort Code: 62 – 30 – 38, Account Number: 0000 0000 (8 zeros) , your 7-digit payment reference number.
- We are unable to accept credit card payments
We will provide up-to-date details of payment options when we send you your estimated and actual yearly statements. Partners will take action against leaseholders who are late paying their charges. Action will range from:
- adding interest onto late payments
- seeking a County Court Judgement
- taking legal action that may result in you losing the lease of your home (as a last resort).
If you have difficulty paying your service charge
If you are having difficulty paying your service charge bills, you should contact us as soon as possible. If you have service-charge arrears, you will be breaking the terms of your lease and we could take legal action. This could lead to you paying extra interest plus any legal charges or, in extreme cases, even losing your home. We will always try to take into account your circumstances and do everything we can to keep you in your home. We will consider legal action only when we have tried everything else.