Service Charges

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

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:

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:

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.