Service charges are payments by the leaseholder to the landlord for all the services they provide. These include cleaning, maintaining and repairing the exterior and communal parts of the building. We require all leaseholders to pay a reasonable amount towards these costs.
Many of the council's blocks and estates have both tenants and leaseholders living in them. As a leaseholder you are not charged for the cost of repairs to tenants' homes. You are responsible for paying your share of the council's costs for repairing the exterior and communal areas. The actual amount you pay will change each year. See 'How charges are calculated?'
What do service charges pay for?
Service charges are made up of a number of different items. The main items are listed below. Not all items will be charged to every home, for example, some blocks do not have a lift. Check your lease to see which items you pay for.
Ground rent - this is the rent charged to every leaseholder by the council. It is due yearly in advance. The amount you pay will be in your lease.
Energy - this covers all the electricity used for lighting communal areas and for such things as lifts and power in communal areas.
Communal heating (where applicable) - this covers the fuel, repair and maintenance of all parts of the heating systems owned by the council.
Landscape (horticultural) services - this covers gardening, grass cutting and the general maintenance of landscaped areas.
Caretaking and cleaning - this covers all caretaking costs for services such as cleaning, maintaining equipment, emergency caretaking services and light bulb replacement to communal lights. Window cleaning is also included where this is provided.
Lift maintenance (where applicable) - repair and maintenance of lifts.
Entry phone maintenance (where applicable) - repair and maintenance of entry control systems.
Insurance premium - your share of the council's insurance premium for buildings insurance. You will be sent a separate annual bill for this item from the council's risk and insurance section.
Repairs and maintenance to the block - this covers the cost of labour and materials for carrying out general repairs to the block in which your flat or maisonette is located.
Repairs and maintenance to the grounds - this covers the cost of labour and materials for carrying out general repairs to the estate complex in which your flat is located.
Management and administration - this recovers the council's costs for managing its leasehold properties. It covers the staffing and office costs of the service charge team and the estate management service that is provided to leaseholders by staff from the district housing offices.
Major repairs and improvements - this recovers the costs of carrying out major items of repair, replacement and improvement. Major repair costs are invoiced separately to the annual service charge bill. For more information see 'Major works and planned repairs'.
Leasehold services team
Housing, Assessment and Solutions
Floor 3, Zone B
Bernard Weatherill House
8 Mint Walk