Service Charges

A service charge is the cost of services or benefits provided specifically for your house or flat that can’t be included in the rent. For example, if you live in a flat with a communal garden that you have the use of, your share of the cost of maintaining the garden is included in the service charge with all the other residents benefiting from the services provided.


Another example would be the cleaning and maintenance of any communal area such as an entrance lobby, stairwell or lift. Your share of this cost would be included in the service charge.

How is the service charge calculated?
We use a ‘variable’ service charge process as defined under Section 18 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, which means we look at the last three years costs, and use the average costs to calculate the service charge for the forthcoming year. The policy was implemented in December 2017, and has taken 3 years to be fully applied. This is considered to be good practice, and we hope will give you the closest estimate to the actual costs incurred.

A £0.00 amount on your statement indicates either that a particular service is not provided for your property or no costs have been incurred.

Description Explanation
Insurances Contents insurances for communal spaces can be negotiated by Grŵp Cynefin.
Lease Costs / Ground Rent Sometimes we have a leasehold on a property and the landlord charges an annual rent.
Management Fee The management and administration of service charges activities, which include for example preparation of costs, collective charges and attending meetings.This fee does not apply to any elements of depreciation. The Management Fee currently stands at 13% (Service Charge Policy).
Bin Cleaning Cleaning of communal bins.
Cleaning Furniture / Furnishings Cleaning any furniture and furnishings provided in communal areas.
Electricity Providing lighting and/or power to internal areas of common use outside of the home (hallways, corridors, stairs and communal rooms) includes emergency lighting, power to laundry facilities, lifts and other similar facilities.
External Window Cleaning Cleaning of communal windows (inside and out) includes materials, equipment, staffing and contractors. External cleaning of tenants’ windows who do not live on the ground floor.
Gas For providing heating in any communal areas.
Internal Cleaning Cleaning and caretaking work to communal areas includes materials, equipment, staffing and contractors.
Landscaping Maintenance of the landscape and communal areas around blocks or communal gardens includes grass and tree cutting, flower beds, clearing weeds, hedges and shrub maintenance. Can include litter picking or path cleaning. Replacements of housing association owned equipment. Cleaning / brushing of external communal spaces.
Passenger / Goods lift Maintenance Maintenance, cleaning, repair, insurance and provision of major repairs or replacement of lifts, including stair lifts in communal areas.
Telephone Line Rental For connectivity to facilities such as CCTV, door entry system.
TV License Fee The fee for any communal television facilities.
TV Relay Rental / SKY Provision of equipment (such as aerials or masts) to access free to air television and radio, including servicing and repairing. Also for communal equipment.
Water Water rates in communal areas. Where the tenancy agreement stipulates that the landlord pays the communal water charges and can be reimbursed through the service charges. For central water storage facilities, we will need to test the water periodically for legionella.
Laundry Equipment Maintenance Maintenance and repair of communal laundry equipment (such as washing machines, tumble dryers) includes water rates for these equipment.
Furniture, Furnishings and Carpets Maintaining, cleaning and repairing furniture, furnishings and carpets in communal rooms and areas. This also includes tea making equipment such as kettles.
Catering / Kitchen Appliances For extra care housing facilities – a meal is provided as part of the tenancy agreement. The equipment need to be maintained.
CCTV / Burglar Alarm Monitoring activities within the scheme/estate, to monitor estate safety or anti-social behaviour.
Communal Furniture Maintenance, servicing and renewal of furniture, furnishings and curtains / blinds.
Communal White Goods Maintenance, servicing and renewal of goods such as fridges.
Door Entry System / Intercom Servicing, repairing and replacement of door entry system or appliances, including keys, key-cards, keypad locking mechanism and door entry phone.
Emergency Call Alarm System Maintenance, servicing and renewal of Telecare equipment in the home and within communal facilities.
Firefighting / Detection Equipment / Emergency Lightning Servicing,periodic testing, repairing and replacing firefighting and detective equipment including periodic fire risk assessments for communal areas. Maintenance, service and renewal of lightning protection facilities on building.
Office Furniture Maintenance and renewal of office furniture in extra care and sheltered facilities.
Specialist Equipment / Adaptations Provision, repair and maintenance costs of adaptations within dwellings such as stair lifts, hoists, and mechanical baths.
Emergency Generator Maintenance, service and renewal of emergency generator for communal facilities.
PAT Testing Testing of Portable Appliances for electrical goods in communal areas.
Water Hygiene Testing for legionella including risk assessment, remedial work and future periodic testing.
Sprinkler System Maintenance Maintenance, service and renewal of sprinkler system facilities within communal areas on building.
Broadband / Internet Services Provision of and maintenance of Wi-Fi connection in communal areas.
Communal Spaces Decoration Decoration of walls and ceilings within communal areas.
Specialist Equipment Maintenance, servicing and repair of specialist equipment.
Catering Cost for one midday meal provision every day.(Extra Care Housing schemes only). These costs are not eligible for Housing Benefit nor Universal Credit.
Personal use of Electricity, Gas and Water utility services These charges relate to any use of services within the dwelling that is apportioned for personal use and within your own home. These costs are not eligible for Housing Benefit nor Universal Credit.
Scheme Manager Support Costs Costs include wages, training, phones, for providing service.
Water Where one supply is provided to a scheme /estate an apportionment or actual meter usage for personal use is charged.
Communal Equipment / Laundry Equipment In some schemes equipment such as laundry services are rented for use the rental cost is covered.
Administration Costs / Mobile Phones Office related costs such as mobile phone bills and administrative materials.

If you need further clarification on any of the above, please contact the Senior Service Charge Officer


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