Service charges for leaseholders
Leaseholders receive their annual service charge account from the council before the beginning of the financial year. This will include the amounts payable during the year for repairs, improvements, maintenance, building insurance and management costs. Ground rent is fixed at £10 a year. Service charges can be paid by direct debit. If you wish to set up a direct debit please contact us on 01695 585037. If you are experiencing difficulty in paying for your service charges, please contact us urgently.
To pay for your service charge please call customer services 01695 577177.
If you fail to pay your service charge due, and do not contact us to discuss the matter, it is possible that legal action will be taken against you. The cost of this action would be added to your debt.
Section 125 Notices
When a property is purchased direct from the council the owner is served with a Notice under Section 125 of the Housing Act 1985. This details any forthcoming major repairs and improvements that the council intends to carry out over the first five years of the lease and the estimated yearly charges payable for these works. During this period only inflation can be added to the charges.
If we fail to do this you cannot be charged for these works. However, after the first five years there is no restriction on works undertaken by us, as long as we properly consult you about the work.
Ways of repaying for the cost of major repairs and planned maintenance
The cost of undertaking repairs and maintenance work is charged to leaseholders through the annual service charge.
Our decision to undertake major repair works to leasehold properties is based upon the need to do the work and not the leaseholder’s ability to pay for the works. However, we will give you an estimate of the cost of the major repair works before they are undertaken.
Some of these costs could be met by the Advanced Payment Fund (APF). However, where we need to recover the costs of major works we reserve the right to do so. You are advised to seek independent financial advice and look into other sources of financial assistance in the first instance. If you are concerned about not being able to meet repayments for the cost of major repairs and planned maintenance work please contact us immediately to discuss what options may be available to you.
You must confirm with us how you intend to repay for the cost of major repairs and planned maintenance works. Otherwise you may be subject to recovery action by us which could result in court action being taken against you.
Your annual service charge will also include an amount for management of our leasehold stock. Management costs include the following:
- Staff costs for delivering the service i.e. repairs, refurbishment and management of the lease
- Costs associated with office premises i.e. rent, furniture, fixtures and fittings
- Costs associated with IT, i.e. software, office and mobile phones
- Costs associated with finance i.e. borough treasurer, revenues and payments, finance team, accountancy, insurance team, internal and external audit, statutory accounting requirements
- Central overhead costs include: management, human resources, training, staff welfare, performance management, PR and marketing, governance, reception, call centre, office stationery, printing, business insurance, legal fees