A Service Charge is an annual charge for the cost of managing and maintaining the communal parts of your block and the estate and for housing management and administration costs for providing a leasehold service. Broadly speaking, we calculate your estimated bill by looking at the amount we have spent on services in the previous year and adding on an allowance for inflation. We also have some charges that are the same cost for all leaseholders.
Service Charges are paid by all leaseholders in a block. EastendHomes pays the proportion relating to rent-paying tenants and recovers the money from tenants through the rent they pay. Services provided to tenants are not in any way subsidised by leaseholders.
Service Charge Bills
Your estimated Service Charge bill will be sent to you at the beginning of April in each year. This will be based on an estimated charge for the period 1st April to 31st March the following year. This period is called the financial year. If you have purchased your property part way through the financial year your service charge will be apportioned to the end of the financial year. Included with your estimated bill will be the actual adjustment amount carried from the previous year. This will either be a credit or debit adjustment. This will mean that you will only receive one service charge bill a year and you will be able to pay this over 10 installments from the month of April to January. Our customers have expressed a desire to receive one billing period a year so that they are able to budget for payments due.
Calculation of the Bill
EastendHomes keeps a record of the habitable floor area of your property. This value determines the amount of Service Charge due for your property. So if your neighbour is a leaseholder of a larger property, they will pay a higher service charge than you.
At the end of the financial year the Service Charge accounts will be independently audited and we will provide you with the actual service charge for providing leasehold services to you. When the audit has been completed there will either be a credit or debit depending on the actual amount we have spent. The credit or debit will then be applied to your next estimated service charge bill. This normally takes place two months after the financial year has ended in the month of June.
Your Service Charge Bill Explained
Your Estate Caretaking Team is managed by the Local Housing Centre. The Caretaking Team have a programme but also often work on demand where the need for them is greatest. They are responsible for a range of standard tasks including cleaning the entrance lobby, lifts, stairwells and refuse areas; checking that communal lights are working and reporting any matters that require attention such as graffiti or repairs to common parts; attending to refuse containers and clearing blocked chutes.
The Caretaking Team are also responsible for cleaning the estate. This will mainly consist of collecting litter and sweeping estate footpaths, parking areas and estate roads.
A gardener will carry out various seasonal tasks including mowing grassed areas; weeding soil beds and the removal of weeds from concrete areas; the removal of fallen autumn leaves; and the upkeep of shrub beds and trees.
Block Repairs and Maintenance
This includes any minor repairs or maintenance carried out to your block costing less than £250 for each leaseholder. If repairs or maintenance exceed £250 per leaseholder then we have a duty to consult with you before carrying out the works in accordance with Section 151 of the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002. Minor repairs and maintenance would typically include the replacement of light fittings, glass in common parts and the inspection and maintenance of communal water tanks.
Estate Repairs and Maintenance
This includes any minor repairs or maintenance carried out to your estate costing less than £250 for each leaseholder. If repairs or maintenance exceed £250 per leaseholder then we have a duty to consult with you before carrying out the works in accordance with Section 151 of the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002. Minor repairs and maintenance would typically include the removal of bulk refuse, estate gates and signage.
Some blocks are fitted with entry phone systems which are designed to keep out unauthorised people and to increase your security. It may be necessary from time to time to repair defective door closes and locking plates. If the entry phone system is not working please report this to the Local Housing Centre.
Lift Repairs and Maintenance
Some blocks have a lift and to ensure smooth running it will require regular repair and maintenance. Examples of work undertaken are safety inspections, repairing jammed doors and lift breakdowns.
Some blocks and some freehold properties have use of a communal TV aerial. Occasional maintenance and repairs are carried out to ensure that the aerial is providing a good reception.
Refuse Container Hire
Some blocks have refuse containers. This charge covers hire, repair and maintenance of the refuse container.
This service covers the cost of treating pests in homes, blocks, and on estates. This charge is a flat rate charged to all properties. You can make a report at any time to our service provider.
This charge covers communal energy to your block and your estate. This can include lighting to your block, the power source for lifts, door entry systems and estate lighting.
This charge is applied to properties that are connected to a communal electrical heating system. The charge does not cover the replacement or repair of heating or hot water equipment inside the property. The charge is only for the supply of electricity for the use of the heating system and does not cover communal energy. The electricity supplier bills EastendHomes and then we apportion the charge to you. The amount charged is based on the amount of heating and/or hot water outlets in the block and not on individual use.
Communal Boiler Repairs
Some properties are connected to a communal boiler and this service charge covers repairs. This includes the repair and maintenance of communal pipes either outside your home or shared pipes that run through it. This charge does not cover any repairs and maintenance to pipes for your sole use inside your home. For example, it does not cover the repair or replacement of radiators in your home.
Communal Boiler Fuel and Electrical Heating
For leaseholders and freeholders whose homes are connected to a communal boiler there is a charge for heating and hot water. The charge varies depending on the number of radiators or hot air blowers in the property.
Your Service Charge covers the building insurance for your property. We insure your property for such things as flood or fire. You can obtain a summary copy of the insurance policy or make a claim by contacting the Home Ownership Team. You will need to make your own arrangements for Contents Insurance to cover your furniture, decorations and other belongings.
This Service Charge covers the cost of managing your block and estate. This includes dealing with enquiries, enforcement of lease conditions, inspections and resident consultation.
This Service Charge covers the costs of employment of a dedicated Home Ownership Team, the collection of Service Charges and building insurance enquiries.