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Service charge estimates and actuals

How do we work out your service charges? – this short video explains.

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Below are some of the most common questions we get asked about the service charge estimates. You can also check our contacts page if you do need to get in touch with us.

Why are the charges only estimates?

This is because you have to pay the service charges in advance under the terms of your lease. It means they have to be estimates, because the invoice must be raised before any costs have been incurred.

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How do I pay?

The lease says you should pay quarterly in advance, but the Council allows people to pay in up to 10 monthly instalments by Direct Debit. If you already pay by Direct Debit we will automatically set up a 10 month plan for you.

If you haven’t set up a direct debit yet but want to do so you can complete the Direct Debit form enclosed with your invoice and send it back to us.

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When are the actual charges produced?

This current Estimated Service Charge is for the financial year 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017. The actual costs of providing the services are calculated when the Council issues the final accounts after the end of each financial year (in April/May). So your Actual Service Charge (and your Certificate of Actual Service Charges) for the financial year 2016/2017 will be sent to you in August 2017. You received your actual for last year in September – please see the Actual Service Charge 2015-2016 booklet for more information.

Next year's Certificate will show any adjustment to your charges for the year 2016-17. The actual cost is either higher or lower than the original estimate. If it is higher than the estimate we will send you an invoice with the Certificate. If it is lower, we will credit the difference to your account.

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Why are there sometimes different charges for similar flats?

There can be a number of reasons for this. One is that the service and/or amenities provided vary from block to block. Also the lease states how your charges should be calculated based on the size of your flat by the number of bedrooms or the rateable value.

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What happens if I don’t get a service?

  • You should write to us and we will investigate the non provision of the service with the team who is responsible for the provision of the service.
  • The Tenancy Management Team, Estate Services Team or Repairs Team will inform us where a service or work has not been undertaken.
  • A record will be kept of this information and when the actual costs are calculated, the appropriate reduction will be made. A reduction will be made at the same time your annual certificate is issued.

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What services are provided to my block/estate?

A breakdown of your Yearly Estimated Service Charges and Ground Rent 2016/2017 has been sent to you. This lists the services provided to your building and your estate.

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Do I get any other information about services provided to my block/estate?

Download our Estimated Service Charge 2016/17 booklet (pdf) for further information.

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What help can I receive to pay my service charges?

The Council cannot help people on a low income with the payment of their service charges. If you are currently receiving income support or other benefits, you may be eligible for some assistance. Your local Jobcentre Plus office or the Department of Work and Pensions can help find out what you may be entitled to.

If you are having payment difficulties, we recommend you contact the Leasehold Accounts team to discuss options.

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Give us feedback with your contact details for a response. Please note: we review comments once a week. Service requests must be made to Customer Services.

Page Last Updated:

15 February 2017