It costs us money to carry out repairs or work to
keep your property or block in good condition, to manage it, and to
provide any other services for you. Service charges are your
share of these costs.
What is a service charge?
are your share of the costs for providing
repairs, maintenance and services at the block where you live. For
example, caretaking, communal lighting, gardening or repairs in
shared areas. In September 2013, service charge invoices are
issued to leaseholders showing how much the service had actually
cost in the year 1 April 2012 to 31 March 2013
An invoice for major repairs
works has also been issued to some leaseholders
for any large one-off works which are not day to day maintenance
and repairs works. These are usually major repair works,
where consultation is required, such as re-roofing, installing
double glazing and major re-pointing.
Do I have to pay a service
If we provide a service to your block, you will have to
pay us a service charge. This will be stated in your lease. Usually
you will be required to pay your service charge in 10 equal
payments on the first day of each month. Some leases state the
service charge is payable quarterly or annually in advance, but if
you would like to pay monthly this can be arranged by setting-up a
standing order or Direct Debit. Please contact our Finance Team for
more information on 0300 777 7777.
What does the service charge
Service charges differ from block to block,
depending on the services we provide. Please look at your
personalised service charge statement to see a full list of those
services covered by your service charge. Examples of services
Cleaning all communal areas
Keeping common external areas in good condition and clear
Repairing or reporting communal repairs in blocks and
monitoring the request to completion
Low rise flats
Clean the communal areas
Report any repairs
Closed Circuit Television
A 24 hour monitoring service which provides an enhanced
image retrieval which will improve our ability to
identify and take action against perpetrators of criminal and anti
social behaviour. Previously this service was provided on our
behalf by Trafford Metropolitan Borough Council. Delivering
our own CCTV service has resulted in a reduction of costs and a
therefore a reduction in service charge costs.
Maintenance of Communal
Weed Spray every other visit
Weed Shrub beds on every other visit
Edging all grass areas
Litter picking areas
Taking all grass cuttings away at every visit
Blow all grass etc of the footpaths which are next to the
Winter work then would take place which includes Leaf
collection and litter pick all the area and all hard
surfaces sprayed when required.
Day to Day Repairs
This is calculated based on the communal repairs that arecarried
out in a block, e.g. repairs to communal doors on landings,
reglazing, electrical problems in communal areas and repairs in the
entrance area. The total charge for a block is divided by the
number of properties in the block. The total charge will vary
with the number of repairs carried out in a block, compared to
We have sent you bi-monthly repairs statements so that you could
query any communal repairs carried out to your block nearer to the
repair taking place. This has ensured that your queries are
investigated quickly and improved the accuracy of the day to day
repairs charge on your service charge invoice.
You will also be charged for any repairs we have had to carry
out regarding vandalism. This is because the Trust
often does not know who has caused the vandalism but still has to
carry out the repair to rectify the damage. Therefore, if you
see a resident or a visitor carrying out vandalism, you must inform
the Trust immediately, so that the Trust can act upon the
information received and investigate further. In all cases of
vandalism, where the Trust has been informed who the perpetrator(s)
are, the Trust will seek to re-charge the pereptrator(s) for the
damage and you will not be charged for this. However, we
cannot do this if we are not informed of incidents and the
identities of those responsible.
Door Entry Charge
This is the maintenance and repairs carried out as a result of
equipment failure. As with day to day repairs, you will be
charged for any repairs caused by vandalism or misuse.
This is for the electricity supply that provides communal
lighting in and around your block/estate. We pay an
electricity supplier and split the charges between the residents on
your block/estate. A meter reading is usually recorded on a
monthly basis to ensure accurate billing.
Leasehold is a tenancy - it is subject to payment of rent.
The Trust's ground rent is a nominal £10 paid annually in advance
from June each year, however, this is included in your service
charge. Ground rent is a specific requirement of the lease
and must be paid on the due date.
Maintenance of Mechanical Facilities
The mechanical facilities charge reflects all of the work
carried out on such equipment situated in our tower blocks.
Mechanical facilities include lifts, lightning conductors and
This is to provide cover against specified risks of accidental
loss, destruction or damage to the block (fire, flood and
earthquake). This is an annual charge based on the rebuild
value of your property. The insurance policy was sent to each
leaseholder earlier this year.
Why has the Buildings Insurance premium increased?
Your buildings insurance premium has increased to £54.29.
This is due to the increased number of insurance claims from
leaseholders. The Trust has negotiated reasonable premiums in
the past and in order to demonstrate this, I thought it would be
helpful to show the premiums you have been charged:
- 2006 - £81.47
- 2007 - £85.89
- 2008 - £85.89
- 2009 - £16.35
- 2010 - £16.35
- 2011 - £16.35
- 2012 - £10.27
- 2013 - £54.29
Leaseholders and shared owners are charged the same for
buildings insurance and the charges are split equally. The
Trust will continue to source the best buildings insurance product
for you and negotiate fair and reasonable premiums for you.
A 15% management charge is added to the service charge to cover
the Trust's overheads for managing the block and estate where you
live. This includes your share of general expenses such as:
- Trust staff wages and office expenses
- Invoicing and collecting service charges
- Staff time in answering questions and dealing with general
matters regarding your lease and your block
- Organising contracts for services, such as grounds maintenance
and lift maintenance
- Leaseholder Together meetings and Shared Owner meetings
- Computer , telephone systems and website costs
- Site visits and inspections
- Producing and sending you documents, ie. copies of your
lease, buildings insurance policy
- Postage costs
- Newsletter and other publicity sent to leaseholders
How are service charges calculated?
The charges are based on the cost to the Trust of providing the
service for the year 2012/2013. This is then divided by the
total number of properties in the block receiving the
service. You are charged according to the terms and
conditions in your lease.
Why do tenants pay different service charges to
All Tenants and Leaseholders make a contribution to the
communal repair, maintenance and improvement costs of the block in
which their property is situated. Leaseholders pay for their
proportion of the costs through service charges and tenants pay for
these costs within their rent. All other service
charges are calculated in the same way irrespective of whether the
property is rented by a tenant or owned by a leaseholder.
The majority of leaseholders pay the actual cost (in arrears)
for all the works and services carried out in the previous
year. Tenants are charged based on an estimated cost for the
current year, which is compared to the actual cost at the end of
each year (any under or over recovery is added to the next year's
I receive Housing Benefit - Why have you sent me an
As a homeowner you are responsible for ensuring that any housing
benefit due to you is paid. Therefore we send you the invoice and
it is your responsibility to tell the housing benefit department at
your local council of the charges and any changes that need to be
Payment of Service Charges
Payment is due within 28 days. If you cannot settle
the invoice in full within 28 days, then you need to contact us and
we shall arrange a repayment plan with you. You can pay via
Direct Debit or you can set up a Standing Order.
What happens if I do not pay the service
If you do not settle the service charge invoice, dispute the
invoice or arrange a repayment plan within 28 days of the date of
the invoice, we shall take the following action:
- If you are a Mortgagee, we will contact your mortgage lender
and ask them for payment. Your mortgage lender will then add
the outstanding amount to your mortgage.
- We will take legal action to recover the outstanding
amount and this will incur additional costs. If we are
successful in obtaining a County Court Judgment (CCJ) against you,
this will affect your ability to obtain credit. Once a CCJ
has been obtained and you still do not clear the outstanding
amount, we will proceed with forfeiture of your lease, which means
your property will return to the ownership of the Trust.
I cannot afford to pay my service charges - what can I
Contact Catherine Hardman, Welfare Rights Officer on
0300 777 7777
The Trust has produced a leaflet entitled "Financial
Assistance for Leaseholders" which you can
You can contact the Money Advice Service:
Telephone: 0300 500 5000 or Typetalk 18001 0300 500 5000
Who do I speak to about a payment plan or Direct Debit
Contact Joanne Cash on 0300 777 7777
Who do I speak to if I dispute my service charges?
Contact Mia James or Joanne Cash on 0300 777 7777
Who do I contact if I believe my dispute has not been
resolved by the Trust?
If you believe the Trust has charged you unfairly or
unreasonably, you have the right to contact the Northern
Residential Property First Tier Tribunal and they will look into
the matter for you. You will be advised that you are
expected to pay any service charges that you are not
Property Chamber, Northern Residential Property
First Tier Tribunal
First Floor, 5 New York Street, Manchester M1 4JB
Tel: 0161 237 9491
Fax: 0161 237 3656