We know leases can be tricky to understand, and we want to make your journey with us as easy as possible.
That’s why we’re outlining what responsibilities we have to you as a customer and what responsibilities you have as a customer. You’ll find information about services charges and maintenance and how we can support you if you’re struggling to make any payments.
How do I pay my service charge?
You can pay your service charge by calling 0300 777 7777. Alternatively, you can pay via our online portal MyAccount.
Service charges in arrear
If your lease requires you to pay service charges ‘in arrear’, service charges will need to be paid within 30 days of receiving your annual service charge ‘actuals’ statement.
You should receive the statement within six months after the financial year-end.
Service charges in advance
If your lease requires you to pay service charges ‘in advance’, an estimated service charge will be sent to you at least 30 days before the financial year begins. The estimated charge will need to be paid in the frequency and dates stated in your lease (e.g. monthly or quarterly).
You should receive an actual statement within six months after the financial year-end where we’ll report the income we’ve received and the ‘actual’ expenditure within the previous financial year.
You’ll then either be charged a reasonable proportion of the costs of those services or refunded any excess.
Alternatively, the balance may be carried over to the next financial year, as per the terms of your lease.
If you have a service charge query, you can speak to a member of the service charge team on 0300 777 7777 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org
I can’t pay my service charge – what do I do?
Please contact us as soon as you get into difficulties.
To speak to one of our team, you can email us or call 0300 777 7777.
We’re here to help, and we want to make sure you get the support you need. If you’re struggling to pay your service charge, our Money Support team can help by offering advice and support to get you back on track.
What is a service charge?
A service charge covers the cost of the services we provide and the management of those services, such as repairs and maintenance of your property, communal lighting, gardening and caretaking.
You pay a variable service charge. This means service charges can change from year to year based on the ‘actual’ costs of providing these services. You’ll be asked to pay your service charge within six months after the financial year-end as described in your lease.
We work out how much your service charge will be by looking at how much the services cost in the previous financial year. We then charge you a reasonable proportion of the costs of those services.
Our responsibility as a landlord
- We’ll tell you how we work out service charges, the various ways you can pay and give you advice and help if you fall behind with payments
- We’ll give you an invoice for your service charges every year. The invoice will clearly state the services you’re being charged for
- We’ll provide major works account statements on request
- We’ll make sure your property has buildings insurance. You’ll continue to be responsible for insuring your home contents
- Provide a service charge account statement on request
- Contact you within 28 days if your account falls into arrears
- Agree to reduce arrears via a payment plan and explain the payment options available to you
- Offer welfare benefits and money management advice
How do service charges benefit me?
Service charges help us recover the costs for providing the services required under the terms of your lease. They help us maintain your building and keep communal areas in repair, including grounds maintenance, caretaking, communal lighting and door entry systems.
These services help to improve your home and maintain a high-quality communal living environment for all our customers.
As your landlord, we provide buildings insurance for your leasehold property in case of accidental loss, destruction or damage to the block from fire, a flood or an earthquake. Buildings insurance is an annual charge based on the cost of rebuilding your property and we recharge this to you.
You can also download a summary of your Buildings Insurance Cover or call 0200 777 7777 to request a copy.
We don’t provide buildings insurance for freehold properties, so you’ll need to arrange insurance yourself.
Please be aware; buildings insurance doesn’t cover your belongings. You’ll need to buy contents insurance to cover any damage or theft of your belongings. If you sublet your property, you’re not covered for loss of rent in case of emergency.
We sometimes need to carry out major works. This could include:
- Work to important structural elements like roofs, windows and pointing
- Upgrading or replacing essential equipment like lifts, secure entrance doors and fire alarms
We carry out major improvements to blocks to ensure they’re well maintained and provide a high-quality living environment for our customers. Please be aware; that you’ll be charged a share of the cost of major works, but we’ll consult with you first if it costs more than £250.
The total cost is divided by the number of properties receiving services.
To help our leaseholders pay the cost of major works, we have a range of flexible repayment options. Please call us on 0300 777 7777 to discuss this.
Shared owners are responsible for arranging and paying for repairs within their properties. You’re responsible for maintaining your property to a good standard, and we may, from time to time, arrange an inspection.
If you wish to purchase a larger share in your property known as staircasing, please call the Homeownership team on 0300 777 7777, and they’ll guide you through the process.
If you live in a house, once you own 100% of your property, in most cases, we’ll transfer the freehold title to you.
If you decide to sell your shared ownership property, there’s a process which both you and THT need to follow, and this is set out in your lease. If you’re selling just your share, any potential buyer will have to qualify for shared ownership in the same way that you were assessed when you purchased. We’ll arrange a valuation, and you cannot sell the property for less than this value.
In most cases, THT will sell its share in your property at the same time so that you can sell it on the open market. This is known as back-to-back staircasing.
Although you own the freehold of your property, you’re still liable for contributing to the costs of maintaining external common areas. More details can be found in your transfer document.
We’ll provide accounts to you at the end of the financial year and will credit any balance. If there is a deficit, you’ll be invoiced for this and must pay the charges within 28 days.