Here you'll find frequently asked questions about your service charge. If you're unable to find the answer to your question, please contact us on 0300 373 3000 or post your question using the form on this page.
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No. We will automatically adjust your Direct Debit when your service charge changes, however it is your responsibility to ensure the amount you're paying is correct. Please contact our Income team at firstname.lastname@example.org if the amount is not correct.
As part of the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002, a landlord must provide leaseholders and shared owners with a summary of their rights and obligations when sending out a service charge demand. This is a prescribed format and cannot be changed.
As your landlord, we can recharge you for any services and works that we provide to your block and/or estate. This is called a service charge and the proportion of the charge that you need to pay is set out in your lease. The charge normally covers the cost of such matters as general maintenance and repairs, insurance of the building and, where the services are provided, central heating, lifts, porters, lighting and cleaning of common areas etc. The charges may also include the costs of management by the Landlord or by a professional managing agent and contributions to a reserve fund.
Each year Network Homes reviews the actual cost incurred at your block in the previous years and we use this as a guide to work out what the costs will be for the next financial year. Based on this a budget and estimated service charge is prepared before the start of the financial year and sent to you, normally in February. The amounts you pay during the year are based on this estimated service charge.
A final account is prepared after the end of the financial year. It sets out the actual cost incurred and compares it against the estimate cost that was sent to you. The final account is send to all homeowners who pay a variable service charge. This is prepared after the end of the financial year – normally March and sent to you in the following September.
This is a charge which can vary and is set at the start of the year based as an estimate of the service charge. When the final account is prepared this charge will increase or decrease depending on the actual cost incurred. If the costs have gone down from the estimate, we will refund the difference into your account. If the costs have gone up from the estimate you will be asked to pay the difference. This ensures that you pay the true cost of the service.
A scheme is a group of properties that share the same services and repairs. Each scheme has its own unique number and name.
An estate is a group of schemes, which share the same costs. For example, the grounds maintenance charges may cover a group of schemes within an area.
A reserve/ sinking fund is used for high cost items. Examples of this could include door entry systems or lifts needing to be replaced from time to time. To plan for this and to avoid charging you the costs all at once, we collect regular amounts as part of the service charge where the lease allows us to do so. The amounts collected go into an interest earning bank account. When the work needs to be carried out the balance in the reserve / sinking fund account is off set against the cost of the work. In cases where the cost of the work exceeds the funds available in your reserve/sinking fund, the difference will be charged to you.
A management fee is included within the service charge to cover our administrative cost of managing the services and our overheads. It is charged in accordance with the terms of your lease. It covers staff costs for dealing with enquiries, complaints, income collection, setting of service charges and managing contracts, repairs and other services. In some cases where there is a managing agent, they may also charge a management fee in addition to our fee.