This is different depending on whether you are a tenant or a home owner.
The rent a tenant pays will normally include the cost of repairs to their home and building insurance. For most of our tenants, it is reviewed each year in accordance with a government policy on rent setting. Some of our tenants have their rent reviewed every second year.
The rent for a home owner with a shared ownership lease covers a contribution toward the cost of developing the shared ownership home. It’s based on the value of the un-purchased share and is adjusted each year in accordance with a specific calculation formula in your shared ownership lease.
The service charge is the money you pay towards the running of the building or estate where you live. If we provide the services, it includes our costs. If there’s someone else providing services, like a managing agent, it includes those costs too.
Our service charges are either variable or fixed. Variable means that we change the amount we charge each year. Fixed means that we don’t. We use both types of charges but most of our residents have a variable service charge requirement in their lease or tenancy agreement.
Working out the estimate
For nearly all our residents, the service charge period is normally for a year starting 1st April.
We work out the estimated service charge during the six month period before the beginning of the service charge period. We consider what we know about your building and estate. We look at the cost of providing services in previous years and collate service contract cost information.
We sense check the figures and then publish the new estimated service charges in late February, around a month before the new service charge period.
We’ll collect a contribution each month from you towards this estimate.
Calculating the actual cost for home owners
When the service charge period has ended, we’ll calculate the actual cost of providing services at your scheme and send you an audited account in the September following the end of the service charge period.
If there’s a difference between the estimated and actual service charge cost, we’ll place this amount (sometimes called the balancing charge) on your account.
You can ask us to provide you with further information about the actual costs for up to six months after we’ve published the audited accounts.
Some of you have a different arrangement in place because your lease or tenancy is slightly different. We carry out the same process for the most part, but sometimes the timing is different (as your service charge period starts at a different point in the year), or you aren’t required to pay an estimated service charge, so we just charge you the actual costs.