Your Service Charge for 2013-14
You should have now received your annual service charge certificate and ‘balancing charge’ notification through the post. *
We get a lot of queries regarding these documents as legally they have to be presented in a certain way, and there’s a lot of important information all in one place.
*Note – you won’t be receiving them if you’re a DIYSO home owner.
What’s the balancing charge?
Every month you pay an estimated service charge. This estimate is based on what we anticipate your costs will be for that year. The balancing charge is the difference between what you were charged each month in your estimated service charge from April 2013 to March 2014 and the actual costs for the services delivered.
Every year we audit the costs for servicing your scheme, and the actual charge will often be different to the estimate as some of the costs aren’t fixed. These audited accounts for your property (including costs incurred on your scheme) are the documents we send to you in September.
Your balancing charge will be a credit (meaning you have paid too much) if the estimated costs were more than the actual costs. It will be a debit if the estimate was not enough to cover the actual costs (meaning you have not paid enough).
What do I do if I have a query?
Just drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a voicemail message on 020 8607 3877 with a brief outline of what you’d like to know. We’ll then arrange for your property manager or one of the service charge team to get in touch with you within 5 working days.
This email and voicemail service is available from the time you receive your letter in September through to 31 October 2014.
What if I have a balancing charge credit and I’m due a refund from you?
The credit will be placed onto your rent and/or service charge account in October. If there are any arrears on that or your sundry debt account, the credit will be used to reduce those arrears.
If you pay by direct debit, we will reduce your payment in November to give you the credit back as quickly as possible. We will send you a letter that details this. If you don’t pay by Direct Debit, please contact us on 020 8607 3877 to request a refund.
What happens if I have a debit balancing charge and have an additional charge to pay?
The debit will be placed on to your rent and/or service charge account in October. If you pay by direct debit, we will increase your payments from November to collect the charge in equal monthly instalments for the remainder of the financial year, so your account will be clear by 31 March 2015. We will send you a letter that contains details of the increased monthly amounts from November.
If you pay by any other method, please ensure that you clear the outstanding amount by 31 March 2015.
What can you expect from us through the year?
Here’s a quick summary:
- February: an individual copy of your estimated service charge for the forthcoming financial year.
- April: your first payment at the new rate.
- September: a summary of the audited accounts for your scheme showing the total costs incurred, an individual service charge certificate showing your proportion of these costs and details of the balancing charge.