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Your service charges explained 2022/2023

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The lease provides for the landlord to recover their outlay for maintenance, repair and upkeep of the building, including management costs, from the leaseholders. This information sheet contains a brief description of each of the service charges that may be payable for your property and includes how those charges are calculated as well as some frequently asked questions.

For the service charges that apply to your property please see the service charge statement summary that was sent to you with this information sheet and invoice.

A Summary of Tenants' Rights and Obligations will also accompany your statement of Service Charges which we have to send to you by law.

What is included in the service charge?

  • Ground Rent - this is a specific requirement of the lease and must be paid on the due date - by law we must give you notice that your ground rent is due. This is given in the form of your service charge invoice
  • Caretaking (Communal cleaning) - this is the cost of providing a caretaker service for your block/external communal areas to support a clean, safe and well maintained environment
  • Gardening - this is the cost of providing a grounds maintenance and cleansing service to external communal areas; it also includes clearance of rubbish; tree maintenance and estate improvements such as shrub bed refurbishment and the introduction of wild flower gardens
  • Please note: caretaking and grounds maintenance costs were reduced in the last few years due to the pandemic restricting service delivery; consequently there is an increase to the charges this year linked to improved outcomes being achievable and delivered
  • Communal Lighting - this is the cost of electricity to power lighting to the internal and external communal areas of your block
  • Communal Aerial -  this is the cost of repairing, servicing and maintaining the communal television aerial
  • Building Insurance - this is the cost of insuring the building and covers repair and rebuild costs in the event of damage - this means that you are covered in case there is any damage to the structure of the property
    • the buildings insurance is paid in advance to ensure cover all year round
    • the cost of this has risen this year due to a change of insurance provider and the rising costs of property values
  • Responsive Repairs - this coversthe cost of the day to day general repairs, servicing and maintenance to the structure and communal areas of your block - it includes any boundary walls and fences for which the Council are responsible for maintaining. This costs includes overheads and GYN management fees
  • VAT - VAT is not charged on any repairs or services with the exception of Communal electricity where this is charged at the standard 5% rate - some blocks are charged at 20% Vat due to a different supplier being used for the electricity.
  • Leasehold Management Fees - this covers the costs of the Leasehold Management Team such as calculating service charges, producing annual schedules of Service Charges, issuing invoices, dealing with queries, payment reminders, office overheads, corporate management, governance and legal input.

Frequently Asked Questions

What services are you charging me for?

A breakdown of the service charges is on your Statement of Service Charges. If you wish to have a breakdown of individual repairs charges for your block, please request this via email or in writing to the leasehold officer.

How will service charges change in the future?

A letter was sent out to all our leaseholders and tenants in November 2022 proposing changes to the way we charge for our communal charges.  This proposal is still being considered and further letters will be sent to you once a decision has been made.

There is no 'communal garden' - why are you charging me for this?

The area where you live may have hard or grassy areas that need to be maintained. This charge will cover items of work such as litter picking, trimming and weeding amongst others.

Why do I have to pay for services when I do not believe I benefit?

It is only fair and in the terms of your lease that the cost of providing a service is shared out between all the flats in the building and/or all blocks on an estate that receive the service, even though you may feel you do not benefit from the service. This applies for all service charges.

I never use some of my services, can I opt out?

Unfortunately not. The services are provided to everyone who lives in the blocks and estates, helping to create a pleasant neighbourhood for the community.

Will you keep adding services that I will need to pay for?

We will only introduce any new chargeable services if you have access to them. You can request a particular service, provided that it is chargeable under the terms of your lease and the majority of those who will receive and pay for the cost of the service agree to it.

(For example, if a fence was requested to be installed around a communal area which was currently open, this would have to be consulted with GYBC as well as any other residents which may be affected.)

Why does someone in another block pay a different amount to me for the same service?

Each block, however similar, will have costs that can vary or have a different number of flats. For example, one block may have more flats than another so the costs are spread amongst more properties; this makes the cost per property lower. Some services may vary between blocks because of size.

Why does it take up to 6 months to receive my Service Charge Statement?

Your annual service charge is due within 6 months of the end of the previous financial year, which runs from 1 April to 31 March in accordance with your lease.

At the end of the financial year we do not know all the exact costs for the services provided and repairs that have taken place. It takes several months to collate all this information, check and then double check the information we have received and prepare the statement. We use this time to make sure we send out accurate and concise information.

Why do you send out complicated statements?

By law if we charge you a service charge we have to inform you of the actual cost of the services provided. We want to be open and transparent with you about these costs and make your statement as clear as possible. We have combined the repairs on your statement and apportioned them in accordance with your lease.  If you want information on each individual repair, please contact the leasehold officer who will give this information where available. Further information may be obtainable from our repair partners.

You seem to be charging me for a service that I am not receiving

Please contact us with your query and we will investigate this to ensure that any errors are corrected.  If you have received this bill but have recently purchased from a previous leaseholder, you are legally responsible for the bill despite not owning the property for the period billed. A retention may have been held by the previous leaseholder's solicitor.

My personal details are incorrect

It is the responsibility of the leaseholder to inform us of any changes of name and address. Please contact us with the correct details and we will ensure your information is updated as soon as possible.

Do I have to provide you with a Gas Safety Certificate annually?

If you are sub-letting your property it is a legal requirement that you provide a gas safety certificate annually and an electrical certificate every 5 years.  Failure to provide a copy could be a breach of your lease.  If you reside at your property then it is recommended that you have a gas safety check every year.


We wish to remind you that in the event of any vandalism or malicious damage to your block, please obtain a crime reference number from the police or inform the local housing offices who can report it anonymously on your behalf.

Useful Contact Numbers

Leasehold Officer

Housing income team (to make payments)

  • Telephone 01493 846726

Customer Services


Neighbourhood Officers

Housing Offices

Last modified on 29 January 2024

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