Our approach to service charges

Our approach to service charges

You’ll find everything you need to know about our approach to service charges below, from how we select our contractors to carry out service, to the service charge annual cycle and how you can get support. 

Your lease or tenancy agreement will tell you if you pay service charges and if they’re fixed or variable.

  • Fixed charges are set every year based on our estimates and costs for the upcoming year and don’t change.
  • Variable charges are set based on the estimates and costs for the upcoming year, but can change depending on the actual cost incurred. You’ll receive a statement each year confirming any changes, which includes whether you’ve overpaid or underpaid.

Procurement and the Section 20 process

Almost all of the services that are delivered to you are carried out by contractors that we have appointed. Before we select a contractor, we carry out a competitive tendering process, which compares the qualities and costs of each provider.

We’re always looking for feedback from our customers, which we do through the Section 20 process. We do this not just because it’s an obligation from the regulator, but because we value customer consultation throughout our decision making.

For us, value for money means quality services delivered at a competitive market price. We have a wide range of contracts in place to help us deliver the services that our customers need. If you have concerns about service delivery, or if there is a service on your statement that you don't receive, please let us know using the service charges online form.

Managing contracts 

Once the contracts are in place, our Contract Managers and Property Managers carry out regular quality checks, making sure service standards on things like cleaning, gardening, communal repairs or health and safety, are all high.

Throughout the duration of the contract, which is usually a few years, we make sure our suppliers have everything they need to do a good job. We also hold them to account if the service they deliver falls short.

For grounds maintenance and cleaning, our Property Managers will inspect the communal areas of every block between four and 12 times a year (depending on the complexity of the building) to make sure that the building is well looked after and safe for those who live there.

Service charge annual cycle

Your service charges are variable, and your statement shows the actual costs of your services and explains how the total costs are divided up.

Service charge estimates are sent out by the end of February each year and actual statements for the previous year are sent out by the end of September. Find out more about your latest statements.

Learn more about the service charge cycle.

How we deal with enquiries

To help improve our service charge services and increase transparency in the way charges are calculated, we formed our Customer Service Charge Team. The team are responsible for completing a thorough investigation into service charge enquiries and providing a detailed response. If the team receives multiple enquiries from the same building or scheme, these will all be investigated, and a response sent to all affected residents.

It can take some time to provide a comprehensive response and give reassurance about how charges have been calculated or how any errors are put right. We know that this can be frustrating, but we want to make sure we give you all the information you need.

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