If you live in a block of flats or an estate with communal areas and facilities, you’ll pay service charges. This is when the cost of maintaining these facilities is split between the residents. Here are some examples of services that are commonly included in service charges:
- Cutting of grass, hedges and trees
- Cleaning (where agreed)
- Servicing and repairs of lifts, lighting, security doors, CCTV, fire safety equipment etc
- Cost of electricity, gas and water
- Building insurance
Your agreement will say which services are included in your charges, and whether you pay them weekly, monthly or quarterly.
Estimated and actual charges
In February we’ll send you an estimate* of what your service charges will be for the year ahead (April to March). We’ll use this estimate to calculate your payment(s).
* If your lease says that we’ll only bill you on actual costs, you won’t receive an estimate in February and you’ll receive your actual charges sometime before October.
In September, we’ll send you your actual charges for the previous year (April-March).
If this amount is different to the estimate, we’ll either credit your account or ask you to pay the difference #.
# If you rent your home from settle or are a shared owner, any difference between your actual and estimated charges will be carried forward to the next year.
What if I feel a charge is too high?
If you’re concerned about a specific item on your statement, please contact us.
If you think you’ve been incorrectly charged for a service, please check your tenancy agreement or lease in the first instance, as this will explain exactly what you should be charged for.
We hold consultations when the cost of a new contract or works to a block is higher than a certain value. We will consult with residents in order to find the best services and suppliers that give value for money.
Read more on our consultations page.