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Service charges & Your Annual Statement

On this page you can find information about:

What are service charges? 

Because your flat is part of a block of flats or is contained within a building that has more than just your home within it, you must pay a share of the costs of maintaining the block and providing services that your home benefits from.  This may include the cost of:

  • Cleaning - Blocks which have internal communal areas are cleaned by the PHP cleaning contractors AJL. Each block has an individual program schedule.

  • Communal Electric - This charge relates to the electricity cost for lighting or electric heating to any communal passageways and entrances to the block.

  • Communal Gas - This charge relates to those leasehold properties which are served by a communal gas heating system or where the communal areas are heated by a gas heating system.

  • Buildings Insurance - The Buildings Insurance premium is part of a block policy which covers all the Council’s properties. The insurance is provided by Zurich Municipal. You can find a copy of the insurance policy here.

  • Grounds maintenance - This charge is for blocks with communal grounds. The grounds are maintained throughout the year by Leisure Services and the Borough of Poole’s contractors, Continental Landscapes. This may include sweeping, mowing grass, pruning shrubs and trees and planting or re-planting where necessary.

  • Response Repairs - We are responsible for keeping the communal parts of your block in good repair. This means that we will look after the structure of the building (walls, roof etc) and the landings and hallways (including lighting, door-entry systems, lifts, communal aerials and so on).  This charge does vary from year to year depending on the number of repairs carried out but you will be provided with a breakdown of the repairs with your Annual Statement.

  • Management Administration - This is charged at a percentage, according to the terms of your lease, of the cost of services received and includes planning and managing the contracts, providing contract specifications, monitoring contractors’ performance, staff ordering repairs and inspecting work before and after completion.  

  • Records & Accounts Charge -  This is the cost of providing the leasehold service required under the terms of your lease and current leasehold legislation. The charge covers a wide range of items such as answering leasehold queries, preparing and issuing Leasehold Annual Statements, carrying out major works consultations, invoicing lessees and collecting service charges. More detailed information about this charge can be found in your leaseholder handbook.

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How are the service charges calculated?

Your lease dictates the percentage we charge you for the services.  For example, if you live in a block of 4 your lease will probably say that you will be charged 25% of the total costs of managing your block.  In this case, if the total bill for the Response Repairs is £100, you will be charged £25 of this.

Your service charges for the year are estimated.  We try to be as accurate as possible when estimating your service charges but costs do fluctuate, for example the electricity costs for the block will fluctuate just like your own electricity costs at home. 

We take the average for the previous 3 years and add a small percentage uplift.  Sometimes this means we over estimate the charges to you and sometimes it means we under estimate your charges.

At the end of the financial year we calculate how much the service charges actually cost.  If we have under charged you, we will raise a debit on your account.  If we have overcharged you, we will raise a credit to your account.  This will show on your annual statement as the estimated/actuals annual adjustment.

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How and when to pay service charges?

According to your lease, your service charges are due quarterly but if you prefer we can accept payments on a monthly basis or other frequency by arrangement.  Contact the Income Team for more information about paying your charges or see our "Ways to pay" page for more information and for the Income Team contact details.

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Information about your Annual Statement

Each year we will send you a ‘Leasehold Annual Statement' to the most up to date contact address we hold. If we do not have a contact address the statement will be posted to the property address.

The Annual Statement is sent in June each year and details the costs in providing the services to you over the previous financial year.  It also provides an estimate of the cost of providing these services in the current financial year, which forms your quarterly service charges for the year.  Any major works invoices will also be included with your annual statement.

We are aware that a number of our leaseholders find the annual statements quite confusing and we are looking at ways to simplify the vast amount of information contained within them.  If you have any suggestions for improvements or comments about anything that you find particularly confusing on the Annual Statement, please do write or email your suggestions.

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Contact Us

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Karen Toft,
Leasehold Services Officer

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01202 264452

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