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Service charges & Your Annual Statement

On this page you can find information about:

See also, our Guide to Service Charges & Major Works.

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 leasehold properties.  The insurance is provided by Travelers Insurance Co Ltd. A copy of the policy summary is available from the Leasehold Team upon request. You do not need to get your own buildings insurance policy, but should ensure you have a personal or landlords contents insurance policy for your property

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

  • Response RepairsWe 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 cost of repairs carried out. View the full breakdown of repairs for your block during 2020/21.

  • Management AdministrationThis 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's Handbook

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How are the service charges calculated?

Your lease dictates the percentage contribution that we charge you for the services to your block. For example, if you live in a block of four, your lease is likely to say that you will be charged 25% (one quarter) of the total costs of the upkeep of your block. In this scenario, if the total bill for the Response Repairs on the block was £100.00, you would be charged £25.00 towards this cost.

Your service charges for the year are an estimated charge. To calculate the coming years’ service charges, we apply a percentage uplift to the previous years’ service charge amount. A breakdown of the estimated charges is included in your annual invoice which is sent to all leaseholders in March.

After the end of the financial year, once all invoices for the previous year have come in and been settled, we can then calculate the exact service charge cost to you for the previous year.  You will receive a letter comparing the estimated charge with the actual charge. This will confirm any adjustments which need to be made, together with an itemised repairs list (if any repairs have been carried out to your block). These letters are sent out as soon as we have collated all the information, which is usually around September. Credits/debits relating to the adjustments are applied to your service charge account at the end of the financial year and will be included in your annual direct debit adjustment in April. If you do not pay by direct debit, you may need to speak to the Income Team in April to ensure your payments cover any adjustments made.

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How and when to pay service charges?

According to your lease, your service charges are due quarterly in advance, but in practice most leaseholders prefer to make twelve equal monthly payments by direct debit over the year. We can accept monthly and quarterly direct debits, and these can be set up over the phone with the Income Team. Contact the Income Team for more information about paying your charges or see our "Ways to pay" page for more information.

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Information about your Estimated Invoice and Annual Statement

Each year in March, we will send your Annual Estimated Service Charge Invoice and any Major Works Invoices to the most up to date contact address we hold for you. If we do not have a separate contact address for you, the invoices will be sent to the property address.

The Annual Statement is sent in September/October each year. This details the individual cost of providing the services you are liable to pay as the leaseholder, according to the terms of your lease, over the previous financial year.  It will also include a breakdown of any responsive repairs made to the block.

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Contact Us

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Rebecca Evans,
Leasehold Services Officer

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01202 118488
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