Service charges are additional costs that some residents pay for things like communal grounds maintenance and door entry systems. We have reviewed our service charge policy using feedback from residents to make it clearer and easier to understand. You can download our service charge policy from the link below.
Some residents will have received a new personalised service charge statement that sets out an itemised list of all the charges that apply to them. Our service charge review continues in 2021 and all residents will receive the new look statements in March 2022.
You can read our Service Charge Policy here.
Why does my service charge change every year?
Each year we assess how much we expect to spend on providing the services to your home. This is based on an estimate of costs and will include inflation. We also regularly review our service costs to ensure that they deliver value for money and that charges remain as accurate as possible. As a result, charges can vary each year. Where this results in an increase, we will ensure that any increase is reasonable.
What’s on my service charge statement?
You will see your services listed and will see a weekly cost against the services you receive.
Why do I pay a different service charge to my neighbour?
Even though you may receive the same services as your neighbour, the terms of your tenancy agreement can sometimes mean you pay a different amount depending on when your tenancy started, or pay over a different frequency depending on where you live or even have a different rent formula that we must follow.
How does Together Housing calculate estimated costs?
Estimated service charge costs are those costs that we are forecasting for the year April 2021 to March 2022. For services like utilities (gas and electric) we will base our estimates on the actual price we have been paying for recent years.
Are my services different this year?
No, the services you receive have not changed. However, we’ve changed some of the headings and provided a short description of charges, so we are clearer about the services you receive.
How does Together Housing know what to charge for estate costs like cleaning services and grounds maintenance?
If the service is provided by our in-house staff, we will know how much this costs to deliver because we pay the wages, the vehicle costs, the materials and this budget is set each year. If the service is provided by an external contractor, they give us set costs for the period of the contract, usually increasing annually in line with inflation.
Why does my service charge statement mention a landlord subsidy and what is this?
We want to make sure our charges are affordable and that any increases are reasonable. For this reason, we’ve put a cap on the total amount of increase any resident will have to pay.
A ‘landlord subsidy’ is where Together Housing is paying some of your service charge costs so that the full increases are not all passed on to you straightaway. If the service charge is higher than the cap we have set, Together Housing will subsidise the remainder of the charge, so you continue to receive the full services. If this applies to you it will be shown on your statement as a ‘landlord subsidy’.
Why do you review service charges every year?
This is to make sure that charges accurately reflect the actual costs of the services provided. This includes any costs that are due to increase in line with inflation. For charges that are to increase, we will “cap” the amount of the total increase for current residents. This is to make sure increases are always fair and reasonable as set out in our policy.
We will inform any residents affected of the amount by which any increases are to be capped when we send the annual rent and service charge letters.
What is the administration charge for?
This is what it costs us to manage and administer service charges, doing things like tendering for works, managing contracts, paying invoices, dealing with customer queries and preparing the statements.
How do I query items on my service charge?
Please contact our Customer Service team to discuss the query. If our team can’t answer your enquiry they will pass onto the appropriate person and get back to you within working 10 days.