Homeowners' service charges
Your service charge is the payment you make towards the costs of providing services and maintaining your block and estate. These services depend on where you live, but may include looking after the communal areas, communal lighting, caretaking and cleaning, repairs and improvements, lift maintenance, heating and hot water and gardening.
It also includes a management charge - your share of the costs of providing the service to homeowners - and building insurance. It is separate from any ground rent you pay. The amount you pay is set out in your lease and is based on the size of your property.
You receive two service charge bills each year:
- at the start of each year we send you your estimate of the charges we expect to pay, based on the actual costs of services in the previous year, plus inflation
- at the end of the financial year, we work out the final costs of those services and send you your actual bill. If this is higher than the estimate, you will be asked to pay the difference. If the estimate was higher, we will give you the difference, or use the money to clear any arrears you may have.
We aim to ensure that you get plenty of notice of likely bills. If we plan to spend over £250 on a single repair on the estate we will write to you before it is carried out and if any service contract will cost you £100 a year or more, we will write and let you know.
You must pay both the estimate and the actual bills. The actual bill must be paid as a lump sum whereas the estimate can either be paid as a lump sum or in 12 monthly instalments. There are a variety of ways to pay.
Peabody must ensure that both the charges and the services and work carried out are reasonable. With every demand we issue a document entitled your rights and responsibility which sets out ways that you can query your bill. If you do not pay you are in breach of your lease and could lose your home.