What is a service charge?
A service charge is a payment that is made towards the cost of North Devon Homes providing and maintaining communal services where you live.
We work out service charges according to the number of properties that benefit from receiving those services.
How do we calculate your service charges?
The service charge is based on an estimate of the costs of providing each individual service for the coming year. We may then need to adjust this estimate to take into account any difference that has arisen from previous year’s charges.
What is included in a Service Charge?
The items that are covered by a service charge will vary depending upon the property in which you live. You may not have a charge for some of the services. Outlined below are the Service Charge descriptions and an explanation of what is included:
Communal Electric - Lighting of communal areas, internal and external, plus the costs of running any other communal appliances, for example washing machines at some sheltered sites.
Communal Heating - Heating of communal areas, for example hallways and common rooms.
Communal Water – Supply of water to communal areas, for example laundries, common rooms and outside taps.
Communal Cleaning - Cleaning of communal areas and bins; this could be inside and/or outside and includes contract cleaning, cleaning materials and pest control. Cleaning charges are reduced by any income generated from the hire of communal facilities.
Estate Management Services - Including but not limited to car parking permits, skips, abandoned vehicles and general caretaking duties.
Grounds Maintenance – Includes: grass cutting, hedge cutting, maintenance of shrub beds, weed spraying, play areas, tree works, litter picking and contract monitoring.
Door Entry System – Upkeep and maintenance of a door entry system or phone.
Fire Alarms, Equipment and Emergency Lighting - The maintenance of fire alarm and emergency lighting systems and the periodic testing, repair and replacement of fire fighting equipment. This includes fire extinguishers, hose reels and sprinkler systems and contract monitoring.
Laundry – Any costs relating to communal laundry facilities.
Lift Maintenance – Provision, maintenance and servicing of any lifts.
Communal Aerial - Provision and maintenance of communal TV aerial system.
Sheltered Housing Management Support – Housing management activity delivered by on-scheme support staff.
Alarm (Hardwired) – Upkeep and maintenance of a hardwired alarm system.
Individual Electric – Supply of electricity to individual properties which are not separately metered, but connected to a communal system.
Individual Heating – Supply of gas to individual properties which are not separately metered, but connected to a communal system.
Boiler Biomass – Costs related to the running of a biomass boiler.
Septic Tank - Regular emptying of septic tanks in rural areas, with no mains drainage system.
Capital Equipment Cost – General wear and tear of communal equipment, for example lifts and washing machines.
Management Fee - We charge a fee to cover the management of the service charges.
What happens to any surpluses or deficits that are showing on the statement?
The statement shows the amount we estimated was collectable as a service charge for the 2016/2017 financial year, compared to the amount that the services actually cost us. Any difference will result in an under or over recovery of costs, called a surplus or a deficit.
Any surpluses or deficits showing on the statement will be adjusted for when we set the service charge estimates for 2018/2019.
Your tenancy agreement shows the services that you are required to pay for. The total makes up the total service charge due in addition to your rent.
If you dispute any of the charges you should contact us in the first instance. If we are unable to reach agreement over the amounts we charge you, you can apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to hear your case. You have a right to inspect any invoices relating to the statement period.