We are always happy to explain what your estimated service charges are for.
When you purchased your home (be it an apartment, coach house or freehold house) you contracted to contribute to a share of the costs of the maintenance and management of communal facilities that are not maintained or adopted by your local Council.
Typically you will have contracted to pay the estimated maintenance and management costs for the forthcoming year in one lump sum at the beginning of the year to ensure that there are enough funds to settle the costs of maintaining your estate/property as they arise.
Such costs may include depending on your apartment or estate:
- Cleaning – Of internal corridors and communal windows
- Grounds Maintenance – Maintaining of the green areas, courtyards and unadopted roads.
- Insurance – For communal apartment buildings, unadopted roads, green spaces. etc.
- Repairs – Running repairs as they arise.
- Planned Service Maintenance – To mechanical and electrical installations and equipment such as pumps, gates and lifts.
- Audits – Independent Health and safety inspections and accounting audits.
- Reserve funds – Contributing to the funds for cyclical expenditure such as communal hallways and buildings redecorations, mechanical equipment replacement, roof replacements, etc.
But I live in a freehold house, so why am I paying?
Many modern estates have shared courtyards, access roads, fresh water pumps exclusively serving their properties and communal open space areas that are not adopted by the local authorities.
In these cases, all or most of the homes on the estate will share the costs of maintaining and managing these areas. When you purchased your freehold house, your obligations to contribute to these were laid down in your Freehold property deed and your conveyancer would/should have explained about this as part of your property purchase.
Read more about Estate Charges in our recent blog post here