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A service charge is an amount of money you pay to cover the cost of extra services provided for your home or property. This can include things such as communal cleaning, grounds maintenance, door entry, communal electricity and fire safety. You will receive information about these charges once a year in a letter with your rent notice.

 

The amount you pay should be fair and reasonable, and the services provided should be of a good standard.

Useful contacts:

  • Joanne Thomas, Estates Manager
    Talk to me about estate services such as cleaning, grounds maintenance, fly tipping, waste, pest issues.
    07812 771 270 sc@ccha.org.uk

 

Your Service Charges Explained

The amount you pay weekly is made up of two charges:

  • your rent
  • your service charge (where applicable)

These amounts are taken as one payment.

The service charges you pay depend on where you live. Each year we look at how much we expect to spend on providing services to your block and/or estate. We charge what is known as a ‘variable service charge’. This charge is set at the start of the year and if anything changes we will contact you before making any changes.

Once we have determined the full cost of the service, we then look at who benefits from this service and share the costs.  For example the cost to provide a cleaning service to a block of flats would be shared equally between all properties in that block.

We regularly review our service costs to ensure that they deliver value for money, and that our charges remain as accurate as possible.

Admin charge  

This is the cost for administration of service charges. No admin fee is charged on depreciation.

 

CCTV  

This covers the servicing and repairs of the CCTV systems covering communal areas.

 

Cleaning  

This is the cost for cleaning in some communal areas

 

Communal repairs  

This covers the cost of repairs to communal areas eg communal lounges, hallways and gardens

 

Concierge  

This is the cost of an on-site concierge ***

 

Depreciation service charge items  

Depreciation is a method used to recover high value service costs over the assessed life of an item. By charging depreciation we spread the cost annually to make these services more affordable.

 

Electricity  (communal)

 

 

This is the cost of providing electricity for items in communal areas. For example the lighting of hallways & communal lounges, fire alarms & lifts. It also includes electric for streetlights that CCHA are responsible for

 

Fire alarm/ detection equipment  

This covers the cost of annual servicing, regular testing and maintenance of the system. This also includes dry risers, automatic ventilation systems and emergency lighting.

 

 

Gate/electronic entry system maintenance

 

This is the cost of service and maintenance of gates, shutters and power assisted doors.

 

Ground maintenance

 

 

This is the cost to maintain external communal areas on your estate that we are responsible for. This cost does not include the maintenance of your own enclosed front or rear gardens unless your garden is a communal area such as a block of flats.

 

Laundry room costs  

This is the cost of servicing and repairing equipment such as communal washing machines or dryers.

 

Door Entry system  

This is the cost of servicing and repairing communal door entry systems such as fob entry or intercoms.

 

Lifts  

This is the cost of servicing and maintaining the communal lift at your scheme/block of flats.

 

Pest control  

This is the cost for managing pests on your estate. This does not cover individual properties. If you have an issue with pests in your home please contact Cardiff Pest Control on 02920 872 934.  You will be responsible for covering the cost of treatments to your individual home.

 

Refuse collection/bin hire  

This covers cost for specialised waste collection requirements

*St Mary Street properties only*

 

Telephone line rental  

This is the cost of phone line / sim card used on alarm based systems such as lifts and fire alarms.

 

TV aerial  

This is the cost of providing and maintaining a shared TV aerial on your estate, scheme or block of flats

 

TV license  

This covers the cost of the tv licence within communal areas

 

Water supply  

This is to cover the cost of water supplied to communal areas, for example to bin store areas, gardens or cleaners cupboards. It includes a standing charges as well as the cost per unit used.

 

Water safety  

This is the cost of testing and regular flushing of the communal water supply, this includes communal taps and any shared water systems in your block. This is a legal requirement and keeps communal water supplies safe.

 

Window cleaning  

This is the cost for cleaning communal windows.

For some sites we also provide residential window cleaning please see your block schedule for details.

 

Grounds maintenance is the cost to maintain external communal areas on your estate that we are responsible for. This cost does not include the maintenance of your own enclosed front or rear gardens unless your garden is a communal area such as a block of flats.

For more information please click here.

Cleaning is provided in some communal areas. The type of work included varies in each block. For example:

  • wiping down surfaces and touch points, including lifts and stair rails
  • mopping or vacuuming floors
  • wiping down entrance doorways, including glass
  • litter picking entrance pathways and parking areas
  • checking bin store areas

For more information please click here.

Pest control covers the management of pests on your estate. This does not cover individual properties. If you have an issue with pests in your home please contact Cardiff Pest Control on 02920 872 934.  You will be responsible for covering the cost of treatments to your individual home.

For more information please click here.

If you are in receipt of Housing Benefit or Universal Credit most service charges will be covered through your benefits.

You are, however, liable to pay for any personal heating or water charges, as these are not covered by Housing Benefit or Universal Credit.

The rent and service charges that you are required to pay will be detailed in your annual rent and service charges notification letter.

If you are in receipt of benefits we will contact your Local Authority and inform them of any increase or decrease in your rent and service charges. If you pay by Direct Debit we will also make the arrangements to increase or decrease your regular payment.

If you pay by alternative means, you should continue to pay your rent/service charges in this way with the new amount.

If you are struggling to pay your rent or need financial support please speak to your Money Solutions officer.

If you do not feel the charge is correct or have any queries about the costs of the services you are receiving please contact either your neighbourhood manager or the customer service team on 02920 468 490 or email sc@ccha.org.uk.

We very much welcome feedback on the services that you are receiving and take every opportunity to improve.  If you do not feel that you are receiving a quality service or have any concerns about the service being received please contact your neighbourhood manager or our Estates Manager, Jo Thomas on 07812 771 270 or email joanne.thomas@ccha.org.uk.

Service charges are payable for estate services as well as those for blocks of flats. For example any communal grass areas or hedges / shrubbery within the estate, communal walkways, litter picking, communal lighting, communal gates or shutters, CCTV are charged to houses that benefit from the estate services.

To ensure service charges are fair, affordable and reasonable for residents; whilst providing a service that residents feel offer value for money and are provided to a high quality.

We will:

  • Undertake service charge reviews on each of your estates and work with you to agree future service delivery in this area
  • Provide services that are value for money
  • Increase the visibility of staff in neighbourhoods and consider sites for neighbourhood-based services
  • Quality check services being provided on our estates
  • Listen to feedback from you and make changes where necessary

We understand that ‘not one size fits all’ when it comes to service charges and we want to work with you to design services that meet the needs of your communities.

So we will:

  • Design and calculate service charges at a community level. This means we will ask you what services you want and co-design these services with you so that they reflect what is needed in different communities;
  • Be clear with you about the parameters of any statutory services we have to provide e.g. health and safety measures;
  • Involve you throughout the tendering process – from developing a specification for a service to selecting and managing contractors to deliver the service;
  • Make sure the service will represent good value for money. This means that the cost will be reasonable and reflective of the service you receive. It will be of excellent quality and deliver great satisfaction;
  • Provide you with clear information regarding service charges at the point of allocation and throughout your tenancy;
  • Be efficient and smart, dealing with your concerns in a timely manner;
  • Only charge you what is reasonable. We will not make money from service charges; we will be clear on any affordability adjustment made;
  • Be open and transparent about how we calculate service charges, providing accurate and clear information;
  • Carry out regular satisfaction surveys on quality of services

Yes! we are keen to hear from you about the services you currently receive or wish to receive and we will work together to tailor services to suit each estate. Please contact your neighbourhood manager to have a chat.