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Questions answered - leasehold service charges

Questions answered - leasehold service charges

For all leaseholders, you will now have received your service charge estimates for 2021/22. Since then, we have had a few enquiries about both the Management and Health & Safety fees, so we thought we would provide some more details about how we set these charges below.

 

Management Fees

Last year Management Fees were increased for all leaseholders. For some leaseholders, this increase was staggered for 2020/21 so that it was a gradual change, but all leaseholders are now being charged the full amount for 2021/22. 

But why have management fees increased?

Although you pay a service charge, the management fee helps to cover the cost for coordinating all our other services. For example, where you pay building insurance - this only covers the cost of the policy/premium charged by the insurance company. Members of our team have to set up the policy, manage it, and process any claims against the policy - so the management fee helps to pay the ‘hidden’ admin work behind it that you might not see. The reason this cost has increased is because every year things tend to cost a bit more - inflation, materials going up in price, market prices going up etc. This means it costs us more to deliver the same services, which is why charges typically go up as well. We didn't change our management fee for a few years, but this meant we weren't covering our costs and it wasn't sustainable for us to keep doing this.

 

Health and Safety (FRAs)

Your 'health and safety charge' mainly covers the periodic fire risk assessment for your block (typically annual). In the past our internal specialists would have covered this, which kept costs down. However, there has been a lot of research, investigation, and new regulation around fire safety in recent years. We wanted to make sure our approach was as robust as possible, so we have brought in fire safety experts to do more detailed assessments ( many blocks have had very in depth surveys called 'Type 4' fire risk assessments).
Safety is our main priority, which is why we have increased this service. The Government has also been clear that landlords should be doing more in this area.

 

Click here for more information about how leasehold charges work.

 

Covid discount

You won’t see any COVID discount in your letter at this time. This is because final accounts for leaseholders come out in September, after the financial year has ended and we’ve calculated the actual costs for that year. You’ll find out how COVID has affected your charges at that point.

 

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