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What your charges cover

This page covers how we calculate our charges.

Not all charges on this page will apply to you, but your annual rent will tell you which ones do. Rent and service charges will also be different depending on where you live and what type of tenancy you have.

If you’re not sure, the first thing to do is check your tenancy agreement.

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Affordable rented tenancies

If you have one of these tenancies, your rent will be 80% of how much you would pay if you were renting on the private market.

Your rent also covers any services that we provide – think of it like being “all inclusive” on holiday. You’ll get the same services (depending on which are relevant to your home), but we don’t list them separately as your rent will always be 80% of the market.

Independent Living Schemes

Some charges only apply if you live in one of our Independent Living schemes or get support from this service in your own home. These charges are:

  • Housekeeping – cleaning shared lounges, hallways, landings, etc.
  • Concierge – this charge only applies to a small group of customers at specific schemes.
  • Laundry room – cost of running and maintaining the laundry room.
  • TV license
  • Trigger pendant – you’ll pay for this if you wear a device around your wrist/neck to activate your alarm.

Alarms and engagement services: these charges varies depending on what type of alarm you have – e.g. if it’s hard wired or runs off a SIM card. Sometimes the charge for your engagement service is part of your alarm charge, but for some people this will show as two separate charges.

 

Service charges, explained:

 

 

Your management fee covers the costs involved in coordinating all our other services.

What’s included:

  • Arranging and managing the contracts.
  • Acquiring services – for example, insurance.
  • Checking and paying invoices.
  • Managing queries.
  • Checking the quality of our services – for example, through surveyor visits.
  • Admin costs – mainly in our Housing team, but also some other departments such as Finance.

Caretaking charges cover the cleaning we do in shared areas – usually this is in hallways, stairs, landings, bin areas, etc.

What the charges cover:

  • The caretaking staff we employ
  • Running the caretaking vans / other vehicles
  • Cleaning materials
  • PPE
  • Collecting rubbish

If your flat has a door entry phone or a ‘buzz in’ system, then it’s likely that you’ll have a charge for keeping the system maintained (e.g. regularly servicing or programming). This cost will be split between all neighbours in the block.

Sometimes there might be areas on your estate that are shared between more than one block of flats, so this charge covers any maintenance we do in these areas.

Grounds maintenance charges cover the maintenance we do outside your block, in any shared gardens, grounds or verges.

What the charges covers:

  • The grounds maintenance staff we employ
  • Running the grounds maintenance vans / vehicles
  • Tools and PPE
  • Grass cutting, pruning, weeding, clearing dog waste
  • Our contracts with Borough of Broxbourne Council for grass cutting (in some areas) and forestry

If you live in a block of flats, there can be a charge for servicing any fire equipment. This covers the cost of maintaining safety kit such as:

  • Emergency lighting
  • Automated smoke vents
  • Fire alarms
  • Dry risers

You may not notice it happening, but this equipment is tested regularly – some yearly, others at least four times per year.

The contractor we use to service our fire equipment is SGN. (But please direct any queries to B3Living.)

If you live in a block of flats, your block will also be inspected for fire safety risks every year. They identify any risks and give B3Living recommendations. Though they are related, a fire risk assessment is a separate activity from maintaining fire safety equipment (see above), so these charges are separate.

Our contractor for fire risk assessments is Oakleaf(But please direct any queries to B3Living.)

These charges cover the cost of heating and lighting in shared hallways, stairways, entrances, etc. The lighting charges could also cover the power to any:

  • CCTV
  • Lifts
  • Door entry systems

For some customers, these costs also include the cost of heating inside your flat – but this will show on a separate line to the communal heating.

If there is a lift in your block, it's serviced regularly and repaired if it breaks down.

We also employ a separate specialist consultant to check the work that our lift servicing and maintenance contractor does.

Our charge for lifts covers both services.

From April 2020, our contractor for servicing and maintaining lifts is Summit Elevators.  Their work is monitored by our consultant, Cundalls. (But please direct any queries to B3Living.)

If your home is a flat, it’s likely that you will have access to a shared digital TV aerial. Whether you choose to use the aerial or not, there is a cost for maintaining it and making it available for everyone in your block.

Our TV aerials are maintained by SCCI Alpha track Ltd. (But please direct any queries to B3Living.)

Some B3Living blocks, but not many, have water pumps fitted. Your charge covers the cost of servicing and maintaining these twice per year.

Our contractor for water pump maintenance is Wilo UK. (But please direct any queries to B3Living.)

We also have a small number of homes that also pay a charge directly to us (rather than the supplier) for their water and sewage, but this doesn’t apply to many people.

Our window cleaning charge only covers the cost of cleaning outside, communal windows (e.g. in hallways) above the ground floor. Ground floor windows are cleaned by our caretakers.

Our contractor for window cleaning is Walker Cleaning and Maintenance. (But please direct any queries to B3Living.)