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Service charges for homeowners

What are service charges?

A service charge is a payment made by a resident towards the cost of services provided outside their property. The cost of this service is split between all residents.

For example, service charges include items such as repair and maintenance works, insurance, lighting to private parking courts etc. If you live at a scheme with communal open space, the cost of cutting the grass and litter picking is covered by this service charge. In sheltered housing, most of the cost of providing the Scheme Manager service is paid for by residents via the service charge.

Other common charges are for heating, cleaning and lighting in communal corridors, servicing and repairing a lift in a block of flats and maintaining a secure door entry system.

We also charge a management fee on top of most service charges. This fee is to cover our costs in sourcing contractors to undertake the work needed and in managing the contractors who undertake the work for us.

These charges are known as ‘variable service charges’ because they depend on the costs involved. We do not make a profit from service charges. By law we must provide you with certain information relating to service charges and we must send you a ‘summary of rights and obligations’ in relation to service charges with your bill.

How to pay your service charge

We prefer you to pay by Direct Debit or standing order.

If you have difficulty in paying or need a payment swipe card you should contact Melin’s Finance team immediately on 01495 745910.

If you refuse or fail to pay your service charges

Falling into arrears with your service charges will put you in breach of your agreement with us.

If you do not pay your service charges, we will send you a reminder letter. If you still do not pay, we will send you a final reminder. If you still do not pay and we do not hear from you, we will take legal action to recover the debt.

We will try to resolve any disputes with you but if you are still not happy you can apply to a Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to assess if the level of service charges is reasonable or not.