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Service charges

What are service charges?

Some Melin residents will pay a service charge in addition to their rent. The service charge covers things such as the cleaning of communal areas, maintenance of lighting and security systems, and upkeep of communal outdoor areas.

Residents who live in a sheltered housing scheme or in extra care properties will also pay towards the cost of their Scheme Manager or Independent Living Co-ordinator.

Melin Homes does not make a profit from service charges.

An illustration of a window being washed

Where you can find info about your service charges

Service charges and how they are calculated are detailed in your tenancy agreement when you become a Melin resident. All of our service charges are known as variable charges so the cost may change from year to year. As actual costs may vary year on year, so too may your service charge.

Every September, Melin will produce a service charge statement which will detail your service charges for the coming year. This will be made available on your online account.

Will Housing Benefit or Universal Credit cover the costs of your service charges?

There are some service charges that will be covered by Housing Benefit or Universal Credit these are known as eligible charges.

Housing Benefit

For a service charge to be eligible the Council must consider that they are necessary for you to be able to live in your home and that they are not too expensive.

Costs that are generally considered eligible include the cost of a scheme manager, communal cleaning, communal lighting and grounds maintenance. Your local Council Housing Benefit Team will be able to give you specific advice on what is eligible and what is not.

Universal Credit

For a service charge to be eligible the Department of Work and Pensions will assess which costs are eligible. You can speak to your work coach for more information.

What is a sinking fund?

Some large and expensive items, such as a lift or door security system, need to be replaced from time to time. We know that people can’t just find a large amount of money to pay towards the cost of these major works at short notice.

If you live in a leased property we may make a small regular charge and put these funds into an interest receiving account until the funds are needed. We call this a sinking fund. If you pay into a sinking fund you will receive a statement explaining how much money we have collected, what interest has been earned and details of any money spent.

If you are a tenant, major repairs will be funded by Melin and you will not have sinking fund on your annual statement.

What is a management company cost?

On some of our newer estates, the company that developed the site, from which we bought your home, provide services to the whole estate through a management company.

These services often include grass cutting, road maintenance or street lighting costs. We will receive a bill from the management company appointed by the developer, and we will in turn split these costs amongst our residents who benefit from the charge.

This would also apply to those who live in one of our Homebuy properties where we retain a financial interest in the property.

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Can’t pay rent?

If you are struggling to pay your rent and service charges please find out how we can help. Don’t bury your head in the sand! Speak to one of our friendly advisors

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