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Leaseholder Service Charges
Leaseholders are required to pay an annual service charge to Brentwood Borough Council, the landlord. Brentwood Borough Council has recently adopted a new Service Charge Strategy and Service Charge Policy. The policy provides a detailed framework relating to service charging.
What do Leaseholders pay service charges for?
Brentwood Borough Council as landlord, provides services which include, but are not limited to; external repairs, improvements, communal heating, lighting, cleaning, external re-decoration and major works as required to it's leasehold properties.
Block leaseholder service charges
These are day-to-day costs of repairs and maintenance to the communal parts of your block as shown in your lease agreement such as roof repairs, guttering, structural and lighting.
Brentwood Borough Council are not responsible for repairs and maintenance inside your property. However, we will carry out emergency repairs to prevent a problem in a leasehold property causing either a nuisance to other people or damage to the structure of the block and this work will be recharged to the leaseholder and not the block.
All of our repairs are subject to an administration charge to cover the cost involved in raising the repair, managing the contractors and premise/office expenses.
This is the cost of any major works carried out to the block. If any major repair amounts to more than £250 per unit, then consultation has to be carried out under Section 20 of the Commonhold & Leasehold Reform Act 2002.
Below is a summary of the actions in consultation for major works;
- Send a notice of intention
- Allow 30 days for observations and nominations of a contractor
- Obtain estimate
- Issue a "Paragraph (B)" statement setting out estimated costs and summary/responses to any observations made
- Serve a Notice specifying where the estimates may be inspected and inviting observations
- Allow 30 days for observations on estimates
- Enter into major works contract
- Serve notice of reasons and summary/responses to any observations to all Leaseholders and RTAs within 21 days of entering into agreement.
This is the cost of redecorating the exterior/stairwells of the block and is subject to the above consultation if the cost per unit is more than £250. The cost of redecoration can be taken out of a reserve account. External painting is carried out under the terms of the lease, this means within a reasonable period or a minimum of every 5 years.
This is the cost of cleaning the internal stairwells of the block, and generally consists of a weekly sweep down and a monthly wash down and rotation of the bins if applicable. Monitoring the standard of cleaning is the responsibility of the Housing Officers, and any queries in regards to this should be directed to the appropriate Housing Officer. Please note, not all blocks receive cleaning.
This is the electricity costs for lighting the stairwells/estate signed for in your lease and a quarterly charge for scouting (checking for faults) and light fitment cleaning. This category does not include lighting for adopted public roads which run through estates as this cost is met from Council Tax.
This is the cost for maintaining the grounds around your block such as trees/shrubbery pruning, grass cutting and weeding.
Individual Leaseholder service charges
As required under most of our leases, we are required to insure the block in which you live and your proportion is based against the sum insured.
This only applies to our blocks that have communal heating with a boiler room and this charge is a proportion of the energy costs.
How to pay Service Charges
We recommend that leaseholders pay their annual service charges by direct debit so you know how much you need to pay every month.
In September each year, every Leaseholder will receive a statement of the actual cost of service charges for the previous year, and estimates for the forthcoming year are issued in March of each year.
Invoices for service charges are issued annually.
You can pay your service charges by any of the following methods;
- Direct debit
- Payment on-line
- 24 hour payment phone line
- Credit/Debit card
- Post Office or Paypoint
- By visiting the Town Hall (card payment only)
If you are a Leaseholder who is experiencing difficulty paying service charges then please contact the Housing team to discuss payment arrangements. Please remember, if you are struggling to pay it is essential that you contact the Housing team otherwise further action may be taken against you .
If you are of a pensionable age you may contact the Pensions Service on 0845 6060265 for advice. If you qualify for help they may be able to pay part or all of your service charge.
If you are under pensionable age and on income support you may contact the Department for work and pensions on 0845 6088575. If you qualify for help they may be able to pay part or all of your service charge.