How are charges calculated?
The amount of service charges you pay depends
on the gross value of your flat. The District Valuer’s Office
calculates gross values based on the property’s market value, floor
area, age and condition. The gross value of a block or an estate is
the total of the gross values of all the flats in the block, or on
the estate. For example, if a block has six flats in it and each
flat has a gross value of £300, the gross value for the block will
be £1,800 (6 x £300). The same rule applies to the estate.
If your service charge is different from your
neighbour’s charge, it could be because your flat is larger or
smaller, older or newer, and so has a higher or lower gross value.
There may also be differences caused by the age and type of a
We charge a management fee to cover all
administration costs of working out charges, managing accounts,
dealing with enquiries, supervising services and so on.
The management fee is charged in two parts, a
fixed fee and a percentage fee. The fixed fee covers the
leasehold-related costs of the Homeownership Team such as
calculating service charges, producing annual Estimates and
Schedules of Service Charges, issuing invoices, dealing with
queries, issuing Ground Rent Notices, payment reminders, producing
newsletters, office overheads and so on.
The percentage fee is added to the cost of
services such as caretaking, repairs and grounds maintenance to
cover the cost of managing those services.
We include a separate administration charge in
the cost of any major work we carry out. This charge includes the
costs of paying consultants and surveyors, the costs of
consultation meetings, newsletters, office overheads and so on.
The buildings insurance policy covers your
flat and the block it is in. The buildings insurance policy does
not cover your furniture or personal belongings. We strongly advise
you to buy contents insurance to cover your furniture and personal
If you rent out your property it may affect
your buildings insurance, this is because your premium is normally
based on the fact that you are living in the flat.
Charges for your estate
These charges are for the shared areas of your
estate. Your estate is described in the 1st schedule of your lease
and shown on your lease plan. These charges do not include work
carried out to public paths and roads (rather than estate roads
managed by Waltham Forest Housing) which run through the
Grounds maintenance charges include the costs
of weeding hard surface areas, cutting grass and pruning shrubs and
rose bushes. The Grounds Maintenance team are required to keep the
grounds to an agreed standard and will normally visit each block
and estate according to a planned schedule. The schedule may
occasionally change, depending on the weather.
Day-to-day repairs to the estate are charges
which include work carried out to any part of the estate that is
not part of a block. For example; roads, paths, car park and garage
areas, pram sheds, store cupboards and fences on the estate. We do
not charge you for repairs carried out to garages.
Communal electricity may be charged as an
estate cost if lamp columns on estate roads are linked to
Charges for your block
Caretaking and cleaning charges include the
cost of the caretaking service, as well as any associated services
such as bulk refuse clearance and chute cleaning (see below). We
provide two types of caretaking service, the resident caretaking
service and the mobile caretaking service.
The charge for a resident caretaker includes
the costs of wages, accommodation allowances, a uniform, tools and
equipment. Resident caretakers live in one of the blocks they look
after, so may not live in the same block as you. The charge for
mobile caretakers does not include any costs for accommodation but
does include the costs of transport, uniform, equipment and wages.
We work out the charges based on the average amount of time the
caretaker(s) spend at your block each week.
The caretaker’s main tasks are:
- Checking that shared lighting is working properly and changing
bulbs and time clocks
- Clearing litter
- Reporting repairs
- Sweeping shared entrances to blocks
- Cleaning the inside surfaces of shared windows.
You will normally only be charged for either
the resident caretaking service or the mobile caretaking service.
However, if we have to change the way we provide a caretaking
service to your block during the year, you may be charged part-year
costs for both services.
Building cleaning charges cover the costs of
cleaning shared areas such as staircases, corridors and balconies.
Building cleaners are also responsible for removing graffiti and
polishing the floors in shared areas. Service charges are based on
the amount that we are charged for each site by the council’s
Portfolio Management Services team who carry out the work.
Communal electricity charges are for the
lights in shared areas, controlled-entry systems, lifts and any
shared aerial systems. Charges are based on electricity bills we
pay on the relevant electricity meters. On some estates where lamp
columns are linked to block electricity meters, communal
electricity may be charged as an ‘estate’ cost instead of a ‘block’
Day-to-day repairs to the block charges,
include work to shared parts of the block such as the roof, shared
staircases, window frames and drains. Any repair and maintenance
costs we charge to a block are only for that block, not for the
Lift repairs and maintenance charges include
the cost of the yearly maintenance contract as well as the cost of
any new parts and so on. Sometimes these costs may not be shown
separately from day- to-day repairs. Entryphone repairs and
maintenance charges include the cost of repairs, renewing parts and
maintaining all parts of controlled-entry systems including video
cameras. Sometimes these costs may not be shown separately from
Porter or Concierge costs include wages,
equipment, a uniform and telephone charges.
Charges for your flat
We are not responsible for carrying out day-to-day repairs and
maintenance on the inside of leased flats, unless they affect
pipes, drains and so on which also serve other flats in the
For example, if you have a leaking toilet in
your flat or you need a broken window to be boarded up and you ask
us to help, we will charge you for doing the work. Before we will
agree to carry out the work you will be asked to sign a form saying
that you agree to pay for it. We may include the charge in your
service charges, or we may send you a separate bill.
Either way, you will also have to pay VAT and
an administration charge. If the damage was caused by an accident
or vandalism, you may be able to claim for some of these costs
under your insurance policy.
If you need a repair carried out inside your flat, one of our
contract partners may be able to help. Contact Waltham Forest
Housing on 0208 496 4197
In some cases we may have to carry out some
work inside your flat. You must give us access to enable us to do
this. We may include a charge for the work in your service charges
or we may send you a separate bill.
Communal heating and heating-maintenance
contract charges cover the cost of fuel
and maintaining boilers for flats with shared heating systems.
Charges for major works
We charge you for major repairs and
improvements we carry out as part of our maintenance
We plan meetings to consult you about this
work, starting at an early stage of the design process. At the
meetings, surveyors’ will explain the planned work. You will be
able to ask questions, give your views and make suggestions. When a
new scheme has been fully designed, we will send you a Notice of
Intention, telling you about the work we plan to do.
If the work is to be carried out by one of our
partnering contractors, we will only send you one notice telling
you that we are going to carry out the work. The notice will give
you a cost estimate and give you 30 days to write to us with your
comments. Although we take your views in to account, we cannot
always act on them.
Please email the Homeownership team
for your major works invoice enquires.
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