New weekly service charges from 7th April 2008
Estate Cleaning -------------- £4.26
Grounds Maintenance ---------- £1.00
Estate/Common Area Lighting -- £0.89
Door Entry ------------------- £1.04
Thames Water ----------------- £3.87
Total ----------------------- £11.06
Is it the same for Southwark blocks like for all private blocks that there should be a management company which is responsible for maintaing these properties and as such leaseholders should be able to participate in the management and thefore check the costs through this avenue?
I think you've confused people by mixing up the 'service charge' element of a tenants rent (hence weekly) with the service charges that leaseholders have to pay.
Most people in Southwark are paying £1000-£2000 a year. If you're in a block with lifts in, expect to pay more, if you're in a block with district heating - then you'll pay the heating charges. If you've had improvements to your estate (not major works, but bits and pieces) then these will all go on the bill.
The way it works is that the Landlord and Tenant act 1985 (as amended) say that leaseholders have to pay their share of the services that are delivered to their block & on their estate.
The reason service charges keep going up and up is that Southwark used to be very poor at splitting up the costs of running estates - so couldn't charge leaseholders their share. So you've been lucky (and effectively subsidised) in the past and now things are catching up.
@JohnKearney - you can challenge the costs through Southwark's Home Ownership Unit (in Larcom Street), who sends the bills out. You can challenge the actual bills (remember you'll get these about 12-24 months after the period they refer to)if there were problems with the service you were getting AT THAT TIME (ie you have to show the cleaning was awful 2 years ago, not that its bad now). The best way to make sure you get your money back is to show you complained at the time.
@Flipper & @JohnBoy - if you're not getting cleaning (or gardening or the like) then you can challenge them on the cleaning costs. If they're not repairing things then if you ask for them repaired, that should be MORE costs on your bill when it comes through. That's life.
@Tizzy - it depends on exactly what you're having done on the Neckinger, and how long you've been in your flat, but expect a bill in 5 figures. The council probably have an idea - ask them if you want the bad news now.
The good news is that you don't have to pay a the money for major works in just one year - unlike the normal service charges. As they say on the adverts 'payment terms are available' - again Home Ownership Unit in Larcom Street should be able to advice.
Thanks JPM. I just called the Homeowner Unit to ask them if they have a rough idea of costs and schedule. I got 'no idea' to both questions. A case of how long is a piece of string...
I suspect that it will be around the 5 figures mark too - it seems like they are planning an a lot of cosmetic work similar to the Arnold Estate years back. Not necessary a bad thing in terms of giving a tired estate a facelift, but am very concerned about how I am going to be able to afford to pay it all.
So glad there is some support and a place like this forum we can all go to.
Tizzy are you on the Neckinger , did you not receive our flyer we posted in all the flats , there are a few of us fighting this and we are makeing good progress, well we think we are you if like you can join the gang the more the merrier on the estate to help fight this