Some of our tenants receive a Service Charge in addition to paying their rent. Service Charges are costs that we pass on for extra services we provide such as stair cleaning, warden costs or factoring services, and so on.
What we charge the tenant depends entirely on what the contractors charge us for providing these services. We take the cost, e.g. the cost of electricity for a stair, or the annual sprinkler system maintenance, and divide it up by the tenants who benefit from the service. So, if there are six homes in a communal stair, the costs associated with keeping that stair clean are divided between the six homes.
Costs can go up or they can come down if we can find a cheaper way of providing services. Because of this, and because Service Charges only apply to some of our homes, they are not considered as part of any rent increase consultation that we carry out.