Leaseholder Service Charges
Leaseholders must pay an annual service charge to Basildon Council which, as the landlord, must provide for services such as external repairs and redecoration to the block
What do leaseholders pay service charges for?
Basildon Council, in its capacity as landlord, is obliged to provide you, the leaseholder, with certain services and to charge you for any services that apply to your property and estate.
The following gives an explanation of what is included in service charges and how charges are allocated.
Block leaseholder service charges
These are the day-to-day maintenance and repair costs to the communal parts of your block as, shown in your lease agreement, such as roof repairs, guttering, structural and lighting.
Basildon Council is not responsible for repairs or maintenance inside your flat, with the exception of communal pipe work, such as the soil stack or the door entry intercom system. However Basildon Council will carry out emergency work 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 individual leaseholder and not the block.
All our repairs are subject to an administration charge to cover the costs involved in raising the repair, managing the contractors and premises/office expenses.
This is for 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 involved in consultation for major works
- Send a notice of intention
- Allow 30 days for observations and nominations of a Contractor if applicable
- Obtain Estimates
- Issue a "Paragraph (B)" statement setting out estimated costs and summary/responses to any observations made; and
- 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.
- The cost of the major worked can be taken from the Reserve Account, providing the funds are available.
This is the cost for 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 ( see Individual Costs for a reserve account explanation ). External painting is carried out under the terms of the lease, this means within a reasonable period or a minimum of every five years.
This is the cost of cleaning the internal stairwells and landings of the block and generally consists of a weekly sweep down, a monthly wash down and rotation of the paladin bins if applicable. Monitoring the standard of cleaning is the responsibility of the Tenancy and Estate Management team and any queries in regards to this should be directed to the Home Ownership team, who will liaise with the cleaning officer. Please note that 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 the estates as this cost is met from Council Tax.
This is the cost for maintaining the grounds around your block such as tree/shrubbery pruning, grass cutting and weeding.
Individual leaseholder service charges
As required under most of our leases, Basildon Council insures the block in which you live and your proportion is based against the sum insured.
Basildon Council regularly tests the market to ensure that the insurance costs are competitive but if you wish to discuss your insurance details, then please contact our Insurance Section on 01268 533333.
This only applies to our blocks that have communal heating with a boiler room and this charge is a proportion of the energy costs.
This works in the same way as a bank account and is paid into yearly to cover the full cost, or contribute to the cost, of any major repairs or redecoration. Interest is paid on all reserve accounts. Please note that reserve accounts remain with the property and not the leaseholder so you must ensure that any money in the reserve account is negotiated at the time of sale.
Administration Charge or Management Charge
This cost relates to leaseholders and includes general costs such as premises, salaries and office expenses and also for sending out service charge bills and dealing with leaseholder enquiries.
Any items not relevant to leaseholders are excluded. The total cost is divided by the number of leaseholders to calculate the yearly administration charge.
A breakdown can be obtained from our Home Ownership team, please see contact details below.
This is a standard £10 charge for all leaseholders and is payment for the rent of the land on which the block is situated.
Amount not recoverable
This category is where there is an amount we can charge to the block, but not to an individual leaseholder. For more information contact the Home Ownership Team, see contact details below.
Less invoices raised on account
This is the estimated invoice raised, which is then offset against the actual amount. This leaves an end of year adjustment of either a credit or a debit.
Service Charge Statements
Basildon Council sends an annual Service Charge Statement to all leaseholders in July each year.
This statement includes the actual service charges for the previous year and an estimate of service charges for the current year. Any debit or credit will be adjusted to the leaseholders account and spread over the year.