The covenants of your freehold transfer require you to pay your share of Hastoe’s costs for providing services on your estate, including maintaining and repairing external communal areas and communal facilities, such as parking areas, communal grass areas, communal fences etc.
Your service charge is made up of the costs for the services Hastoe provides on your estate, referred to as estate charges.
The estate charges are apportioned equally between all of the properties on the estate.
The freeholder charges covers all charges for the common parts of the estate. The charge is divided equally between all homes on the estate, whether rented or owned.
Estate charges cover items like:
- Maintenance, repair and care of communal areas and facilities
- Maintenance and repair of roads and footpaths for which Hastoe has responsibility
- Estate staff
- Gardening, including tools and equipment, tree work, skip hire and pest control
- Light and power to communal areas
- Repairs and maintenance - both minor and major – on the estate.
Management, audit and an accountancy charge: This fee is to cover the costs of providing the management service to you.
An administration charge is an amount which is payable when a freeholder requests a particular service or when we have to carry out additional work because a covenant has been breached. This is in addition to the management charge and is applicable:
- For or in connection with the provision of information or documents
- In respect of your failure to make any payment due under the covenant
- In connection with a breach of covenant
Accounting for the service charge
We estimate in advance the charges we think we need to make in each financial year (1 April to 31 March) in order to cover expenditure. These figures are based on what we have spent in the past and projected known expenditure. They represent our best estimate of the costs of services and repairs. We aim to notify you of these projected charges early in March, before the new debit comes into effect from 1 April. This is to give you sufficient notice to make changes to your payments.
Access to service charge information
You may request to see the accounts, receipts and other documents that help us put together the service charge summary. We will make this information available for inspection electronically, or at our office at Hampton Wick, Surrey. If you wish to see the accounts, you must write to us within six months of receiving the summary of costs. We will provide access facilities within one month and keep them available for two months. We do not make a charge for you to inspect the documents, but will make a reasonable charge if you want us to provide you with any photocopies. We may treat our costs for making facilities available as a management cost, and will consider this when reviewing the management, audit and accountancy fee, which all owners have to pay.
Paying your service charge
When you buy your property, we will write to you setting out you how much you need to pay. Your rent and service charges are due on the first of each month, in advance. We would recommend that residents pay their charges via Direct Debit. Direct Debit is a safe, easy and reliable way of making regular payments. For guidance on how to set up a Direct Debit, or on other ways to pay, please visit our Make a payment page.
What to do if you can’t pay your charges
If you fail to pay your service charges, Hastoe could apply to the county court to obtain a judgement for the debt. It is very important that you contact us straight away if you are experiencing financial difficulties, so that we can jointly agree the best way forward.