About your service charges

What are service charges?

Any one that lives in an RBH home that has services to maintain communal areas will be charged service charges. Legally they have to be reasonable and could be for cleaning of communal areas, concierges,  caretakers, grounds maintenance, and any other running expenses to the block or neighbourhood.

Leaseholders also pay their share of the costs of managing and maintaining their block or neighbourhood.

You will only be charged if your home benefits from that service. For a full breakdown of your service charges please refer to your tenancy agreement.

We aim to:

  • deliver value for money on your services
  • consult you about any significant changes to your services
  • give you clear information about how your services are managed


What does my service charge cover?

Services vary according to where you live. For example, if you live in a block of flats with a lift you will receive more services than if you live in a low-rise flat which does not have a lift.


How are service charges calculated?

Charges normally change in April and we will give you a month’s notice of any changes.

RBH operates a variable service charges regime. This means tenants will only ever pay the actual cost incurred for a service received. RBH is not allowed to make a profit in addition to the cost of the services.

The charges from April 2019 comprise of two parts:

  • The first is an estimate of how much we think it will cost to provide the services during the coming financial year (April 2019 – March 2020). This estimate is based on spending in previous years, estimating the increase due to inflation, and any increases or decreases in spending that we know about for the coming year.
  • The second part is an adjustment in relation to the difference between the estimated and actual costs for the financial year 2017-18 (April 2017 – March 2018).

If we spent more than estimated there will be a deficit and this will be added to your service charge. If we spent less than estimated there will be a surplus and this will be taken off your service charge.


When do I receive the actual costs?

We will compare the actual cost of services against our original estimates at the end of every financial year. We will send you a certificate in September of each year to give you this information.

Back to the list

What can I do if I do not believe my service charges are reasonable?

If you do not believe that your service charges are reasonable you should contact the RBH Rents and Payments Team in the first instance. If you do not agree with our response, you may want to have your case heard by the First-Tier Tribunal (https://www.gov.uk/housing-tribunals)

The First-Tier Tribunal is an independent agent who will decide whether the service charges are reasonable.

  1. Service Charge FAQ