Understanding your service charges

Your service charge is the money you pay towards the day-to-day running costs of the development, estate or property where you live. We explain how the different types of charges and how these are calculated. 

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Your service charge will be variable or fixed. Your tenancy agreement or lease will tell you on what basis you pay your charges. Many customers will pay a fixed or a variable charge. Most shared owners or home owners will pay a variable charge.

Fixed charges
Fixed charges are based on how much we estimate the services will cost and the amount you pay will not change during the service charge year, regardless of any over or under spend by DCH. Before the charges are set, we compare them with what we have spent the previous year to make sure they are as accurate as possible.

Variable service charges
Variable service charges are based upon an estimate at the start of the year and we send you a statement of actual costs within six months of the end of your service charge year, which will vary depending on your agreement. Your statement will show whether there are any surpluses to be refunded or any deficits to be collected.

How we calculate service charges
The total cost of services provided will normally be divided equally between the number of units in the scheme or on the estate. We calculate service charges over a 12 month period. However your service charge year end may vary depending on where you live. The service charge cycle is normally shown on your statement.

The amount you pay will depend on the services you receive and may include:

cleaning of communal areas

communal grounds maintenance

utility costs for communal areas including lighting

communal repairs

lift maintenance

door entry systems

fire safety equipment

caretaking.

Your service charge may also include an administration fee to cover the costs of supervising work associated with the above, working out service charge expenditure and collection of charges.

In addition, you may also contribute to a sinking fund, which is a long-term savings account built up to pay for major works or replacement equipment. If you contribute towards a sinking fund, this will be shown on your statement. Alternatively, you may pay towards depreciation of replacement equipment.

Some estates and properties may have services delivered by a separate management company who will charge DCH direct. In these cases we will then send you an invoice to cover the cost of these services.

Click here to find out how to make a service charge payment. 

If you have any questions about your service charge payments, contact your local team.