• What is a service charge?

    Service charges are your share of the costs of services provided by us to your block and/or your estate. What you pay for depends on the location of the property and the different services provided to the building you live in. The service charge does not cover any of the costs that relate to services provided only to tenants, such as repairs inside of homes.

    Click here to download a copy of the Service Charge invoice leaflet.
  • How can I pay my service charges?

    Details of our ways to pay are available here

    If you wish to pay in monthly installments by Direct Debit or standing order you will need to contact our income team on (0191) 278 8757 to discuss this.

  • What does my service charge cover?

    The following is a brief description of the service charges on your invoice.

    Buildings insurance: This is your annual premium for the buildings insurance which covers you for unforeseen circumstances, such as fire, flood and vandalism. It does not cover you for wear and tear to your building or your home contents (your belongings). You should arrange your own contents insurance.

    Insurance tax: Insurance tax is 12% of the premium you pay. This is set by the Government.

    Concierge: This covers the cost of the concierge service which includes building cleaning, safety and security, inspections to shared areas and a response service which is available to all residents 24 hours, 7 days per week for things like assistance with emergencies or if there are reports of anti-social behaviour.

    Leaseholders receive the same service as NCC tenants and cleaning schedules which specify the daily cleaning plan are on display at every concierge block.

    For more information on the concierge service, including cleaning standards and cleaning schedules and contact details, please visit the Concierge section of the website.

    Building Cleaning: This covers the cost of the building cleaning service that is provided to the communal areas of your block.

    Communal Electricity: This covers the cost of the electricity used within the communal areas of your block including in lifts, porches and external walkways. It does not include day to day repairs that may be carried out which are charged separately.

    Lift maintenance: This covers the cost of the annual maintenance contract for servicing the lifts. Any other repairs and maintenance outside of this contract will be charged to you separately.

    Door entry system maintenance: This covers the cost of twice yearly maintenance visits that are carried out at your block. Any other repairs and maintenance outside of this contract will be charged to you

    separately.

    Management fee: This covers the cost of running the leasehold service. All leaseholders are charged the same amount as everyone has equal access to the service. This includes issuing service charge and ground rent invoices, consulting over major works, planned maintenance and painting, consulting over long term partnering arrangements, complying with statutory legislation and notices relating to leasehold ownership, and dealing with customer enquiries

    Routine repairs: This is your share of the cost of repairs to the structure of the block and communal areas. The charge may include repairs to the roof, windows and doors in communal areas, stairways, corridors, lifts, lighting, drains or exterior brickwork.

    Painting: This is your share of the cost of any communal painting that may be required to the external parts of your block, or to any shared communal areas.

    Health and Safety Block Checks: This is for your share of the cost of safety checks that are required within your block such as the Wet and Dry Risers, Legionella testing, Lightning conductor testing, emergency generators, fire alarm testing, rooftop safety; TV aerial maintenance and SE duct safety testing. For Queens Court this also includes maintenance of the laundry equipment.

  • When do I need to pay my service charge?

    The service charge is based on our financial year, which runs from 1 April to 31 March. You pay your estimated service charge in April, which covers what we think your share of the cost of services will be. After the end of the financial year, we work out your share of the actual costs and compare the difference between the estimated charge and the actual charge. Once this has been done your account is adjusted and an invoice issued in September.

    When you receive your estimated service charge invoice you need to pay in full. When you receive your actual service charge your account will be adjusted to show the difference between what we estimated we would spend and what we have actually spent.

  • How are my charges calculated?

    The costs are shared equally among all the flats in the block. For example, if there are 10 flats in your block and 7 of them are rented to council tenants and the other 3 are leaseholders, each leaseholder will pay a tenth of the cost and we will pay seven-tenths for our tenants.

  • How long do you allow me to pay?

    You need to pay within 10 working days of issue of your invoice.

  • What can I do if I cannot afford to pay?

    Depending on your circumstances you may be able to spread the cost of your service charges. Please contact the Income Team on (0191) 278 8757 if you wish to discuss this.

    If you want a referral to the Advice and Support Team contact us and we will arrange this for you. They can identify which debts you should pay first and check to see that you are receiving all the benefits that you may be entitled to which could help you pay your service charge.

  • What will happen if I don’t pay?

    If your invoice is not paid on time recovery action will be taken. If you are struggling with debts please tell us. It is important not to ignore the situation as nonpayment is taken seriously and could result in Court Judgments against you.

  • Why do I pay an estimate?

    We have to charge an estimate because we do not know in advance how much the cost of providing the services will be. Some charges, for example, routine repairs, are difficult to predict because we do not know what repairs will need to be carried out, how many or how often.

    If the estimated charge was more than the actual charge, we will put a credit on your service charge account for the difference. If the estimated charge is less than the actual charge, we will put a debit on your account and you will be required to pay the difference.

  • How is the actual service charge calculated?

    The service charges are worked out by our finance team once the accounts have been finalised after the end of each financial year. We compare the estimated cost to the actual cost and will adjust your service charge accordingly.

    Actual Service Charge Invoices showing a credit or debit will be issued by the end of September each year. If you disagree with part of your service charge, you must tell us and pay the part of the charges that you agree with while your complaint is being investigated. If you have any questions about the quality or standard of the services to your block please tell us.

  • Why do I have to pay the service charge as well as council tax?

    The service charge is paid to the council to cover your share of the cost of the service we provide to your block of your estate. Council Tax covers the services that the council provides to residents in Newcastle upon Tyne as a whole, such as social services, planning and leisure. Council Tax cannot be used to pay for the services you receive under your lease. It also means that you are not paying for the same services twice.

  • Why are you charging a Management Fee?

    Your lease states that we have to charge a management fee to cover the costs of the Leasehold Service. We currently charge a standard fee for all leaseholders, as everyone has equal access to the service. The management fee covers the costs of managing our Leasehold properties.

  • What happens if my account is in credit?

    Any credit will stay on your account. If you have arrears on other YHN invoices it will be offset against any outstanding amount otherwise it will be offset against your next estimated invoice when it is issued the following year. Alternatively you can request a refund by writing to:

    Income Team,
    Your Homes Newcastle,
    YHN House,
    Benton Park Road,
    Newcastle upon Tyne,
    NE7 7LX

    or by email to income@yhn.org.uk.

  • I have recently moved into this property - why have I been sent a service charge bill for a period when I did not live there?

    If the previous leaseholder did not settle the outstanding service charges the debt stays with the property, this means you are now responsible for these costs.

    Your solicitor should have advised you of any outstanding service charges before completion of your purchase.

  • I live on the ground floor, why do I have to pay towards lift maintenance, lighting etc?

    Your property is part of a larger building and you must pay a share of the cost of all services provided whether you benefit directly from them or not.

  • What do I do if I have a query or dispute with my invoice?

    If you have a question about your invoice and have been unable to find the answer to your question here, please contact us. We aim to resolve queries within 10 working days.

  • Can I view my service charge account online?

    Yes you can register to view your service charge account online. The link below will take you to the log in page. You will need to register as a first time user before you are able to view your account details. View your service charge online here