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Service charges

Service charges are the payments that you make towards our costs of providing and maintaining services for the block of flats where you live. We are responsible for maintaining the structure and exterior of the whole building and the communal areas such as halls and stairways. The costs incurred by us are passed back to you through the service charges.

When you purchase a flat, you'll need to pay service charges. No element of profit is included, so the charges relate to actual or estimated costs only. The service charges are split fairly between all the flats in the block. The cost of services to tenants is not subsidised in any way by leaseholders.

You can read more about the breakdown of your service charge statement here.

How the service charges are calculated and billed

At the start of each service charge year - which runs from 1 April to 31 March - we prepare an estimate of the costs we expect to pay for services. This is calculated by using the latest available actual costs for a year and the average of the previous five years' repair costs. The estimated charges will be billed to you during March each year, for the coming year.

How to pay the service charges

The simplest way to make sure that you pay the correct amount on time is to set up a Direct Debit. Please email us at or phone us on 01494 476100 to make arrangements to pay.

Alternative ways to pay can be found on the reverse of your invoice. Please make sure that you quote your invoice reference number on any payment so that the payment reaches your account.

What happens if you don't pay your service charges?

If you do not pay your invoice by the date it is due and you have not arranged to pay by instalments, a reminder will be sent to you. If no payment is made within a further seven days, a final notice will be sent to you. If we still do not receive a payment and no arrangement has been made to make payments by instalments, we will take legal action in the County Court to get the money back.

Once we have obtained a County Court Judgment we will approach your mortgage company and ask them to settle the debt against your mortgage. This could lead to your home being repossessed and make it difficult for you to obtain credit cards, mortgages and loans in the future. If we fail to recover the debt from the mortgage company, we may seek a court order that allows deductions to be made from your salary or ask bailiffs to seize and sell your possessions. In the most serious circumstances we may seek forfeiture which would mean that you lose your home but this is something we want to try hard to avoid.

If you have any problems paying your service charges bill, please get in touch with us straight away. If you contact us quickly, we will try to help and avoid taking any legal action.

Limits on service charges during the first five years

If you buy a lease from us under the Right to Buy or Right to Acquire schemes you will be given a notice known as a "Notice of Purchase Price", as required by Section 125 of the Housing Act 1985. This notice includes estimates for services and works that are carried out on a regular basis, together with a schedule of major repairs or improvements which are planned. We cannot charge you more than the estimates plus an allowance for inflation for such work during an initial period of five years from the date when the lease was first sold. When that period has run out, we can charge you your share of the reasonable cost of any work which is done. 

Service charges - your rights

Your right to ask us for a summary of costs

This must relate to service charges for the current or the previous year. Our summary will show how the costs we have paid are reflected in your service charges. If there are four or more flats involved in the costs, the summary will be signed by a qualified accountant. Once you have the summary, you have six months to write to us and arrange to look at and copy any accounts, receipts and other relevant documents. We will provide these facilities free of charge, but we may add the cost to the management costs in the yearly service charge. When we receive your request to look at the accounts, we have a month to reply to you and should make the facilities available for up to two months.

Your right to have a management audit

This would look at the services we provide and at their costs. You will appoint and pay for a qualified auditor to examine how effectively we are carrying out the housing management duties we charge you for; and how we are using your service charges.

To start the process, your auditor must send us a ‘Section 80 notice’. All the leaseholders involved must sign the notice and include their full names and addresses. It should also show the name and address of the auditor and list the documents that the auditor will need.

The auditor can look at documents and the shared parts of the buildings we manage. If the auditor wants to look at any shared parts, the notice should give a date on which the inspection will take place. We have a month to reply from the date of the notice. Our reply must include the relevant documents the auditor has asked for and what facilities will be available to look at them and copy them. It should confirm the inspection date or offer a different date. Again, we may add the cost of providing these facilities to the management costs in the yearly service charge. 

More information can be found in the leasehold handbook.

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Red Kite Community Housing, Windsor Court, Kingsmead Business Park, High Wycombe, HP11 1JU

Red Kite Community Housing is the trading name of Red Kite Community Housing Limited, a charitable registered society which operates for the benefit of the community under the Cooperative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014, registered in England with the Financial Conduct Authority (registration number 31322R) and the Regulator of Social Housing (registration number 4682). VAT number 290 7410 06.