What is a service charge?

Service charges help to keep your home safe, welcoming and tidy. They fund services including utilities, fire alarm checks, cleaning, gardening and repairs.

Service charges are paid in addition to your rent, and may be due weekly or monthly. The cost of service charges, and what they fund, will depend on where you live and whether you are a tenant or a homeowner.

  • If you are a tenant, you will pay a service change but some services – including general repairs and decorating – will be included as part of your rent.
  • If you live in supported housing, your service charge may also fund support workers, and shared spaces and facilities.
  • If you are a homeowner, you will pay service charges to maintain your home’s building, communal areas and/or gardens. You will also pay buildings insurance and a leasehold management fee.

Will my service charges change?

By April each year, you will receive a breakdown of the services you receive and the costs for providing those services.

It will also explain any changes to your service charges, when your payments are due, and how to get in touch if you have any questions.

The costs of services can change for many reasons, including…

  • if we switch suppliers
  • because of inflation, or other changes to the costs of utilities and materials.

We always aim to work with suppliers that offer great services and value for money. We also use data and your feedback to identify areas for improvement. If you’d like to share your thoughts, please get in touch by emailing enquiries@syha.co.uk or call 0800 1380 380.

What’s the difference between fixed and variable service charges?

Your service charge will be either a fixed or variable charge.

Fixed charges are calculated by estimating the costs for providing the services for the year ahead. We ensure these are as accurate as possible, and the charges will not change until the following year.

Variable charges are set in the same way as fixed charges. However, at the end of the financial year we produce a statement of accounts. If we have underspent then you will be given a refund, and if we have overspent then you will be invoiced for the difference.

How do I pay my service charges?

Most of our customers pay their service charges by Direct Debit. You can set up a Direct Debit on our online customer services.

If you receive Universal Credit or Housing Benefit, this will pay for most of your service charges. However, you may still need to pay for some personal or support charges.

If you have any concerns or questions about paying your service charges, please get in touch. You can contact us by emailing enquiries@syha.co.uk or calling 0800 1380 380.