The Management Company is mutually owned and non profit making, so service charges are set just to cover expected costs as set out by property legal agreements, with property owners paying for the services from which they benefit. Specific points are:
Unlike recent years and despite the focus on keeping costs down, it has no longer been possible to keep the average rise in charges close to the level of inflation with house charges even decreasing. There are unavoidable average rises of 5.9% for flats and 5.8% for houses.
A major reason for this is a large 72% increase in insurance premiums because of the Estate's very poor record of claims for water damage. Only flat owners can do anything about this. Owners, including those off-site who are renting their flats, have a responsibility to maintain their flats and plumbing. Inspections by a qualified tradesperson should be carried out for electricity and plumbing every 5 years. If the Management Company discovers that alterations have been made without the consent required under the lease, or if a leak occurs, action is taken, but it is then too late to prevent damage, an insurance claim and premium rises. Legal advice is that we are not allowed by law to intervene in the insurer's handling of claims.
Another major factor is the need for flat block roof repairs. There were several last year and this year two repairs were required to 1-71 St Benedicts Close and another to 31-45 Church Lane. Owners in these blocks have to pay for these and money must be collected to inspect all roofs during the periodic work in 2020. Repairs in 2020 would be funded from reserves and costs recovered in 2020-25, so reserves are essential.
Electrical work is being carried out in June after the 5-yearly inspection and testing. However, the electrical installations are now 30 years old and do not meet current safety standards. Money is being collected to replace these in around 2025. This applies to Estate lighting paid by flats and houses as well as flat communal areas.
The other main cost increase affecting everyone is for removing dumped waste, which is partly shared between flats and houses for Estate areas and partly paid by flats for bin stores. Only residents can keep costs down by disposing of waste properly. Please report anyone you see dumping waste, so this can be charged to them.
To keep increases to a minimum, flat communal area floors will no longer be sealed before 2020 and metal grilles over air vents to deter mouse entry will only be fitted if flat owners opt for this, paid for by higher charges in 2019-20 for their blocks.
Y/E 2018 Estimate
Y/E 2019 Estimate
Repairs and maintenance
Door entry system
Cleaning of flat common areas
Bin store cleaning & rubbish removal
Legal and professional fees
Managing Agent fees
Health and safety fees
Management Company & sundry expenses
Total estimated annual expenditure
Estate Reserve Fund collection
Flats Common Reserve Fund collection
Flats Reserve A collection
Flats Reserve B collection
Flats Reserve C collection
Flats Reserve D collection
Flats Reserve E collection
Flats Reserve F collection
Flats Reserve G collection
Flats Reserve H collection
Flats Reserve I collection
Flats Reserve J collection
Flats Reserve K collection
Flats Reserve L collection
Total estimated non-annual expenditure
Total estimated expenditure
Where Your Money Goes
What service charges are spent on is illustrated in pie charts for freehold houses (and WHA) and leasehold flats in a document (PDF, 103kb) showing the breakdown.