Southwark Council Service Charges

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Thursday 6 March 2008 6.20pm
New weekly service charges from 7th April 2008
Estate Cleaning -------------- 4.26
Grounds Maintenance ---------- 1.00
Estate/Common Area Lighting -- 0.89
Door Entry ------------------- 1.04
Thames Water ----------------- 3.87
Total ----------------------- 11.06

That's under 600pa. Very reasonable.
Thursday 6 March 2008 7.12pm
Well lucky you, mine are currently 1400 pa, and sure to rise.
Friday 2 May 2008 2.53pm
You are very lucky.

I just got a bill for over 1800. Is there a way to dispute these high charges?
Monday 2 June 2008 9.51am
Mine is 1600 this year, it goes up every year and still the building is a mess, rubbish everywhere and most things no working properly.. oh well...
Wednesday 4 June 2008 8.59am
Is it the same for Southwark blocks like for all private blocks that there should be a management company which is responsible for maintaing these properties and as such leaseholders should be able to participate in the management and thefore check the costs through this avenue?
Monday 30 March 2009 12.29pm
Just received the 2009/2010 sercvice charges, over 2,100!!!

Are other leaseholders paying this much?

It's infuriating to see the building get more run down as the years pass and yet Southwark Council have the nerve to increase the service charges.

Is there some sort of ombudsman for council service charges to whom disputes can be referred?
Wednesday 1 April 2009 8.53pm
I just got my bill for 2009/10 and like phoney, it's around 600. Pretty good considering what you guys are having to pay!

We are in the process of proposed major works on the Neckinger though, so am waiting with bated breath on how much we will be stung for that.
Sunday 5 April 2009 10.30am
@Phoney -

I think you've confused people by mixing up the 'service charge' element of a tenants rent (hence weekly) with the service charges that leaseholders have to pay.

Most people in Southwark are paying 1000-2000 a year. If you're in a block with lifts in, expect to pay more, if you're in a block with district heating - then you'll pay the heating charges. If you've had improvements to your estate (not major works, but bits and pieces) then these will all go on the bill.

The way it works is that the Landlord and Tenant act 1985 (as amended) say that leaseholders have to pay their share of the services that are delivered to their block & on their estate.

The reason service charges keep going up and up is that Southwark used to be very poor at splitting up the costs of running estates - so couldn't charge leaseholders their share. So you've been lucky (and effectively subsidised) in the past and now things are catching up.

@JohnKearney - you can challenge the costs through Southwark's Home Ownership Unit (in Larcom Street), who sends the bills out. You can challenge the actual bills (remember you'll get these about 12-24 months after the period they refer to)if there were problems with the service you were getting AT THAT TIME (ie you have to show the cleaning was awful 2 years ago, not that its bad now). The best way to make sure you get your money back is to show you complained at the time.

@Flipper & @JohnBoy - if you're not getting cleaning (or gardening or the like) then you can challenge them on the cleaning costs. If they're not repairing things then if you ask for them repaired, that should be MORE costs on your bill when it comes through. That's life.

@Tizzy - it depends on exactly what you're having done on the Neckinger, and how long you've been in your flat, but expect a bill in 5 figures. The council probably have an idea - ask them if you want the bad news now.
The good news is that you don't have to pay a the money for major works in just one year - unlike the normal service charges. As they say on the adverts 'payment terms are available' - again Home Ownership Unit in Larcom Street should be able to advice.

hope this is useful
Wednesday 13 May 2009 10.22am
Thanks JPM. I just called the Homeowner Unit to ask them if they have a rough idea of costs and schedule. I got 'no idea' to both questions. A case of how long is a piece of string...

I suspect that it will be around the 5 figures mark too - it seems like they are planning an a lot of cosmetic work similar to the Arnold Estate years back. Not necessary a bad thing in terms of giving a tired estate a facelift, but am very concerned about how I am going to be able to afford to pay it all.

So glad there is some support and a place like this forum we can all go to.
Monday 1 June 2009 11.56am
Tizzy are you on the Neckinger , did you not receive our flyer we posted in all the flats , there are a few of us fighting this and we are makeing good progress, well we think we are you if like you can join the gang the more the merrier on the estate to help fight this
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