Council manages to slash service charges for tenants
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Local Government and also in Communities, Housing
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Hammersmith & Fulham Council says it has cut service charge bills for its 4,700 leaseholders by almost 5% in the last year.
Leaseholders pay the council for the costs incurred to maintain and manage the building that their home is in and the estate it is on.
The charges depend on the services the individual leaseholder receives, the repairs needed and the terms of the lease. They typically take into account caretaking, grounds maintenance and insurance, together with routine repairs and maintenance.
In 2012/13, the total amount of service charges paid by all leaseholders was £3.7 million, a reduction of 4.85% compared to the previous year.
Cllr Andrew Johnson, cabinet member for housing said: “Leaseholders are understandably always concerned about the level of service charges that they have to pay so this overall reduction is fantastic news. Since we abolished the arm’s length management organisation two years ago and brought housing back under the council’s direct control, we have been working tirelessly to reduce our costs and create a lean and dynamic department. This reduction in costs shows that we are on the right track, with our residents reaping the benefits.”
Last month, the council announced that it would be overhauling the way it collects money for maintenance work so that leaseholders are able to pay for the work as it is occurring.
The method replaces a model that saw leaseholders receive a bill up to five years after the work had been completed.