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How your service charge is set | How we calculate your rent and charges | Birmingham City Council

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How your service charge is set

Service charges

Service charges are shared costs paid by customers who receive shared services, such as in high-rise flats.

Shared services might include maintaining lifts, security services, caretaking, lighting and cleaning of communal areas.

Rent and service charges are reviewed annually. We will write to you in March each year informing you of your new rent charge.

We will give you four weeks’ notice so that any Direct Debits (or Bank Standing Orders) you have set up to pay your rent can be altered in line with the Direct Debit guarantee.

If you are subject to service charges, details of your new service charges will also be included in this letter, so that you can see the full breakdown of your new weekly rent.

We will aim to refund any credit on your account within 10 working days once we have checked that your account is in credit and you have no other debts to be cleared.

Service charges are set in line with national guidelines, which means that service charges have to be separated from the rent charge, called ‘net rent’ and reflect the cost of providing such services.

A range of service charges can be payable, depending on the services provided to support the management of your property which may include:

A breakdown of the services that you pay for will be shown on your rent notification letter, and are also shown on your quarterly rent statement if your account is in arrears.

Tenants can access their rent statement and service charge information via their online account.

Service charges will change from April 2021, to reflect the cost of providing those services.

The service charges for cleaning charges are worked out by the number of eligible properties in the district, where the other types of service charges are calculated on a citywide basis.

The caretaking service charge has moved to a citywide charge to reflect the provision of a standard service across the city.

The implementation of the change to a standard citywide charge will be introduced over 2 years.

Service charges are also charged over 48 weeks to take account of the 4 payment holidays, the net rent and the service charge added together is known as the total or gross rent.