Service charge demands for 2011/2012 have started to arrive

Final service charge demands for 2011/2012 have started to arrived from EastendHomes.  EEHLFA is reviewing some of these and putting comments on the EEHLFA website.

Here are a few comments – more to be posted later

Comment One – Administration Charge and Housing Management Charge

One of the differences you will notice between the estimate for 2011 / 2012 and the final service charge breakdown for 2011 / 2012 is that the Administration Charge is also being charged on the Housing Management Charge in the final service charge breakdown but was not in the estimated charge for 2011 / 2012.

Interestingly in the LVT decision with Gordon House in July 2010, the LVT said EEH could not add the 10% to the Housing Management Charge as it would amount to double recovery. We would ask why EEH wish to include the Administration Charge on the Housing Management Charge considering the LVT’s decision.

Comment Two – Administration Charge and Heating Charges

Also in the LVT decision in July 2010 the LVT said that it considered it inappropriate to add 10% to the Heating Charges for management as this is not a service charge within the terms of the lease.

We have had feedback that some leaseholders are confused re the Fuel Charge and Administration Charge. Some leaseholders have reported that this charge has not been added to the fuel charge. We have also been advised by a leaseholder that a charge has been included for Communal Heating R & M (with an admin charge added) – and their block does not have any communal heating.

It is worth checking your service charges to see if an Admin Charge has been added, and if it has, also check your lease to see if it is correct under the terms of the lease.

Comment Three – Drainage

The drainage charge currently appears under estate charges – over the last few years there have been a couple of LVT hearings, one where it was decided that drainage charges should be treated as block costs and one where it was decided that they should be an estate cost.

On the 1 October 2011, the ownership and maintenance for private sewers and lateral drains were transferred to the water and sewerage companies. In effect this means from the time the sewer goes into a shared drain – normally the lateral drain – it becomes the responsibility of the water and sewage companies and they will clear any blockages. As a result of this we would expect to see a significant reduction in drainage charges after the 1 October 2011.

The water companies did increase water and sewage rates for individual flat owners to cover the cost of this maintenance.

Following the water and sewage companies taking over responsibility for the drains we would expect where there are drain costs that are chargeable these are now treated as a block cost.

If you have asked EEH for a breakdown of the drain costs, and have received these, and would like help in reviewing the breakdown please contact us.

We are talking to other leaseholders and will provide further feedback as we obtain further information.

Early days and obviously a little healthy scrutiny is called for. Early reports from leaseholders indicate that the documents sent out are far from clear about what is being charged where and for what!

EEH has a legal obligation to let you view their accounts.

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