Service Charge FAQs

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Service Charges

if you are a leaseholder please refer to our Leaseholder guidance document for information on service charges.  

 Leaseholder Guidance

The information below is for customers who rent a property from Arcon.

What are service charges and how do they apply to me?

  • Service charges cover the cost of any extra services we provide in the area you live.
  • Not everyone pays a service charge so we will make it clear at the start of your tenancy if you need to pay for any extra services in addition to your normal weekly rent.

The cost is shared between everyone who receives these services. Some examples of what you may be asked to pay for are:

  • The cleaning of communal areas.
  • Communal gardening services.
  • Communal window cleaning.
  • The cost of an estate caretaker.

Service charges are covered under the terms of your tenancy agreement. They will vary depending on the number of different services you receive.

What work is included with the service charges?

We provide a range of extra services. The services we provide differ depending on where you live and the local facilities available. Here are a few examples of the services that may be included in your service charge. Services can be added or removed following consultation with tenants.

  • Caretaking services.
  • TV aerials.
  • CCTV
  • Door entry system.
  • Grounds maintenance.
  • Communal electricity charges.
  • Lighting maintenance.
  • Lift maintenance charges.
  • Refuse containers.
  • Fire equipment protection.
  • Management fee.

If you would like more information on these examples and to see how they are calculated, please contact us.

How are service charges calculated?

The cost for providing most services is shared out equally between all the properties in the scheme

The charge to tenants is the actual cost of the service plus a management fee. The management fee covers the cost of administering the service. We always monitor and continue to improve our services to make sure we provide good value for money.

The service charge will be included in the total charge for the property and the same charge period will be applied (weekly or monthly).

When will I be told about any price changes?

This depends on the type of tenancy you have with us.

If you have an assured tenancy, we will tell you in March what your service charges and/or rent will be from April onwards. Other types of tenancy Market Rent, Intermediate Rent and Shared Ownership differ, but we will give you plenty of notice about the changes.

How do these charges affect me if I receive Housing Benefit or Universal Credit?

Some service charges are eligible for benefit or Universal Credit. The amount you receive will be calculated by the Revenue and Benefits Unit. The government is constantly reviewing the welfare it pays out, so we always monitor the situation to understand what any changes mean for you.

What if I don’t pay the Service charge?

Any service charges will be part of your tenancy and treated in the same way as your rent, therefore subject to the same recovery action as rent arrears.

I’m worried I can’t afford them, what do I do?

We can offer you help from the specialist Bolton at Home Group Money Advice Team. Our money advisors are here to support any of our tenants who have money worries at any time in their lives.

We can help you to:

  • Review your income and check if you’re eligible for additional benefits such as Housing Benefits and Attendance Allowance, which is an allowance to help with extra costs if you have a disability severe enough that you need someone to help look after you;
  • Apply for emergency payments;
  • Support you with any other financial concerns you may have.

    If you would like help to deal with your service charges, rent payments, household bills or debts, our Money Advice Team can help.

    To be referred to the Money Advice team call the Arcon Customer Service on 0161 214 4120 or email us on customerservice@arcon.org.uk