Service charges

What are service charges?

They pay for the services we provide to your estate or block. This could include cleaning communal areas, looking after any outside space, lift maintenance and communal lighting. Any changes in the amount you pay will take effect from July each year.

If you are unhappy with your service charge you can contact the First-tier tribunal, commonly referred to as the Residential Property Tribunal Service on 0207 446 7700 for all London boroughs or 0845 100 2616 for other areas. More information is available at www.justice.gov.uk

Can I see my rent and/or service charge statements?

Log on to the myparadigm portal where you can see your rent account, report repairs and make online payments.

Or you can ring Customer Services on 0300 303 1010 to ask for a statement.

What are water charges?

Water charges are only included in the total weekly rent for residents in the Chiltern district who don’t have a water meter. Paradigm pay the water charges for the year to Affinity Water and pass this on to tenants as a weekly payment, based on the rateable value of the property.

Please contact your water company if you would like a meter installed.

Service charges – FAQs

Plus Plus What is a service charge?

Service charges pay for the services we provide to your estate or block. This could include cleaning communal areas, looking after any outside space, lift maintenance and communal lighting.

Plus Plus When will my service charge amount change?

Your service charge amount will change from Monday July 1.

It may go up or down depending on how much we spent in the previous year.

Plus Plus When will I know how much I need to pay?

You will get at least four weeks’ notice of the change.

Plus Plus Why have I received a statement?

At the end of each financial year we review what we have spent looking after your block or estate and produce a service charge statement which shows you what we have spent. It also shows what we budgeted to spend and how much we spent over or under this amount.

The service charge for shared owners is applied to your weekly rent. If you are paying ground rent you will receive an annual invoice for this.

Plus Plus What is an under recovery?

An under recovery is when we don’t charge enough to cover what we actually spend. This means your charge will go up the following year to cover this extra cost.

Plus Plus What is an over recovery?

An over recovery is when we spend less than we have charged you. When this happens your service charge will go down the following year.

Plus Plus What is the management fee?

The management fee pays for the administration costs incurred by Paradigm when providing services to your estate or block. It covers:

  • estates services
  • contract management and monitoring
  • service charge calculation and production of accounts
  • general administration

The management fee is based on the total value of the services you receive. It will not exceed 15% of the total service charge costs.

Plus Plus I have been charged for a service but I have not received it, how do I get my money back?

We can’t refund you directly if you haven’t received a service you have been charged for. We have to wait until the end of the financial year so we can see the full picture and work out if there is any under or over recovery of charges.

If, for example, your grass hasn’t been cut as often as it should, we will ask for a credit note from our contractor. This amount will be credited to the account of your estate or block and be reflected in the following year’s service charges.

Plus Plus I have been charged for a service I don’t receive?

You should only be charged for services you receive. If you believe you have been charged for a service you do not receive please contact Customer Services on 0300 303 1010 and they will investigate. If we find you have been incorrectly charged, a credit adjustment (for tenants and shared owners) will be applied to your account and deducted from the charge the following year. Leaseholders will receive a refund.

Plus Plus How is the communal cleaning cost calculated?

The cleaning contractor attended each estate or block and provided a cost based on the specific requirements at each site. This means you are only paying for the service you receive.

*Please note this is for those sites where Paradigm arrange the cleaning contract.

Plus Plus What services are included in my service charge cost?

For more information, see the Service Charges guide

Service Charges guide

Plus Plus What if I am having problems making payments?

If you are having a problem making payments please contact our Customer Service Team on 0300 303 1010, press option 3. Alternatively if you wish to set up a direct debit please dial 0300 303 8048.

Plus Plus Do I pay for repairs for my building?

Yes. Some communal repairs are included in the maintenance and service contracts service charge. The repairs charge includes repairs in communal areas. Service contracts such as pest control and car park barriers can be included within this charge.

Plus Plus Why do you charge for bulk refuse collection?

We will arrange for the collection of bulk rubbish when the local authority doesn’t do it and the cost will be included in your service charge. Where we have evidence that a specific resident is responsible for the bulk rubbish this will be recharged directly to the resident.

Plus Plus What is section 20?

We are legally obliged to consult you if we plan to:

  • Do any work to your block that will cost you more than £250 (known as ‘qualifying works’)
  • Enter into an agreement for work or services which will last for more than 12 months and will cost you more than £100 a year.

This consultation is carried out through the Section 20 consultation process. It includes but is not limited to:

  • Reactive repairs
  • Investment works – redecorations, roof and window replacements
  • Contracts such as grounds maintenance, cleaning and utilities.

Further advice on section 20 processes can be found here.