Changes to Your Service Charges

Changes to Your Service Charges

We have now set the new Service Charges for our customers that will begin on 4th April 2022 and run until 31st March 2023.

We want to be as transparent as possible regarding these changes so please read the important information below.

Service Charge Cap

A full Service Charge review has been carried out by our Executive Team and Board and it has been agreed that we will CAP all increases at a maximum of £5.00.

The £5.00 CAP will be applied to all General Needs homes, Housing For Older People and Lomas Court. Any CAP will be shown as a service line within the statement.

Please note that No CAP will be applied to all other tenures including Shared Ownership, Leasehold properties, Supported Housing or Foyers.

MSV have not applied increases to the Service Charge for three years and last year only five services were increased. MSV is committed to helping minimise the impact of these increases and ensuring the remaining charges are correct.

If you are struggling to pay your rent or service charge please contact our Money Management team at CustomerSupportTeam@msvhousing.co.uk - they can help.

Breakdown of the Service Charge increase

  • TV Aerial – Increased by CPI of 3.1%. Charge not increased for 3 years
  • Window Cleaning – Increased by 5.1% due to increase in contract costs
  • Communal Cleaning - Increased by 5.1% due to increase in contract costs
  • Gardening - Increased by 3.1% due to increase in contract costs
  • Intensive Housing Management – Charge set by third party company
  • Support Charge - Charge set by third party company
  • Sinking Fund -  No increase in the charge
  • Internal Redecoration - No increase in the charge
  • Assurance Fee – We have been given the charge from our third party auditing company. This year we have carried out a review of our leases for those properties where we should be charging this to. This year some properties will have this charge removed and for others it will have been added as a new charge.
  • Estate management Charge – Charge has been increased as per invoices received from our third party Management Company
  • Communal Utilities – Electricity has been increased by 60% and gas has been increased by 100%. Our contract does not expire until October so to minimise the impact of the increase we have calculated the charge as 26 weeks at the current charge + 26 weeks at the new increased charge spread equally over 12 months.
  • Foyer Security Charge – Increased by 5.5% as requested by contractors
  • Meal Charges – Increased by 4% as per third party contractor
  • Management Fee – this is calculated at 15% of the overall charges
  • MSV Subsidy – this is the subsidy that MSV are applying so that the increase is no more than £5 per week
  • All other services – increased by CPI of 3.1%

Frequently Asked Questions

Q – I am being charged for Gardening when I cut my own grass. Why?

A - The gardeners on some schemes will look after communal areas only. If a communal area  forms part of your scheme then you will need to contribute towards this.

QWhy has my Service Charges increased so much this year compared to the last few years?

A – MSV have not increased many service charges for the last 3 years. For the period 2021/22 we started to increase the services in line with what we are being charged to deliver the service. For the period 2022/23 we have been able to review more of our services and have started to also increase these in line with what we are currently being charged.

QI am not happy with the standard of service being delivered and wish to cancel this and arrange this service myself

A – The services delivered form part of the tenancy agreement and you are therefore not able to opt out of paying for this service.

QI want to know what is being done as part of the cleaning service, what the utilities are etc

A - Please refer to Service Chargeable items information below

Q Why are we being charged for a communal TV when we have our own individual TV sets?

A – This is a charge for the communal TV aerial that is needed for the TV’s

QWhy am I being charged for Door Entry and CCTV when I don’t have one of these services?

A – The two services have been put together under one charge. You will only be charged for the service that you have

QThe gardeners are not cutting my back garden. Why am I being charged?

A – Back gardens are not included within the contract price. The charge will be for the communal areas and front gardens on some schemes.

QWhat does my sinking fund (Reserve Fund)cover?

A – The sinking fund (Reserve Fund) is a charge collected for the replacement of items e.g. laundry equipment, carpets etc

QWhat is the communal utilities charge for as I pay for my own electricity?

A – The communal electricity will be for any lights in any communal areas or outside the scheme.

QWhy am I paying for communal lighting when I pay communal utilities?

A – Communal utilities is for the electricity supply and communal lighting is for the repair and maintenance of the lights.

Q What is the Management Fee Charge?

A – Management Fee is a charge applied by MSV to manage the Service Charges

QWhy am I paying a different charge to my neighbour?

A – We can check to see if your charges are correct, but we cannot discuss other tenants' charges.

QI am not happy with the Rent and Service Charge Increase and cannot afford this. What can I do?

A – MSV have done an affordability check and have applied a CAP so in most cases no increase goes above £5 per week. Unfortunately, the current charges are what we need to charge to be able to deliver the service. If you are struggling please contact our Money Management team who can help at CustomerSupportTeam@msvhousing.co.uk or find out more here

How do we calculate Service Charges?

At the beginning of the financial year we set an estimated charge of what we think the costs will be for the coming year. The reason that these are estimated is that we do not know the exact charge for some services for the year e.g. repairs.

We will issue you with a new Service Charge Estimate by the end of February advising you of the new charges, effective from April 2022.

Service Chargeable Items

To help you to understand the services we deliver below is a brief description of each of these services. Please note this may not be a full comprehensive list:-

  • Assurance Fee – If your lease requires you to have an accountant’s report with your end of year accounts, this is the charge for that service. This is for our Leasehold or Shared Ownership properties only.
  • Building Insurance – This cost of the Building Insurance for any property we own or have a Shared investment in. This applies to our Leasehold and Shared Ownership properties.
  • Communal Cleaning – This is the cost for any cleaning to the communal areas to a block. This will include brushing, mopping and dusting of any stairwells, corridors and windows.
  • Communal Lift – The costs for maintenance, repair and insurance of the lifts in communal areas of the block
  • Communal Lighting – This is the repair and maintenance costs for any external lights on the scheme
  • Communal Repairs – This is the cost charged to repair or maintain the communal areas of a block or scheme.
  • Communal TV Aerial – This is the charge for the repair and maintenance of the communal TV aerial on a block or scheme
  • Communal Utilities – This is the cost for any electricity within the communal internal areas and any external lighting that may be on the scheme. The cost also includes any gas used to heat and provide hot water to any communal areas within the block and any water supply to the kitchens, bathrooms etc
  • Door Entry and CCTV – This is for the cost of any door entry intercom system and any CCTV that may be on the building or scheme. You may only have one or both of these services.
  • Equipment Leasing – This is a charge for leasing any equipment that is within a communal area e.g. washing machine or dryer
  • Grounds & Landscaping – This is the cost of maintaining any communal grassed areas and bushes. This will also include litter picking around the communal areas.
  • Fire Risk Management – This is the cost for any Fire Risk Assessment work, emergency lighting checks, fire alarms etc
  • Furniture & White Goods – This is for the cost of any furniture or white goods within the communal areas of a block
  • Management Fee – This is an internal cost by MSV for the management of the services provided and the procurement of any new contracts
  • Managing Agent Fee – This is where you may have a Third Party Managing Agent also delivering services on the scheme. This is currently charged at 15% of the total applicable service costs
  • PAT Testing – This is the cost to ensure that we test that all equipment within a communal area is safe and working correctly
  • Sinking Fund – This is a charge for the replacement of an asset e.g. roof, windows, doors etc
  • Support Services – This is a cost for services provided to those tenants who have extra needs
  • Warden Call – This is a cost for any warden call equipment that is within a property or scheme
  • Window Cleaning – This is the cost for the cleaning windows within a communal area.