Leaseholder service charges
mhs homes is responsible for the repairs and maintenance of the
structure and common parts of your building. As a leaseholder you
have taken on the responsibility to pay your share of the block
costs through payment of your service charges. The lease states the
percentage that you are required to pay. Although the percentage is
fixed the bill may change each year as your lease includes a
variable service charge. We use the money we collect in your
service charges for:
- communal lighting
- repairs and maintenance to communal areas, such as hallways and
- door entry systems
- caretaking and gardening services
- maintaining the structure of the building
- buildings insurance
- managing the leasehold services
Direct debit is the easiest way to
pay. Setting up a direct debit today is easy. Just complete
all sections highlighted in yellow on the mandate (PDF 39KB) and send it to mhs homes, Broadside,
Leviathan Way, Chatham, ME4 4LL.
For additional information please
contact the Marketing & Leasehold Co-ordinator on 01634 565333.
Failing to pay your service charges can put your home at risk and
is against the conditions of your lease.
Why do I receive two bills a
The estimated service charge bill is
the first of two bills that leaseholders receive at the start of
every financial year (April 1 - March 31). This is the projected
costs for the year ahead. We have to send an estimate because it
cannot be calculated until the end of the year. For example any
repairs or major works carried out will affect the final
This is adjusted at the end of the
year to what was actually spent on services. You will receive this
balancing figure in the actual service charge bill. This invoice
shows the actual charge for the year, minus the estimated figure
that has already been paid. The account could be in credit if the
estimate was larger than the actual expenditure, otherwise the
figure on the actual demand is due to be paid straight away.
When will I receive the bills and
when are they due?
You will receive the estimated bill in
May each year and the actual bill will be sent around July. The
estimated charges are due quarterly but we can take payment over
ten months by direct debit from June to March. The actual bills are
due immediately on demand but we can also arrange to alter your
direct debit to cover this charge.
How do I pay my service charges?
We provide a range of payment options
including direct debit (PDF 39KB),
telephone payment by debit or credit card (01634 565333), cheques
or postal order made out to mhs homes sent to Leasehold Section,
Broadside, Leviathan Way, Chatham, Kent, ME4 4LL. You can
also pay for service charges by
logging in to my mhs homes and registering using your
tenancy reference number.
What if I am having difficulty paying
Please contact the Leasehold Manager
as soon as possible on 01634 565333. The sooner you contact us, the
sooner we can help you arrange a payment plan.
Concerned homeowners will be able to
go to http://www.direct.gov.uk/mortgagehelp
or contact the National Debtline on 0808 808 4000 for impartial
You may be entitled to benefits that
you are not claiming. The mhs homes Welfare
Benefit Advisors can help, please ring 01634 565333 for advice.
Will I be consulted if there are any
major works carried out to my block?
You have the right to be consulted on
works where any leaseholder will be or is likely to be charged £250
or more for their share of the works. This is known as ‘Section 20’
consultation. mhs homes will write to you providing a general
description of the proposed works, explaining why the works are
necessary and will provide an estimate of how much the works will
cost. You will have the opportunity to make your comments about the
works and services (within the time frame required) before the
works are decided on. If you let mhs homes hear your comments on
the works and costs in writing at this stage, we will try to
accommodate your requirements in the scheme.
How do I know if my service charges
It is in our interests as well as our
leaseholders' to ensure that all costs are reasonable. An external
audit is carried out each year on the service charge accounts to
confirm that they are a fair summary of the costs.
What can I do if I think the service
charges are unreasonable?
Please do not hesitate to contact us
for an explanation of the service charges on 01634 565333.
If you still find them to be
unreasonable you have the right to take your case to a Leasehold
Valuation Tribunal (LVT), which consider residential leasehold
disputes. LVTs were set up to provide a quicker and simpler option
to court proceedings. A fee has to be paid by you if you want to go
to the LVT.
Proceedings at the LVT are
semi-formal. Neither side is required to be represented, evidence
is not given on oath and the usual court rules do not apply. The
LVT hears both sides of the argument and then determines the issue
on the basis of the evidence and the judgement and experience of
the LVT members. Their decision is issued in writing as soon as
possible after the hearing.
The LVT that covers this area
can be contacted at:
Southern, 1st Floor Midland House, 1 Market Avenue, Chichester,
Telephone: 0845 100 2617 Fax: 01243 100 2617
You can also contact a local Citizens
Advice Bureau, a law centre or a solicitor for advice at any
What does the building insurance
The building insurance covers the
communal elements of the building which are mhs homes’
responsibility to maintain. These include the structure, the
exterior and the services and installations of the block.
Please note that you still need home
For claims on the building insurance,
the excess on the policy is currently £200.
Please call Zurich Insurance Brokers
on 01252 387517 or 08702
418050 to make a claim.
For further details on making claims
please see the leasehold handbook (PDF