Ask Us – Your charges
What is a Lease?
MLM Connects Communal Living section, details many common factors involved in flat living and we would recommend that you read through the sections that may be relevant to you and your development.
You can also refer to the following useful websites for further information:
ARMA (Association of Residential Managing Agents)
Understanding your charges
Service charges are your proportion of the costs required to pay for expenditure relating to the repair and maintenance of the common areas of a building. The service charge budget is calculated by estimating the cost of repairing and maintaining the common areas for the next financial year. The budget is then charged to all the leaseholders based on the specified provisions set out in your lease. This amount is then charged to you periodically, the frequency of which is also dictated in your lease (i.e. quarterly, half yearly etc.). Each building is unique and therefore has a service charge budget specifically catered for the buildings individual requirements. Service charge costs may include items such as lift maintenance, utility bills for the communal areas, gardening, cleaning, health and safety compliance, buildings insurance, general repairs, managing agents fees, entry phone maintenance, porter costs etc. (Please note this list is for information purposes only and is in no way an exhaustive list or representative of your building).
At the end of each financial year, service charge accounts are produced for your building (if the building runs a service charge). The actual expenditure is compared to the budget (the amount already charged out). If the actual expenditure is less than the budget, you will receive a credit. If the actual expenditure is greater than the budget, you will receive a charge.
Some leases allow for a small amount of rent to be paid to your freeholder and this amount is called Ground Rent. Ground rent will be issued to you on your application for payment and you will also receive a ground rent notice which is a legal document that accompanies ‘demands’ for Ground Rent.
A reserve fund is often collected (where your lease allows) to ensure suitable funds are available when large non annually recurring communal items are required to be repaired or replaced such as internal or external redecorations or replacement of aging communal equipment such as lifts, lighting, fire equipment etc.
If your account is in arrears, and we have had to refer you to solicitor for debt recovery, you will be liable for any legal fees incurred.
A sinking fund or a major works fund is collected for extensive planned works in the building. The costs are calculated for the whole project and are charged to the leaseholders based on the specified percentage in your lease. Examples of works may include a new roof, internal / external redecoration, replacement of a new boiler system, a new lift etc. (as appropriate to your building).
There may be rare occasions where expenditure arises from work carried out within your property. These items cannot be put through the service charge and you would therefore be liable for these costs, which will be added to your account. An example might be a leaking washing machine, which is causing damage to the flat below. The leaseholder would have to pay for any associated costs involved in rectifying the problem and any damage caused.
Ways to pay
It’s quick, free and easy – once set up, there’s nothing more for you to do! No more arrears chasing, or late fees. We will notify your bank on your behalf when charges are due.
It gives you peace of mind – you never need to worry again about paying us, or whether your payment has arrived on time – it will all be done for you. Direct Debit is completely reliable.
You remain in control – you will always be given at least 10 working days notice of any amount to be debited from your bank, giving you plenty of time to query any payment with us. You can cancel your Direct Debit at any time by notifying us in writing.
It’s guaranteed – in the unlikely event an error is made, you are protected under the terms of the Direct Debit Guarantee Scheme.
Fully complete the mandate below, including your bank details and your tenant reference (found on your applications for payment) and send it to us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or to our main office address. (Third Party bank details are not acceptable).
Click here to download the Direct Debit mandate: Direct Debit Form
How do I pay by card?
A/C Number: 65052358
Sort Code: 601520
IBAN Number: GB25 NWBK 6015 2065 052358
BIC: NWBK GB 2L
Please quote your tenant reference number (found on all correspondence received by MLM)
Third party payments
If you require someone else to pay on your behalf, we require written confirmation with your payment. Failure to provide this will result in the payment being returned. Acceptance of payment from anyone other than the leaseholder will not give legal rights to that person in respect of the premises.
What happens if I don’t pay my charges?
If you do not pay your charges on time you may incur interest charges if allowed in your lease. Non-payment will ultimately result in legal action being sought to recover outstanding sums. We may send you reminder letters which may include late fees and if necessary, a notice of intended legal action incurring an administration charge of £75 inc VAT which will be added to your account.
If your account has already been sent to our client’s solicitor for debt collection, we are not permitted to accept any payment under any circumstances until the matter is resolved with the solicitors.
If you are having legitimate problems paying, please notify our Credit Control department immediately to avoid further action being taken to recover these outstanding sums. Please note that if you make a part payment, you will continue to be chased for non-payment on the outstanding sums and may incur associated costs to recover these sums.