Where EHSL provides additional services to its tenants, it will add service charges to the rent charged and bill these as part of the rent. Service charges are designed to cover the cost of providing the services the tenant or scheme requires, and EHSL endeavours to recover the full cost of HB eligible services that it provides. Information about specific service charges is below.
Please contact EHSL if you wish to discuss any of your service charges.
Where included, the Gardening/Grounds Maintenance charge will allow a gardener to attend on a periodic basis to cut grass, clear weeds and nettles, trim hedges, remove leaves, sweep hard standings, and cut back trees. The frequency of the visit depends on the size and maturity of the garden.
Many of EHSL’s properties have an interlinked fire alarm system which requires an engineer to make a periodic Fire Alarm Servicing visit to ensure the system is working correctly. If this charge isn’t included it is likely that the cost of providing the service is included within the core rent and paid to the owner of the property.
Window Cleaning is usually included for sites with communal windows which cannot be cleaned by the tenants. Visits are usually made either quarterly or monthly. Cleaning internal windows is the responsibility of the tenant(s)
Regular Pest Control services are provided at some larger sites where a planned pest control programme is required. At other sites a contribution is collected to allow EHSL to provide responsive pest control services to address statutory pest nuisances when required.
Communal Cleaning is sometimes provided in blocks of flats and in shared housing where the tenants have been assessed as being unable to clean the shared areas of the property. The cost allows for a frequent visit to sweep, hoover, dust and wipe down communal areas. Some sites may have a charge listed as Communal Cleaning (ad hoc), which is intended to provide occasional and irregular cleaning such as an oven clean, carpet cleaning.
EHSL provides Furniture and Household Equipment to some tenants. This is typically used to replace sofas, dining tables and other items in communal areas. In some cases it can also be used to meet the cost of white goods such as fridges, cookers and washing machines, which may appear as a separate charge.
Whilst tenants are responsible for maintaining the standard of decoration in their own accommodation, we recognise that communal areas in blocks of flats and shared houses require periodic decoration. This is typically provided on a 3-5 year basis depending on need, and can cover repainting of walls, ceilings and woodwork, and replacement flooring where required.
In some situations EHSL charges a Void and Bad Debt Cover charge on the sum of the service charges, to reflect situations where a scheme is partly occupied and the cost of providing the services required isn’t covered fully from the service charges received from the occupants. The charge only covers components which are eligible for payment via Housing Benefit
Where an EHSL site receives one supply from each utility company, a fixed contribution may be included in the rent. The contributions are reviewed to ensure that they are sufficient to cover the cost of providing the utilities required. If the charge is included, EHSL will be the account holder and will pay the supplier on receipt of the bill. This charge is not eligible for payment via Housing Benefit and must be paid by the tenant.
Where EHSL includes a support cost within the rent charged it will appear on the rent breakdown. This charge is not eligible for payment via Housing Benefit and must be paid by the tenant.