20th February 2016
Apartment Service Charges – Are you getting value for money?
apartment service charges – free benchmark offer!
Owners of apartments have obligations to pay service charges. Such charges should ensure that appropriate costs are invested in the on-going servicing of apartment blocks as well as maintaining the longer term health of the building. But… how do owners feel about the amount of service charges incurred, the quality of the services provided and, are they getting value for money?
‘The service charge is too high!..’ ‘It’s more expensive than other apartment blocks…!’ ‘We don’t get value for money…’
The above quotes are sometimes made by apartment owners but are they justified and ….how do you know if the service charge is value for money?
In our experience, comparison of charges between different apartment blocks is a worthwhile initial benchmark, but you need to dig a little bit deeper for a proper analysis to see how your service charges really compares.
Apartments are typically purchased on the basis of a leasehold arrangement. The lease will set out what services are to be provided, what should be included within the service charge and be invoiced to each apartment within a block of apartments.
Service charges will include the cost of providing elements such as building insurance, communal services such as cleaning, gardening, decorating, maintenance of fire alarm systems, lifts, health and safety, communal electricity, intercoms, building maintenance, administration of the management company etc.
Some service charges also include allowance for the longer term maintenance of the property in the form of a sinking fund. An adequate sinking fund ensures the longer term health of the building is maintained and therefore the apartment owners asset is protected.
The ‘devil is in the detail’ but it is important that the service charge is properly considered and understood. Apartment owners should normally be given the opportunity to have the service charge costs explained at an Annual General Meeting (AGM) arranged by the Block Manager.
As an established Block Manager, we have developed an extensive database of service charge information, enabling us to carryout a ‘forensic’ analysis of service charges. We therefore able to offer a FREE BENCHMARK ANALYSIS to allow you to see how your service charge compares with other similar apartment developments.
Should this be of interest then please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call our office to find out some more information. Please also take a look at some of our testimonials.