When you buy your home from the London Borough of Hounslow, you become a leaseholder (if you buy a flat or maisonette) or a freeholder (if you buy a house).
As a result of your purchase, you may be liable for a number of different charges:
- Ground Rent
- Building Insurance
- Day-to-Day Service Charges
- Major Works Service Charges
- Freehold - District Heating/ground maintenance account
The Home Ownership Unit calculates the cost of these charges and issues demands for payment of these charges. Charges vary greatly across our properties, so we are unable to give full details on this page.
If you would like further information about your service charge liabilities, advice on the terms of your lease (if you are a leaseholder) or your transfer deed (if you are a freeholder), and other matters associated with being a leaseholder or freeholder with the London Borough of Hounslow you can contact the Home Ownership Unit team:
By telephone: 0800 085 65 75
By e-mail: email@example.com
Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I pay service charges when I don’t get a service?
Service charges are not payment for personal services provided to leaseholders. They are your contribution towards the landlord’s costs of managing and maintaining your block and your estate (if your block is located on an estate) and providing services to the block and estate. You made a legally enforceable commitment to pay service charges when you signed the lease.
You may not think you get much direct benefit from works and services at your building, however, there may be obvious costs, such as:
- carrying out repairs to the building or common parts and external areas
- supplying power eg for lights, lifts and communal heating systems
- providing caretaking, monitoring cctv cameras, staffing a concierge service
- maintaining communal grassed areas and beds around your block or on your estate
- providing heating and hot water from a communal system
There are other, more indirect costs, that are essential to support the front-line services but perhaps it is easy to take them for granted, such as:
- Providing office accommodation and equipment ( telephones, computers, desks etc)
- Providing staff to answer queries, inspect estates & works, raise orders for works, monitor staff and contractors, pay bills, maintain records .
- Many indirect costs, including the costs of arranging leaseholders’ buildings insurance, calculating, billing and collecting service charges and answering leaseholders’ queries are covered by a management and administration fee.
I never see my caretaker and I’m not satisfied with the caretaking service.
These are really 2 different questions, but they are often combined.
Although you may not often see your caretaker it does not necessarily mean that you are not receiving a service. You may be at work or somewhere else when the caretaker visits, or the caretaker may be on another part of the estate when you are at home.
The service should be judged against the tasks to be carried out and the time available. Caretakers’ schedules should be displayed at your block or estate. They will show the day(s) and times that they will normally be working there. However, these times include travel, so caretakers will not be at your block for the full period shown on the schedule if they have to travel from another estate. Sometimes caretakers’ schedules have to be altered at short notice to deal with day to day problems, such as staff shortages or emergencies on your own or another estate.
Leaseholders’ charges are based on the caretakers’ scheduled hours. If the caretaker only visits a couple of times a week it is possible that between visits problems may occur in the communal areas