Service charges are defined as ‘services performed or facilities (including the use of furniture) provided for, or right made available to you. In simple terms these are charges that you will pay over and above occupying your accommodation.
What items make up a service charge?
These are broadly divided into the following sections:
Loan repayments, repair and maintenance costs, rent increase to cover council tax obligation, management costs, voids, insurance, counselling and support, intensive housing management, maintenance of equipment costs, maintenance and cleaning of communal areas, use of furniture or household equipment, refuse removal, lifts, radio and television relay, portering, communal telephone charges, but not personal calls, entry phones, cleaning of communal areas, children’s play area, provision of equipment and premises for you to do your own laundry etc.
Intensive Housing Management
These are the additional costs in accommodating people with ‘special needs’ and can include intensive wear and tear to the property, the need to inspect and decorate more often.
Some of my rent is ineligible for HB why is this?
Only those service which relate to ‘the provision of adequate accommodation’ are eligible for Housing Benefit. Warden services, for example are only eligible for benefit if those wardens or other staff costs relate to the ‘fabric of the dwelling’ are eligible housing costs.
Other items such as domestic water and sewerage charges, personal services, charges for meals, laundry, cleaning, heating or lighting your room, emergency alarm system, TV rental and licence fees, medical expenses, nursing and personal care, counselling, or other support services are all ineligible for HB.