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Ground rent and service charge

Information about what ground rent is, do you have to pay, receiving your service charge bill, how to pay, paying in instalments, what to do if you have trouble paying and what the reserve fund is. 

What is the ground rent for my council leasehold property?

The ground rent is the rent for the land on which your property is situated and is set out in your lease; it is £10 per year. It is also shown on the service charge calculation sheet sent out to you in June of each year, and is invoiced with the service charge around August each year. These bills are issued by the leasehold services team.

Email: leaseholdservices@eastriding.gov.uk 
Tel: (01482) 396301

This information only applies to council leasehold properties that were originally purchased under the right to buy scheme. For information on other council leasehold properties please contact our valuations and estates team.

Tel: (01482) 393998 

Why do I have to pay service charges for my council leasehold property?

As a leaseholder you have to pay your property’s share of our costs in managing and maintaining the building in which your property is situated and any communal areas.

Your service charge is the money that you have to pay towards the day-to-day running costs of your building, as well as its repair and improvement. Your lease tells you which services you must pay for, and the proportion that you must pay.

Each lease varies but you may contribute to the following elements where they apply to your building:

  • caretaking services
  • heating, lighting and cleaning of communal entrances and areas
  • communal television aerials
  • fire safety equipment
  • door entry systems
  • day-to day repairs
  • maintenance of communal gardens
  • maintenance of boundary fences and walls
  • management and administration costs
  • buildings insurance
  • major works and improvements.

You should refer to your service charge certificate or lease to identify which elements relate to your building. If you are within the first 5 years of your lease your service charge will be subject to the maximum charges that were set out when the property was purchased from us.

The proportion of the costs that you pay is also set out in your lease. It is usually the total cost divided by the number of properties in your block (except where the work is specific to your property, for example new windows). Service charges are calculated by the leasehold services team, if you have any queries regarding your charges please contact them.

Email: leaseholdservices@eastriding.gov.uk 
Tel: (01482) 396301

If you believe that we are charging you incorrectly please let us know. If you are not happy with our response you have the right to refer the matter to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber), further information can be found on the gov.uk website.

GOV.UK - First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) (external website)

This information only applies to council leasehold properties that were originally purchased under the right to buy scheme. For information on other council leasehold properties please contact our valuations and estates team.

Tel: (01482) 393998 

When will I receive the service charge bill for my council leasehold property?

Most of our leaseholders pay their service charges annually in arrears. In this instance we start to calculate the sums due as soon as the financial year has ended, i.e. after 1st April each year. We aim to complete the service charge accounts and send out notification to leaseholders by 30 June each year. The invoices for payment are usually issued by 31 August each year.

If you do not currently pay your service charge annually in arrears and would like to do so, you can request to pay your service charge or ground rent in arrears online (opens in new window).

If you cannot afford to pay the bill in one payment, you may be able to arrange to pay in instalments over the rest of the financial year.

This information only applies to council leasehold properties that were originally purchased under the right to buy scheme. For information on other council leasehold properties please contact our valuations and estates team.

Tel: (01482) 393998

I’m a council leaseholder, how can I pay my service charges?

Your ground rent and service charge are generally billed annually in arrears. Some leases specify other ways of charging (that would result in a higher administration cost), we therefore give all leaseholders the opportunity to pay in arrears by agreement. If you do not currently pay your service charge annually in arrears and would like to do so, you can request to pay your service charge or ground rent in arrears online (opens in new window).

Notification of the charge is sent out each year in June, and the invoice follows usually by 31 August. You can pay your council invoice in a number of ways – over the phone or by post (please make sure you have your invoice number available), online using our secure payment facility (opens in a new window), by direct debit or standing order or at any of our customer service centres.

If you have problems paying your service charge bill you should contact the corporate billing section as soon as possible, as you may be able to arrange to pay in instalments.

Email: corporate.billing@eastriding.gov.uk 
Tel: (01482) 394862

If you are in receipt of certain benefits you may be able to get help with your payments direct from the Department of Works and Pensions (DWP) more information is available on their website.

Department of Works and Pensions (externalwebsite)

If your service charge bill includes planned maintenance or improvements and you pay into a reserve fund we will use some or all of the funds to offset the charge. If the cost of such works is more than £1,000 we will send you information on additional options for meeting the cost.

If you do not make service charge payments we may have to consider legal action. This could lead to a county court judgement or even losing your home.

If you have queries or complaints about your ground rent or service charge you should contact the leasehold services team.

Email: leaseholdservices@eastriding.gov.uk 
Tel: (01482) 396154

This information only applies to council leasehold properties that were originally purchased under the right to buy scheme. For information on other council leasehold properties please contact our valuations and estates team.

Tel: (01482) 393998

Can I pay the service charge for my council leasehold property in instalments?

If you cannot afford to pay the bill in one payment, you can contact the corporate billing section to arrange to pay in instalments over the rest of the financial year.

Email: corporate.billing@eastriding.gov.uk 
Tel: (01482) 394862

This information only applies to council leasehold properties that were originally purchased under the right to buy scheme. For information on other council leasehold properties please contact our valuations and estates team.

Tel: (01482) 393998

I’m having trouble paying the service charge for my council leasehold property, can I get any help?

If you have problems paying your service charge bill you should contact corporate billing as soon as possible, as you may be able to arrange to pay in instalments.

Email: corporate.billing@eastriding.gov.uk 
Tel: (01482) 394862

If you are in receipt of certain benefits you may be able to get help with your payments direct from the Department of Works and Pensions (DWP) more information is available on their website.

Department of Works and Pensions (external website)

If your service charge bill includes planned maintenance or improvements and you pay into a reserve fund we will use some or all of the funds to offset the charge. If the cost of such works is more than £1,000 we will send you information on additional options for meeting the cost.

If you do not make service charge payments we may have to consider legal action. This could lead to a county court judgement or even losing your home.

This information only applies to council leasehold properties that were originally purchased under the right to buy scheme. For information on other council leasehold properties please contact our valuations and estates team.

Tel: (01482) 393998. 

What is the Reserve Fund for a council leasehold property?

Some leaseholders pay into a reserve fund (sometimes called a sinking fund), as part of their service charge. The reserve fund is designed to help leaseholders spread the cost of expensive works, such as the replacement of the roof. The annual payment that is made by a leaseholder into the reserve fund for their property is held on account by us until any planned maintenance or improvements are carried out, interest is paid on the balance.

When major works are carried out the reserve fund is used in either part or total to reduce the service charge bill issued. A separate reserve fund statement is also issued showing the amount in the fund, the amount deducted and the current balance.

The reserve fund is specific to the property and is not repaid if the property is sold.

This information only applies to council leasehold properties that were originally purchased under the right to buy scheme. For information on other council leasehold properties please contact our valuations and estates team.

Tel: (01482) 393998.