If you require assistance with your service charge account, please contact Customer Contact at Talk2us@barnethomes.org.uk or on 0208 080 6587.

This section gives you answers to some of the frequently asked questions we receive about service charges.

Why is my Actual Service Charge different to my Estimated Service Charge?

  • We aim to ensure that the Estimated Service Charges that we send to leaseholders in the spring match the Actual Service Charges, which we send to leaseholders in the autumn, as closely as possible. We calculate the estimated charges by analysing the spending for the previous financial years on your block and estate and adjusting the costs for inflation. The main reason why your actual charges will be different to your estimated charges is that the volume and costs of repairs and other services such as bulk refuse collection completed in your block or estate will vary slightly from year to year.
  • If your actual charges are higher than the estimate, you will have to pay for the difference (the ‘actual demand’). If it is lower than the estimate, we will credit (put money back into) your service charge account  with the  difference. If you would like to have this credit refunded back to your bank account, please contact us at Talk2us@barnethomes.org.

How can I pay my Service Charge?

  • There are several different ways to pay your service charge, please choose from one of the five options in the list below:
  • Direct debit. You can download a direct debit form from our website by clicking here.  Once completed please return the form to us so we can set up and advise you of the duration/amounts that will be due.
  • On the internet. You can pay by debit or credit card on The London Borough of Barnet website, click here. You will need to enter your nine-digit reference number when making payments online. You can find your account number in the letters that we have sent you about your service charges. If your account number is shorter than nine digits, please add the required number of zeros at the start of your number (e.g. for 1234 enter 000001234).
  • Phone payment service. By debit or credit card. You can call 0208 080 6587 to make the payment. Select “Option 2”. You will need your account number to use this option.
  • Bank transfer. Please use the following details:
    Council’s Bank Account Number: 82622841
    Council’s Bank Sort-Code Number:  60-23-36 (NatWest Bank plc)
    Your customer reference number: your account number
  • Payment Letter. You can use a Barnet Homes Service Charge payment letter at any PayPoint outlet in the UK. To request a payment letter please phone Customer Contact on 0208 080 6587.

What happens to my existing direct debit? Do I need to set up a new one?

  • If you have a direct debit arrangement in place to pay your charges already, you do not need to set up a new direct debit.
  • Payments will be taken on the 1st and 15th of every month.
  • You will receive a separate letter to say your monthly payment has been adjusted for the remainder of the payment period unless you advise us otherwise.

I would like to check the detail of what I have been charged for. How do I request a breakdown of my Estimate or Actual Service Charge?

  • If after reading the information provided in your actuals service charge booklet you would like a detailed breakdown of your charges including itemised block and estate repairs, please request this by emailing us at Talk2us@barnethomes.org.

I am struggling to pay my charges, what will happen?

I have been charged for a service that was not completed to the expected standard.

  • If you think you have been charged too much for a service or charged for a service you do not receive, we can provide you with a breakdown of charges that gives more detail about what you have been charged for, including specific communal repairs.
  • To request a breakdown please contact us by email at Talk2us@barnethomes.org. If there is confirmation that a service has not been provided, we will credit (put money into) your account.

I have been charged for a service I do not receive, what do I do?

  • If you would like us to look into charges that may be incorrect, please contact us by email at Talk2us@barnethomes.org or by phone on 0208 080 6587. Our Customer Contact team will then assign your enquiry to the relevant team to assist. If you have concerns about the frequency or quality of a service you receive, our Customer Contact team will also assign your enquiry to the relevant team to assist.

What should I do if I don’t agree with my service charge?

  • You should continue to pay your service charges, but you should contact us immediately to discuss your concerns at Talk2us@barnethomes.org or by phone on 0208 080 6587.
  • If you think the problem is not resolved, please ask Customer Contact to log a complaint under the Barnet Homes Complaints procedure.
  • If the Complaints procedure does not resolve the issue to your satisfaction you can apply to the London Residential Property First-Tier Tribunal who will hear the evidence on both sides before making a decision. If the London Residential Property First-Tier Tribunal determine that the charge is not fair and reasonable, it can make Barnet Homes refund the money you have paid. Please note that the London Residential Property First-Tier Tribunal charge a fee for an application and a hearing.

 What will happen if I don’t pay my service charge?

  • You will be breaking the terms of your lease, which sets out that you legally must pay for your annual service charges. If you fail to pay the charges, we may have to take legal action to recover the money that you owe Barnet Homes.

I have been overcharged for a service, what do I do?

  • Please contact us at Talk2us@barnethomes.org and provide details on the service which you have been overcharged for.

How can I get a copy of my service charge statement?

  • If you would like to read a copy of your service charge statement for the current financial year you will find a copy of this within you Service Charge Estimates or Actuals booklet which we recently sent you.
  • If you need a copy of a statement for a previous financial year/period, please contact us at Talk2us@barnethomes.org and this can be sent to you via email.

I am owed a refund as I have been paying too much. How can I get one?

  • Please contact us at Talk2us@barnethomes.org and provide details of the service you have been overcharged on and are requesting a refund for.
  • Please be aware you will need to provide a copy of your bank statement showing your name, address, sort code and account number in order for a refund to be requested.

I want to stop my direct debit, what do I do?

  • Firstly, please contact your bank to cancel your direct debit, they can action this for you immediately.
  • Once you have contacted your bank to cancel the direct debit, please get in contact with us at Talk2us@barnethomes.org to arrange the cancellation of the direct debit.

If you pay in full by 30 April, you will qualify for a £10 credit to your service charge account. If you set up a direct debit you will also qualify for a £10 credit on your account.

There are several different ways to pay your service charge, please choose from one of the 5 options in the list below:

  • Direct debit (recommended) – You can download a direct debit form to complete by clicking here. Once completed please return the form to us so we can set up your direct debit and advise you of the duration/amounts that will be due. Payments are taken on the 1st and 15th of every month.
  • On the internet – You can pay by debit or credit card on The London Borough of Barnet website, click here. You will need to enter your nine-digit reference number when making payments online. If your account number is shorter than nine digits, please add the required number of zeros at the start of your number (e.g. for 1234 enter 000001234).
  • Phone payment service – By debit or credit card. You can call 0208 080 6587 and select “option 2” to make the payment. Please have your seven-digit account number ready, this can be found on page 1 of your Actuals Service Charge booklet, next to “Our ref”. If your account number is shorter than this, please add the necessary number of zeros at the beginning (for example, for 12345 enter 0012345).
  • Bank transfer – Please use the following details:
  • Council’s Bank Account Number: 8262284
  • Council’s Bank Sort-Code Number:  60-23-36 (NatWest Bank plc)
  • Your customer reference number: your account number
  • Payment letter – You can use a Barnet Homes Service Charge payment letter at any PayPoint outlet in the UK. To request a barcode payment letter, please phone Customer Contact on 0208 080 6587.
  • Your annual service charge covers the costs of day-to-day repairs and maintenance along with services we provide to your block and estate (e.g. communal cleaning).
  • Service charges are calculated from the 1st April to the 31st March the following year (e.g. 1st April 2020-31st March 2021).
  • There are two different types of service charges:
    • Estimates – before the start of a service charge year we will contact you with a bill which sets out an estimate of the costs of services for that year. Your actual service charge is calculated by working out how much each of the main services we provide you with costs (e.g. grounds maintenance).
    • Actuals – after the end of the service charge year we will contact you with a bill which sets out what the actuals costs for services have been for that year.
  • We aim to ensure that the Estimated Service Charges that we send to leaseholders in the spring match the Actual Service Charges, which we send to leaseholders in the autumn, as closely as possible. We calculate the estimated charges by analysing the spending for the previous financial years on your block and estate and adjusting the costs for inflation. The main reason why your actual charges will be different to your estimated charges is that the volume and costs of repairs and other services such as bulk refuse collection completed in your block or estate will vary slightly from year to year.
    • Actual demand – if your actual charges are higher than the estimate, you will have to pay for the difference.
    • Credit your account – if your actual charges are lower than the estimate, we will put money back into your service charge account with the difference.
  • We calculate your service charges using the following steps:
    • Your lease will set out what services we supply to you and which costs we can claim back from you.
    • The costs of the services we supply is covered by a portion of the rent paid by tenants and service charges paid by leaseholder.
    • Your contribution (as a leaseholder) to the costs of these services is set out in your lease.
    • The cost of providing each different service to your block or estate is divided by the percentage stated in your lease. Please note leases will vary, ensuring services charges for each homes is fair and reasonable.

Please note: major works are charged as and when they arise, and you will continue to receive separate bills for any major works carried out on your block or estate.

Your estimate and actual service charges are broken down into a number of categories under two main headings:

  • Estate costs: the fee we collect to maintain the grounds of your estate.
  • Estate maintenance and repair
  • Grounds maintenance e.g. cost of grass cutting
  • Estate caretaking e.g. litter picking outside areas
  • Estate lighting e.g. costs of outdoor lights for paths or staircases
  • Block costs: the fee we collect to maintain your block.
    • Block and maintenance repair e.g. a repair to the front door of a block
    • Lift maintenance and repair e.g. the cost of regular service inspections and follow-on repairs.
    • Entry phone maintenance and repair
    • Window cleaning
    • Caretaking e.g. cleaning the stairs
    • TV aerial maintenance e.g. maintaining and leasing a shared TV system for your block or building
    • Block lighting meter e.g. the cost of electricity for lighting the shared areas of your block
    • Central heating fuel meter e.g. the cost of fuel for providing heating and hot water to flats from a communal boiler

In addition to estate and block costs, the other categories on your bill could be:

  • Management costs: the fee we collect to cover the costs of managing leasehold, freehold and shared ownership
    • g. supervising services and repairs, issuing service charge bills, replying to leaseholder enquiries and maintaining records/systems.
    • Most of our leasehold properties are charged a flat rate management fee of £119 a year.
    • There is also an additional charge made at 24.5% for any costs above £50, excluding charges for ground rent and insurance.
  • Insurance: All leasehold properties are covered by buildings insurance which is arranged by the London Borough of Barnet, the premium is included in your service charge bill. Please click herefor more information or visit the relevant page by clicking here.
  • Ground rent: If you have a right to buy (RTB) lease, the ground rent you must pay each year is £10. All other leases specify different amounts of ground rent which must be paid, so please check your lease for this information.

Please note: not all of the above services may be applicable to your estate or block, please check your lease to find out which services are available.

  • For help with any general enquiries you may have about your Barnet Homes service charge, please contact Customer Contact at Talk2us@barnethomes.org or 020 8080 6587.
  • For help with the Insurance Section of your service charge, please contact Barnet Council at Insurance@barnet.gov.uk or 020 8359 7195, who can discuss policy enquiries with you.
  • For help with making a Zurich Municipal insurance claim, please contact Zurich Municipal at homeclaims@uk.zurich.com or 0800 026 1841, who can help you make a claim.            
  • For help with advice on leaseholder law, including understanding your lease, please contact The Leasehold Advisory Service (LEASE) on 020 7383 9800 or visit  www.lease-advice.org.
  • For help with what to do if you fall into debt, please contact the National Debt helpline on 0808 808 4000 (Freephone), who can provide free and independent advice over the phone.
  • For help with debt problems, please contact StepChange Debt Charity on 0800 1381111 or visit www.stepchange.org, who can provide you with free advice and solutions to your debt.
  • For help with personal debt, please contact Christians Against Poverty UK on 0800 03280006 or visit www.capuk.org, who provide a free debit advice service for all.
  • For help with carer or disability benefits, Jobcentre Plus or The Pensions service, please visit the Department of Works and Pensions at www.dwp.gov.uk.
  • Actual service charge adjustment – this shows you the difference between the estimated costs we sent you earlier this year and the actual costs of your service charge which we have now calculated. 
  • Account statement – this shows any previous and the current live balance of your service charge account.
  • Block costs – the fee we collect to maintain your block and includes services such as window cleaning, communal cleaning and general repairs and maintenance.
  • Breakdown of estimate or actual charges – you can request a document which provides a breakdown of the specific repairs and services that were provided to your estate or block by Barnet Homes during each financial year. These repairs and services were in addition to any routine services that were provided to your estate or block e.g. regular cleans of communal areas completed by caretakers. It shows the total costs for the repair or service and the specific costs which you have been charged.
  • Estate costs – the fee we collect to maintain the grounds and includes services such as gardening, litter picking and general grounds maintenance.
  • Management costs –the fee we collect to cover the costs of managing leasehold,      freehold and shared ownership properties.
  • Schedule of Actual Service Charge – This section has a list of the actual charges for your estate and/or block for the period of 1st April 2020 to 31st March 2021.