If you are thinking of letting out your property in Surrey, then one of the questions you may be asking in the early stages are, “What does the Landlord have to pay for, and what does the tenant pay for”.
One of the most frequently asked questions for those letting flats and apartments is “Who pays the service charge?”. This is an important question especially for those investing in a property to purchase, as the cost of the service charge can greatly impact the return on investment.
A landlord is responsible for:
- Making any repayments on the property to the mortgage/ Lending company
- Keeping the structure of the building in good, safe condition
- Maintaining Buildings and Contents insurance (though only obliged to cover their own contents and not the tenants)
- Ensuring the property is fit for purpose and compliment with the Landlord ad Tenant Act.
Tenants are responsible for:
- All utilities. Gas, Electric, Water, Council Tax, TV licence, broadband, phone, oil, septic tank clearing etc.
- Their own contents insurance
- The rental
- Garden maintenance (unless otherwise agreed)
Therefore Landlords, if your property is leasehold, you are responsible for paying the service charge on the building. The only exception to this is in properties for special needs or the elderly where the service charge package includes 24hr safety monitoring or properties offering leisure facilities For more information see below.
The Service charge will normally include the buildings insurance, cleaning of communal areas, repairs to communal areas, repairs and maintenance on the building. The service charge is normally set and agreed at an AGM held by the managing agents for the block or in smaller units will be agreed by all the residents. Normally there is a saved “pot” as a contingency. The amount may be fixed annually, but in the even of major work needed may have to be topped up. Therefore if considering purchasing a leasehold property its important to get a surveyor to advise you on the buildings condition so you are aware of any potential forthcoming costs and speak to the managing agents about the plans for the building.
Elderly / Special Needs / Assisted Living
In catering for those with special needs, some specific blocks include into the service charge, 24 hour assistance in the even of a fall. Some cater for communal activities. Where this is the case, the managing agents should be able to bill you with the areas of spend broken down. The Landlord would pay for anything related to the building, but a proportioned amount for the care should be met by the tenant.
In properties where there is a gym / pool etc, the same applies and the tenants should pay the additional cost towards these facilities.
If you would like further information regarding this, please contact Sally Asling, SurreyLets, the letting specialists on 01483 282470
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