Service charge descriptions
This page explains what each Curo service charge covers. Most of the services we provide to shared areas are eligible for assistance if you claim Universal Credit. Some services are not eligible – these are shown as ‘ineligible for Universal Credit’.
General service charges
This is to cover the maintenance of any communal adaptations for the benefit of the scheme.
- Balance from prior year
Our customers all pay variable service charges and, depending on the agreement you have, these can follow the property into the following year to spread the cost over the year. This amount is to help with affordability for our tenants rather than charging an annual lump sum.
- Car parking gates
For car parks with security gates, this covers the servicing and repairs costs to maintain access.
This covers the servicing, repair and telephone line (if available off-site) of the communal areas monitored by a CCTV system. This can also cover any repairs carried out during the year.
- Central control servicing (ineligible for Universal Credit)
This is the cost of maintaining the hard-wired alarm systems in some of our schemes. It does not cover the monitoring of the system as this is a personal charge and is not considered a service charge.
- Children's play areas
This covers the servicing and repair of playground equipment on your estate.
- Choice eligible service charge
Additional support services required for specific tenure types.
- Cleaning materials
This payment covers the cost of cleaning materials bought to allow cleaning staff to maintain the shared areas
- Contract cleaning
This is to cover the cost of the cleaning service we provide to internal and external communal areas.
- Depreciation (ineligible for Universal Credit)
This covers charges made for replacement of any ‘capital’ items or installing new capital items which are not paid for in the rent. Capital items could include expensive items such as play equipment or communal furniture. The depreciation cost is spread over a number of years so you pay back a small amount each week towards the cost of the replacement.
- Domestic appliances (ineligible for Universal Credit)
This is to cover maintenance costs of white goods in individual homes where those appliances are required as part of the tenancy.
- Electrical inspections (PAT)
This covers the cost of testing appliances that are plugged into the sockets in shared areas. This includes lamps, TVs and washing machines. These tests are required by law once a year. PAT stands for ‘portable appliance testing’.
This covers the cost of providing electricity in communal areas. This is normally in stairwells and entrance-ways in flats, but can also include external lighting in car parks, certain bin stores or street lighting.
- Enhanced housing management (ineligible for Universal Credit)
This is the additional management costs for providing assistance above what is normally required for service charge management and is specific for certain schemes.
- Equipment servicing
For communal areas with specialist equipment installed that’s individual to that area and not common across our housing stock.
- Fire fighting equipment
For areas that have communal fire extinguishers, this covers the cost of repair, replacement and servicing of equipment.
- Fire alarms/lights
For properties which have communal fire alarm systems, this covers the cost of annual servicing, weekly testing as required by law, and maintenance of the system. This can also incorporate dry risers, automatic ventilation systems and emergency lighting.
- Fly-tipping removal (refuse collection)
This is covers unplanned work carried out on estates (for example in shared areas such as bin stores or car parks) and includes investigating and removing minor or bulky waste (for example fly-tipped rubbish).
- Garage rent
A charge to cover the cost of using our garage(s).
This covers the cost of providing heating in the communal areas of some of our buildings, especially for our supported housing customers.
- Grounds maintenance
This covers the cost of cutting grassed areas and looking after other garden/estate shared areas. These are maintained by an external company and include litter-picking. This won’t always be the grounds directly surrounding your property.
- Guest room costs
Some of our schemes have guest rooms which any resident can book for family members to who’d like to stay over. This covers the cost of maintaining that service such as renewing furniture and facilities in the room.
- Laundry facilities
This covers the cost of annual servicing and minor repairs of equipment such as washing machines, dishwashers or fridges supplied to communal areas or to certain individual homes.
This maintenance contract covers servicing and repairs cost of a communal lift.
- Lighting & maintenance
This is the cost of changing light bulbs in communal areas to ensure they are lit adequately and remain safe.
- Pest Control
Providing pest control facilities that affect the communal areas.
- Renewals (ineligible for Universal Credit)
This covers the cost of renewing certain items. These will depend on the equipment that services your property and on what is in your block or estate.
- Satellite/Cable TV (ineligible for Universal Credit)
This is to cover the maintenance of communal satellite and cable TV facilities.
- Scheme Manager (ineligible for Universal Credit)
This covers the cost of an on-site scheme manager and is based on the cost to employ the individual and their time allocated to the scheme.
- Secure building access
This covers a contract for the maintenance of the door entry system which will cover call-outs and repairs.
- Security (ineligible for Universal Credit)
This covers any security service provided for your scheme, such as an out-of-hours security officer.
- Service charge capping
This is where Curo has agreed after review to cap the service charges at a level below the full cost.
- Stair lifts
This maintenance contract covers servicing and repair cost of a communal stair lift.
- Telephone maintenance
This covers the cost of maintaining a communal telephone facility.
- Tree maintenance
This could be for routine or unscheduled maintenance of trees in a shared area. These charges are set up in the same way as for grounds maintenance – a tree that’s included in your charges may not be near to or visible from your property.
- TV aerials
This covers the cost of servicing and repairing communal aerial systems.
- TV licence (ineligible for Universal Credit)
This is to provide Freeview television facilities in communal areas such as communal lounges.
This is to cover the cost of water in communal areas. It includes standing charges and how much water is used. This can also serve bike stores or bin stores and isn’t just applicable for blocks.
- Water safety testing
This is the cost of testing the water supply for Legionella bacteria. This is a legal requirement and keeps communal water supplies safe.
- Window Cleaning
Depending on the contract in place, this pays for cleaning communal windows.
- Personal electricity, gas/oil, water
This is payable if your utilities are provided by a shared system. We will allocated a proportion of the cost for your personal use of electricity, heating or water.
- Monitoring charge
This is the cost of monitoring alarm systems installed into an individual’s home.
- Personal domestic appliance rental
In the past we have provided white goods in some homes and agreed to the ongoing maintenance to help with affordability.
- Personal gardening
This is an opt-in service for customers who need support to maintain their individual gardens.
- Personal furniture rental
This covers the cost of maintaining furniture we provide furniture in certain homes.
- Personal window cleaning
This is where we provide cleaning of individual flats’ windows.
Charges specific to leaseholders/Shared Owners
- Buildings insurance (ineligible for Universal Credit)
We insure the structure of your building with Zurich Municipal. We provide a summary of the cover annually with your Statement of Costs.
- Building works
This covers finishing works, including rendering, brick-work, cladding etc.
- Estate repairs and maintenance
This covers the maintenance of shared items on the estate.
- External repairs and maintenance
This covers repairs to the exterior of the building.
- Ground rent
This is a rent charge due to the freeholder of the block and identified in your lease agreement.
- Internal repairs and maintenance
This covers repairs to the interior of the building – shared areas only.
- Management charges
Curo management charges for leaseholders are covered separately – please see our Management Charges leaflet here.
- Managing agent's charges
For some buildings, service charges for the area and/or block are provided and managed by another company. We have to pass this charge on to our customers.
- Sinking fund charges (ineligible for Universal Credit)
With a sinking fund, we ask customers to build up an amount in advance of any renewal work being required. It is often stipulated in the lease of your property that these charges are to be collected to cover annual wear and tear rather than requesting one-off amounts from the owner.