Frequently asked questions
What is the service charge?
This is payable by all residents and contributes towards the cost of providing and maintaining communal services.
What does the service charge cover?
It varies between each scheme, but may include:
- employment of a Court Manager
- buildings insurance
- lighting and heating for communal areas
- maintaining and cleaning communal areas
- external window cleaning
- maintaining communal gardens
- maintenance contracts for equipment in communal areas
- management fee - for Housing & Care 21 to provide and supervise the services and produce audited accounts
- sinking fund payments
How is the service charge paid?
The charge is paid monthly in advance. You will receive further details before you move into your new home.
What happens if I can't pay my service charge?
If you're having trouble paying your service charge, you may be entitled to claim benefits. Housing & Care 21's benefit advisors can help you to claim your entitled benefits.
Service charge and sinking fund contributions are compulsory for all residents, whether or not they use the facilities. Please ensure that you understand all charges that are payable - our Sales Teams can provide more information.
What is a sinking fund?
Residents contribute to a communal sinking fund, either on a monthly basis or when the property is sold. The exact method of payment will be set out in your lease.
A sinking fund should cover any major works that are required, and avoids a large one-off payment demand for residents.
The sinking fund ensures each development is kept in good condition and maintenance is undertaken in a timely manner.
Details of each development's sinking fund are provided on an annual basis.
What does the sinking fund cover?
Major works to the property, including:
- external doors
- redecoration of communal areas
- repainting external woodwork
In your home
What are the Court Manager's duties and responsibilities?
- managing the court
- arranging repairs
- managing staff and contractors at the court
- providing support to residents
How do I report a repair?
In the first instance, repairs should be reported to your Court Manager.
What about council tax and utilities?
Depending on the court, you may need to contact the Council and any provider of gas, electricity and water to advise them of your move into a Housing & Care 21 property and set up an account with them.
What are the insurance arrangements?
We provide buildings insurance to cover the structure of the buildings. You are responsible for arranging contents insurance to cover your own personal effects.
Can I release equity from the property?
It is usually possible to release equity - however, you should consult a financial advisor and discuss the options available to you.
We will need to agree any proposed equity release to ensure that it complies with your lease.
Reselling your property
What happens when I want to sell my property?
We will need written notice of any intention to sell your property. We will then advise on:
- how to obtain a valuation
- whether we or the local authority wish to nominate a buyer
- any charges that we will make
Can I get a mortgage?
You will need to contact a mortgage lender or independent advisor. We cannot give financial advice on obtaining a mortgage.
We will require details of the proposed mortgage offer to ensure it meets our criteria and is by an approved lender.
For more information, please see our Leasehold Residents' handbook.