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Social Rented Housing: Service Charges

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 13th January 2020.

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Photo of Caroline Nokes Caroline Nokes Conservative, Romsey and Southampton North

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans the Government has to protect social housing tenants from unreasonable service charges levied by social landlords.

Photo of Caroline Nokes Caroline Nokes Conservative, Romsey and Southampton North

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what the maximum limit is on service charges that can be passed on to tenants by social housing landlords.

Photo of Esther McVey Esther McVey Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

There is no maximum limit on service charges that can be passed on to social rented tenants but they must be set in line with the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 with service charges payable only to the extent that the costs have been reasonably incurred. The reasonableness of the service charge a social housing landlord is seeking will depend on the nature of the works required and other contributing factors.

Social housing tenants have the ability to apply to the Property Chamber of the First-tier Tribunal for a determination where they do not believe the charges are reasonable, and must be consulted when major works are being proposed.

For those in Affordable Rent properties the calculation of their gross rent includes service charges. Gross rent for these properties is capped at 80 per cent of market rent.

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