Why might a rental amount look high? Service Charges explained

Not every property carries a service charge at Bernicia Living, but we do have some properties that are subject to one, and this can make the overall cost appear high.

We’re going to break this down for you so it’s easier to understand, and so you can see in real terms what you get for your money when renting with us if a service charge applies.

At Bernicia Living, we fix our service charges each year, which then forms part of the overall cost for you to rent one of these properties.

Service charges are separated into eligible and ineligible.

Eligible simply means that if you claim housing costs from the local authority, then these will likely be covered. Ineligible means that housing costs don’t cover these, and you would pay this.

The good news? Ineligible costs tend to be a lot lower than eligible.

Service charges cover things like (the list is not exhaustive):

  • Landscaping / gardening for communal gardens. (Eligible)
  • Internal cleaning for our apartment blocks. (Eligible)
  • Window cleaning. (Eligible)
  • Communal electricity. (Eligible)
  • Personal heating and hot water charges. (Ineligible)
  • Colleagues who may be onsite to manage health and safety and interact with and guide our tenants. (Eligible)
  • Onsite laundry facilities and replacement costs or repair (Eligible)

The average cost of a 1-bedroom property in the North East starts at £450 to £500 per month. Add your gas, electricity and utilities onto this, and you’re looking at around £615 to £675 per month.

Remember, this is an average, and you could pay more.

Some of our apartment blocks are inclusive of heating and hot water charges using a communal heating system.

This means a tenant would pay a capped amount per week and would have access to heating and hot water as part of their rental amount.

So, let’s look at the rent for an apartment that is £700 per month. You can easily see that this ties in line with the average rent for a 1-bedroom property, except with Bernicia Living, the likelihood is your heating and hot water is included, be it communal or personal.

Take all the additional benefits that an apartment with us brings, such as reduced isolation, a dedicated housing offer, great opportunities to become part of a close-knit community, and you can see the positive outcomes that our properties bring to people.

If you’re claiming full housing costs from the local authority, then a large portion of the overall rent and service charge is paid for already.

Each location is individual and has its own characteristics, so we’d encourage you to get in touch with us with any questions you may have, and a member of the team will be in touch to discuss.