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Service charge guidance

Alliance City Living has been appointed to manage the service charge budget and to provide block management services as well as being the preferred letting agent across the sites. This means, we are responsible for the overall management of your building, which includes the billing and collection of service charges, managing the delivery of our services on site through our on-site Concierge, Housekeeping and Maintenance team as well as 3rd party suppliers.

We don’t just manage the apartment block but put every available resource into managing the needs and wants of the leaseholders and residents too. From cleaning and maintenance, to planning for the future, our range of property management services reflects this total commitment to leaseholders, quality and service delivery.

Our overriding aim at Alliance City Living is to ensure you get the best value for the service charges you pay and you feel the building is maintained to the highest standards possible - we deliver a Property Management Service unrivalled in the North West which will make your home all that more comfortable and satisfying whilst leaving a little more in your pockets at the end of each month.

For more information about the service you can come to expect, visit our website on www.alliancecityliving.com which will outline all the services and offerings we provide to owners. For now, this page is a quick introduction to who we are and what you can expect in the immediate future.

If you have a question on your service charge invoice, please read below as we aim to answer the most commonly asked questions. If this is not the case you can contact your property team by calling 0161 804 5080 who will be happy to assist.

Guidance for Landlords who chose Alliance City Living as their lettings and management agent.

If you are currently one of our Alliance City Living customers and rent your apartment out through our letting teams you will be pleased to know that your service charge account is managed as part of our comprehensive package and paid through your rental income, you therefore do not need to read beyond this section of this guidance document.

How do you collect my service charge if I rent my property through Alliance City Living?

When the service charge is billed we will send you your invoice as this is a mandatory requirement and is for information purposes only to provide you notification of the pending costs to be applied to your lettings account. We will proceed through our billing team to upload your service charge to your lettings account and will settle this charge using your available rental income. You will be provided a statement of account for your rental income which will show total rent received and any costs including service charge that has been deducted and we will pay the final amount over to your nominated bank account.

What happens if there is not enough income from the rental account to settle my service charge account?

As part of our rental service we aim to keep void periods to a minimum on your property and therefore do not anticipate a problem in collecting service charge but if this does happen we will send you a letter to inform and request an exceptional payment to keep the service charge account up to date. It is important that we receive the funds for service charges on time to ensure we can maintain the property to the required standards.

Guidance for Landlords who did not choose Alliance City Living as their lettings and management agent or Leaseholders who live in their property.

How can I pay my service charge?

Our preferred method of payment is a BACS transfer or Standing Order. This is simple to set up and you do it directly with your bank. Please ensure you have the bank details and customer reference to hand which you can find on the front page of your invoice. You must use the customer reference as your payment reference so we can allocate your payment effectively. We cannot issue standing order mandates and if setting up a standing order you must ensure you set up equal payments to clear the balance, please see below more guidance to assist on this calculation.

Do you accept cheques?

We accept cheques if you are clearing your balance but allow 10 working days for processing before a payment will be allocated to your service charge account. We do not accept cheques for monthly payment instalments. The cheque payee must be the name of the management company as noted on your invoice and we require you to note your customer reference on the back of the cheque.

Can I pay my service charge by card over the telephone?

No, we unfortunately do not offer a service to pay your service charge by card over the telephone.

Can I spread the cost of my service charge and pay monthly?

Your lease dictates payments are made as per the billing terms and are due within 14 days of an invoice date. Although the terms of your lease is the official payment date that you have accepted in the purchase of your leasehold property we are able to offer flexible payment terms to allow you to make monthly payments. These terms require the following rules to be strictly adhered to:-

  • Your service charge must be up to date with no arrears from previous billing periods, if you do have an outstanding balance and one off payment must be made to clear this prior to any flexible payment terms being accepted (you will see this listed as previous service charge outstanding on your invoice).
  • Regular payments consist of equal installments to settle the account within the billing period.
  • Payments are made by BACS or standing order and set up clearly quoting the customer reference which is on your invoice.
  • All payments must reach the property bank account by the 10th of each month
  • A notification should be sent to your property team to confirm you have adhered to all terms and we will add a note to your account to ensure you do not receive payment reminders for your outstanding balance.

How do I calculate a monthly payment for flexible payment terms?

Our system does not calculate a monthly charge automatically as it is set up to align to your lease as we must adhere to the service charge legislation entailing we bill in accordance with your lease. We have designed your service charge invoice so that you can do this manually and hopefully you will find that this is a simple calculation for you to workout.

  • Your invoice will provide you the total charge for the period listed as “Total Service Charge”
  • The period the service charge covers is written within the Description/Frequency field and may be Annual, Half Yearly, Quarterly or Monthly.
  • To calculate a monthly regular payment you need to take the total service charge and divide by the number or months in the frequency. For Example:- Quarterly Service Charge of £300 – Divide £300 by three months – Set up a standing order for £100 per month.
  • Tip: Service Charges change from year to year and you must contact your bank to amend the standing order at the beginning at each service charge year.

Can you send me a statement of account?

Statements are sent with every invoice. Should you require a copy of your statement at any other time please email your property team to request allowing five working days for this to be processed.

Has my payment been received?

All payments received will show on your statement, please allow minimum two days for processing of all payments and 10 days for cheques. If you believe we are missing a payment, contact your property team via email providing evidence or details of the payment so we can investigate and allocate the payment to your account.

Why are you sending me reminder letters?

It is vital to be able to maintain your property to the required standards and to enable us to do this it is important that regular service charge income is received. If you have not informed us of a regular standing order being set up and been accepted to a flexible payment term and payment is not received within 14 days of receiving your service charge invoice we will be required to start our arrears collection process.

If you are making regular payments but do not comply with the flexible payment term rules either due to a previous outstanding balance, due to payment being received too late or due to an underpayment that will not cover your balance, this will also start the arrears collection process.

What if I don’t pay my service charges?

By purchasing a leasehold property you have agreed to the terms of the lease and payment of service charges is a mandatory requirement and vital to ensure the common parts of your building remain safe and well maintained. It is very important you do not ignore any reminders. Non-recovery of service charges can lead to formal debt collection which can impact on your credit history. If you have a change in personal circumstances and are unable to make your payments please let us know via your property team so we can discuss your options.

Why are you sending me an invoice through the post?

Our preferred method of communication from a cost, efficiency and sustainability factor is email and if we are sending you a paper invoice through the post this means we do not hold an email address for you therefore please make contact with your property team and provide your email address and confirm that you would prefer to move to email billing.

My invoice was sent to the wrong address.

It is important that we have your correct details to ensure you receive all important communications from us. You can inform us of a new address by contacting your property team and an address change will be actioned within two days.

I own multiple apartments in the same building, why is my service charge different for each of them?

Service charges are billed in accordance with your lease and is often apportioned across the building based upon the square foot of the apartment, although whilst this is the most common method, the lease can determine other calculation methods. Therefore if the size of each property is different you will pay a different portion of the overall budget.

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