Rent and Service Charges

Your rent is set each year and we'll write to you explaining what your rent will be for the year ahead. You may also need to pay service charges for any communal services that are provided.

You can view your rent and service charge accounts at any time via our free MyAccount service.
 

Click here to verify your Amicus Horizon My Account button

From April 2017 your rent and/or service charge may change. If this affects you, you'll receive a letter from us explaining the changes to your charges. Some of the key points are explained below.

The basic rent change for general needs, assured tenancies from April 2017 will see your rent decrease by 1%. If you have a service charge, your new charge will be based on the cost of providing the services.

For Fair Rent Tenancies the rules are slightly different and most will decrease by 1%, but if your current rent is below the registered rent for your home you may see a smaller decrease or small increase in your rent. Service charges are based on the cost of providing the service.

For other tenure types below we will apply a percentage increase based on your lease or agreement with us:

• If you have a lease with AmicusHorizon
• Or your home is in one of our Market Rent schemes,
• your property is managed by AmicusHorizon on behalf of a Local Authority or another landlord.

It’s really important if you are claiming Universal Credit to let the DWP know of your new rent and from date the new rent is being charged.

All 2017/18 garage charges will be charged for every week of the year e.g 52 weeks of the year.

If you live in supported housing, including Sheltered accommodation, the government has recently announced your rent will not decrease but will increase by 0.9% in April 2017. This is based on CPI plus 1% in September.

If you'd like further information, please contact our Money Matters Team on 0800 121 60 60.

You can view your rent and service charge accounts via MyAccount.
 

Service charges explained

You pay service charges for shared facilities or services.

Your tenancy or lease says we must provide the service and you must pay a proportion of the costs.

Here's a useful guide to the main services you may be charged for:

 

Accountancy Fee

The cost of providing service charge accounts that have been checked and certified by an independent accountant.

AmicusHorizon management fee

Our charge for managing services. This includes negotiating contracts, collecting service charges, accounting for expenditure, checking and paying invoices from contractors, dealing with queries and regular inspections.

Bin store facilities

The cost of hiring household waste bins where the service is not provided by the Local Authority. It can also include collection fees, cleaning and disinfecting of communal bins and areas.

Buildings insurance

For most apartments, flats and maisonettes we insure the building on your behalf. These buildings are insured against fire, storm damage, impact by vehicles and other similar risks. Please remember the buildings insurance does not cover the contents of your home. You will need your own insurance policy for this. Contact your Housing Officer if you need more information.

Car park costs

The costs to provide shared car parking areas including rates from local authorities, rental charges, communal power operated gates, car park stacker systems, servicing, maintenance, renewal, testing, monitoring and insurance.

CCTV maintenance

Running cost of CCTV (Closed Circuit Television), surveillance systems or intruder alarms provided for extra security.

Cleaning communal areas

Cleaning of shared areas of the building, including any equipment, cleaning materials and specialist cleaning costs such as graffiti removal.

Communal area expenses

Costs relating to communal areas and rooms such as lounges, showers, toilets and bathrooms. This can include decorating costs, repairs to equipment, replacement of items and testing of electrical equipment and other safety inspections.

Communal kitchen expenses

This is for the servicing, testing, maintenance and provision of supplies to the communal kitchen area.

Communal Laundry Expenses

This is for the servicing, testing, maintenance and provision of sundries to the communal laundry. If we lease or rent laundry equipment then that cost is included here.

Communal Media Maintenance

The cost of looking after the shared TV aerial or satellite system that's in your scheme.

Communal TV Licence

Where we provide a television in a communal area then we charge for the TV licence cost.

Communal water and drainage

This is the cost of any communal water and waste water in shared areas. It could also include a cost for us to test shared water pipes or a pumping station.

Council Tax for your home

If we pay Council Tax on your behalf we charge for this.

Depreciation

Sometimes we have to replace or buy new things and when we do, we recover the cost from you over a number of years rather than all in one go. These are things like TV aerials/satellite systems, door entry systems, CCTV, flooring in communal areas, fire alarm systems, warden call systems, passenger lifts and stairlifts.

Door Entry System Maintenance

This is the cost to maintain your door entry system. This may be a replacement handset or repairs to the door release system.

Electricity Communal Areas

The cost to light shared areas including any outside lights your scheme may have. It also covers the cost of powering the door entry system, any lift(s) everyone pays towards and replacement of light bulbs/tubes.

Electricity for your home

We pay for the electricity supply that goes to your home and then recharge you for this.

Estate Lighting

Electricity for lamp posts and lighting bollards including replacement of light bulbs/tubes.

Fly Tipping (also known as bulk refuse)

The cost to remove and dispose of non-household waste the council will not remove on the normal rubbish collection. It can be things like old fridges, sofas and mattresses. Councils will remove these items either for free or for a small fee for residents. We're not able to use that service as we're a company. If more people used the local council's service or took items to the local tip themselves this cost would reduce or disappear.

Grounds Maintenance

The cost to maintain outside shared areas including the provision of plants, maintenance of flowerbeds and shrubs, weed spraying, tree surgery, gully clearing and maintenance of salt bins if provided.

Guest Room Expenses

The cost of maintaining guest room less income received from guests.

Heating Communal Areas

Gas or electricity costs for heating communal areas.

Hoist/Closomat inside your home

This is the cost of servicing the hoist or closomat toilet in your home.

Intensive Housing Management

A contribution towards the staff costs involved in providing a more intensive housing management service. This covers voids, allocations and lettings, tenancy management, scheme safety and security, repairs and maintenance, out-of-hours responses, equipment and communal facilities.

Lift expenses

Communal lift maintenance and repairs, including servicing contracts and lift telephones.

Managing Agent Charges

Sometimes we don't directly provide all services to your scheme or estate. There may be an External Management Company who charge us for the work they do and we pass these costs on to you.

Managing Agent personal utility charges

The cost of water, electricity or gas for personal use in a scheme where the services are supplied by an external management company.

Payphone

Phone line rental costs less income received from payphone.

Personal Door Entry

The cost to maintain your door entry system. This could be because it's not releasing the front door or to replace a handset.

Personal parking space

The cost of providing you with an allocated parking space.

Personal Window Cleaning

This is the cost of cleaning windows in your home.

Pest Control

The costs of controlling and disposing of pests in communal areas.

Play Area Maintenance

The cost of looking after estate and scheme play areas.

Power Generation Equipment

Running costs of solar panels, wind turbines and other power generating equipment.

Recovery of deficit costs from previous year

If there was a deficit on your last year of service charges this is a repayment of the debt by instalments.

Repairs Communal Areas

This is the cost of repairing and maintaining your building. These are usually repairs we've not been able to foresee or plan for. It can be a repair like replacing a loose tile on the roof or mending a communal window.

Scheme Office Expenses

Costs of providing and maintaining an office in your scheme.

Sinking Fund or Reserve

This is your contribution towards future major works and replacement of major components. The money is held in a separate fund and is used to lessen the impact of future major works bills.

Smoke and Fire Equipment

The cost of servicing as well as maintenance and repairs of any communal fire alarm system including emergency lighting, smoke vents and smoke alarms.

Stairlift inside your home

This is the cost of servicing the stair lift in your home. If your stair lift was installed after 31 October 2012 then the charge also includes maintenance and insurance.

Surplus or Deficit from previous year

Last September we issued a year end statement to you. This compared what you were charged in the previous financial year against the actual cost of services. If costs were higher than charged we're now recovering the extra cost. If costs were lower than charged we're now paying it back.

Warden Call System

Cost of looking after the telephone lines and equipment which link you to the central warden call centre.

Water and Sewerage for your home

In some schemes we pay for the water and waste water supply to individual homes on a central meter and charge for this. Where we provide a septic tank (cesspit, cesspool) we will charge on the cost of tanker emptying. Where we provide individual pumps or pump stations for handling waste water we charge on the electrical consumption costs.

Window Cleaning

Cost of cleaning the communal windows, externally and internally for your scheme.