Service charge consultation

Fair and transparent charging for communal services – your views

In January we wrote to all tenants where we proposed to introduce a new service charge. This follows the Council’s decision in December 2018 to apply a consistent approach to service charging across the county.

At the end of the consultation period we considered the responses and if we needed to make any changes to the proposed charges.

A report detailing the feedback, and our response, is available below, please see the link 'Acting on feedback to proposed service charge'. We will write to give formal notice of any new charges that begin in April. If your service charges have gone up by more than £5 than the amount you were paying last year, the Council has decided to cap that increase at £5. So, the amount you pay may be more than £5, but the increase will be no more than £5.

  • Out of 10,072 tenancies – 7,346 will have no service charge. 
  • Out of the 2,726 who will receive a service charge in April 2019, 922 will be more than £5 in total, but only 313 are capped as their ‘increase’ would have been more than £5.

If you have any queries about your service charge, please contact us.

What is a communal service?

A communal service is one for a block or estate that serves two or more homes, and funds such things as gardening, lighting, cleaning, caretaking, lifts, door entry phones, and communal TV aerials.

Why change?

  • A number of different approaches to service charges were inherited from the previous district councils. It could be seen as unfair, as some tenants pay for these services in addition to their rent, and some tenants don’t.
  • Charging all tenants who receive services could release £¼ million or more into the housing budget to pay for better services or improvements.
  • The majority of tenants are eligible for benefits that will cover most service charges.

The decision

Tenant feedback will be considered by Cornwall Housing, who will then make a recommendation to Cornwall Council. Cornwall Council will also consider the feedback from tenants when they make the decision. We expect this to be in December.

The outcome

If the Council decide to introduce any new service charges, we will write to those affected giving a further period of consultation – called a ‘notice of variation’. This will detail the proposed charges, and will enable at least seven weeks’ notice of any new charge coming in.

Privacy statement:

The information you provided was used to inform Cornwall Housing of your feedback on the services provided to you regarding managing your tenancy, Cornwall Housing Options and Cornwall Homechoice.

We only use this information in conjunction with the nature of your enquiry.  We will retain your feedback for 12 months from the date your feedback is received. All personal information held by Cornwall Council is held safely in a secure environment.

Read the full privacy policy