Service charges are paid by flat owners for the upkeep of the communal areas of building.
Sometimes this is apportioned equally between all owners, and at other times it dependent on the size of the property, but this is always set out within the terms of the lease.
If service charge is not set out equally, it can be apportioned as a percentage of the building. As an example a two bedroom penthouse apartment, would have a larger floor space than a studio flat, and therefore pay a larger service charge. The important thing to remember is that the Lease determines how the costs are divided and this does not always take in to account who in a development necessarily receives the service. It is therefore important to understand this before buying a property with service charges attached rather than assuming that certain costs will not apply.
Service charge must set out in a fair and reasonable standard. Your property manager will set the service charge amount on yearly basis, having looked at the previous year’s costs, as well as taking in to account any major work that is required for the following year.