Payments for home owners

As a home owner, there are various ways the Council can help you organise major works payments.

When to pay

You should remember that the charges are due from you on the due quarter dates, as outlined in your lease agreement, and not on receipt of an invoice. We do send invoices to you to help to to pay your charges and to give you a record of your account. The final account amount is due from the receipt of the final account statement.

Ways to pay

  • Make payments online. You will need your payment reference number.
  • Pay with cash or by cheque at any post office. Make cheques payable to The Post Office Ltd. You will need your swipe card and please allow three days for the payment to reach us.
  • Pay over the phone with our 24 hours payment line on 020 3974 4670, option 6.
  • Post a cheque or postal order to The Director of Finance, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Town Hall, Hornton Street, W8 7NX. Please quote your payment reference number on the back of the cheque or postal order.
  • Make payments by direct debit or standing order, contact Home Ownership on 020 7605 6464 for a form to complete.

Are you having difficulty paying?

If you are struggling to pay for major work, please let us know as soon as possible. We can give you more information about the options available and try to find a solution.

Major works are a part of your service charges, as defined in the lease. Failure to pay service charges, where there is no dispute, will be breaking the conditions of your lease.

What if I’m taken to court?

We must protect our interest in the property and even though we will only take legal action as a last resort, sometimes it does happen. You will have to pay your major works plus our legal costs and interest. Legal action could result in problems getting credit, a charging order, an order for sale, bankruptcy, or forfeiture of the lease. We will avoid legal action if at all possible.

What happens in cases of forfeiture?

Forfeiture is very serious and should be avoided at all costs. If your lease is forfeited, you will lose your home. Not only that, but you will still have to pay any arrears that you have against the property, such as a mortgage or service charges. You should not confuse this with an order for sale where we can ask the court to order the sale of your home and you may get something from the proceeds of the sale of the property. In forfeiture cases you get nothing.

Struggling with debt?

If you are having problems with debt, lots of organisations provide advice and information packs that can help with this:

National Debtline

Step Change Debt Charity

Kensington and Chelsea Citizens Advice

Major works repayment options

This page gives information about how we can help, you can also contact your Income Officer for advice or to arrange a payment. For your own protection, please also seek independent advice before entering into any financial arrangement.

Repayment options

We understand that some leaseholders will find it difficult to pay for major works. The payment options outlined below are designed to make it as easy as possible for you to pay your share. 

Within 12 months
If you pay your bill in full within the specified time period, you will receive a 2.5 per cent prompt payment discount.

Within two year, interest-free
You pay your bill in up to 24 instalments, over two years. The minimum monthly payment must be at least £100. This is the maximum payment period available to non-resident leaseholders.

Within three years, interest free
This option is available to resident leaseholders. Your home must be your only home. You pay your bill in up to 36 instalments. The minimum monthly payment must be at least £50.

Within ten years, with interest
This option is available for resident leaseholders. Your home must be your only home and the major works charge must be at least £10,000. You pay in up to 120 monthly instalments. No interest is charged for the first five years. Interest will be charged in years six to ten, a discounted rate which will vary in line with the Bank of England base rate. You will have to pay an administration fee for us to place a legal charge on your property. At a later date, you will need to pay another fee to remove the Council's charge. 

Council loans

There are two types of loan available from the Council; mandatory and discretionary. These loans spread the costs over a period of between three and 10 years and incur interest. The two types of loan available attract different interest rates, which may vary from time to time. Both types of loan can only be taken out for an amount of £500 or more:

The right to a mandatory loan
If your lease is less than 10 years old and you have been charged more than £2,250 for any major repair work, you may have the right to a loan. The loan has interest added to it at the local authority mortgage rate.

Discretionary loan
You may qualify for a discretionary loan if you have been charged for major repair work. You have to pay interest on the loan and the length of the loan depends on the value of the invoice. The loans are like a mortgage and we will have to put a charge on your property as security for the amount you owe. This means that we will tell the Land Registry that you have a debt against the property. If you then sell the property, your solicitor will know that you have a debt outstanding that will have to be paid from the proceeds of the sale. There are fees attached to this loan which can be added to the loan if agreed.

Voluntary charge

If you are a resident leaseholder who is retired or disabled, we can secure a charge against your property, although we would expect you to pay the legal costs and interest associated with this. We would recover the debt when your property is sold or transferred. Always seek independent legal advice before placing a charge against your property.

Other options

  • You may be able to extend your mortgage at a better interest rate than we can offer. If this is an option for you, and you can pay us within the timescale specified, you will be eligible for the 2.5 per cent prompt payment discount.
  • You could apply to a bank or building society for a loan or mortgage.
  • An equity release scheme, designed to free up cash based on the equity in your home (the equity in your home is the value of your property after the charges against it, such as the mortgage, have been taken off) may be an option. There are various equity release schemes available from financial institutions.

Always seek independent financial advice before signing a financial agreement.

Need help?

If you receive certain benefits you might be eligible for help with the cost of major works or help to pay interest on the amount you borrow to pay it. You will need to talk to the Department for Work and Pensions to see if you are eligible.

If you are struggling to pay for major work, please let us know as soon as possible. We can give you more information about the options available and try to find a solution.

Please note that major works are a part of your service charges as defined in the lease. Failure to pay service charges, where there is no dispute, will be breaking the conditions of your lease.

Service charge repayment options

This page gives information about how we can help, you can also contact your Income Officer for advice or to arrange a payment. For your own protection, please also seek independent advice before entering into any financial arrangement.

The annual service charge is due in four quarters throughout the year and one final account. 

By invoice

You can pay quarterly when the charges are due on the quarter dates.

Monthly repayment plan

The Council offers the concession of paying over 12 months with interest free instalments. This concession is only available via direct debit or if you complete an agreement form. Please note that this concession is based on April to April and no amounts may be taken over to the next year.

Mortgage top-up

A loan or top-up from your mortgage lender. This is usually the easiest and cheapest method to adopt, where possible. Contact your mortgage lender for more details.

Bank loan

A loan from a high street bank, building society or other reputable establishment.