Your rent

Service Charges

Your service charges explained

All tenancies are subject to a rent charge. Rents are used by landlords to cover the landlord’s costs relating to the property, including the costs of housing management, repairs, maintenance and insurance.

In addition to the rent some tenancies have a charge for services in connection with the property, not covered by the rent; this is called a service charge. Both leaseholders and tenants pay service charges and tenants pay towards it when they make their rent payments.

Kensington and Chelsea Council charge service charges to recover their costs in providing services to a building. The way in which your service charge is organised is set out in your tenancy agreement. The charge normally covers the cost of services such as general maintenance, porters, and lighting and cleaning shared areas and so on.

We calculate service charges separately to rent and they are not affected by the Government’s rules on rent.
Tenancies used by the Council have fixed service charges.

This means that: 

  • The charge is set annually (at the time rents are reviewed).
  • If the service charges are less than the costs incurred, RBKC will fund the shortfall, but 
  • If the service charges are more than the costs incurred, the Council will keep any surplus
  • We endeavour to set service charges to minimise the level of shortfall or surplus.
  • The tenancy agreement will set out details of what the Council can and cannot charge for and the proportion of the charge that you will have to pay. 

Service Charge Descriptions

We detail the service charges by what we believe are easy to understand categories which are shown below with a short explanation.

Please note that not all those below may apply to you. The list of service charges you are being charged for is detailed in your rent increase letter and below is a further explanation of the charges that may apply to you.

Building Costs Description
Bulk refuse clearance Removal costs relating to refuse that has been dumped at or around your building/estate that cannot be traced to any particular individuals.  If the Council finds out who has dumped bulk rubbish and they are a resident on the block/estate, they will be charged for the full amount for the removal of the fly-tip.
The cost of the recharge will include all the costs incurred in removing the items.
Caretaking and Cleaning  The share of costs associated with providing a caretaking service which includes monitoring the buildings and estates as part of fire risk assessments and requesting and carrying out any minor repairs such as changing light bulbs, recurring door handles etc. This also includes the cost of supervisors that manage the service.
Cleaning is the costs associated with providing regular cleaning to the communal areas of the buildings. This service was previously delivered by OCS but has now been brought inhouse.  You may be in receipt of one or both of these services dependant on the nature of your building.
CCTV maintenance Costs for maintaining and servicing equipment and obtaining CCTV images when required.
Common parts electricity Costs attributable to the use of electricity for communal lighting, lifts etc.
Concierge The provision of a concierge security system.
Digital Television

The provision to access a digital television service

Estate lighting consumption Costs attributable to the use of electricity for communal lighting, etc. to the estates.
Estate garden maintenance Maintenance of any communal garden areas, such as planting flower beds, pruning trees, soft landscaping, etc.
Fire Risk Assessment The cost to check the fire doors and the cost of carrying out fire risk assessment. 
Heating The cost of energy to heat your home.
Hot water This cost of energy to provide hot water to your home.
Heating and hot water There are homes for which energy for heating and hot water is supplied by the Council and this cost is shown under “Heating and Hot Water”.
Paladin cleaning and maintenance Cleaning, repair and maintenance of the communal refuse paladins.
Health & Safety – Pest control Costs associated with the treatment to remove pests or vermin from buildings. Please note that this is not for treatments to individual flats but when the Council believes that a block or building treatment is required.
Porterage and supervision The provision of a Porterage service.
Supporting people The provision of staff to support people in the community.
Water tanks Costs associated with the maintenance of any cold-water storage system your property may be connected to. This can include items such as water quality testing and water regulations compliance checks.
Window Cleaning The cost associated with the cleaning of the communal glass/windows
Hostel electricity The cost of providing electricity to the Hostel.
Hostel gas The cost of providing gas to the Hostel.
Communal Heating The cost of communal heating supplied to the communal area of the building such as the lounge/communal hall.

Tenants Service Charges covered in Rent

Below are a number of charges that in general form part of the structure of the building and any repairs to them are not charged to tenants as this is recovered as part of the rent.

Building Costs Description
Boiler repairs The repair of the district heating system.
Boiler insurance Insurance premiums relating to the heating system.
Building insurance The share of the insurance premiums relating to your property
Common parts electricity repairs Repairs to the lighting for communal areas.
Estate external siteworks Minor repairs carried out to the external areas of your estate that you share in common with other residents. This includes items such as boundary walls or fences and footpaths.
Lift repair Repairs of any lifts that exist in your building.
Heating, ventilation and pump systems repairs Repairs to the district heating system and/or repairs to the ventilation and pump systems.


Last updated: 24 February 2023