Rent glossary

Explaining what things mean on your rent statements and service charges.

Rent – What you pay to live in your home.

Cleaning – The cost of any cleaning done to the communal areas in flats or schemes.

Insurance – Buildings insurance covers the cost of repairing or rebuilding your home if it’s damaged. This could be by things like fire, storms or floods. This does not cover the contents of your home. You should organise your own contents insurance. Find out more here.

Utilities – The cost of things like gas, electric or water for communal areas if you live in a flat or scheme.

Repairs and maintenance – The cost of work carried out in communal areas both internal and external of schemes.

Fly tipping and waste removal – The costs if we have to remove anything from inside or outside your home. For example, if a sofa has been left outside.

External managing agent fee – The costs of services which are carried out by a third-party managing agent. This could be for things like for estate management or repairs in blocks of flats.

Homeowner audit fee – The cost of a yearly audit on the service charge accounts for Homeowners. This is done by an external company.

Grounds maintenance – The cost of work to green areas around your home. It could include mowing a shared area of grass, trimming trees and hedges.

Health, safety and fire precaution – The cost of regular checks of fire equipment in flats and schemes. We do this to make sure your home is safe.

Tenancy and leaseholder related services – This covers the cost of council tax in schemes. This is done when the council can’t bill customers directly.

Estate Staff Charges – The cost of staff based at specific schemes on a daily basis to assist customers.

Grand Union management fee – This is an administration cost for Grand Union to run the services which we provide in relation to your home.

Reserve funds – This covers the future cost of more expensive replacements that don’t take place every year. This could be something like door entry systems and lifts. Everyone in flats or the block pays into the fund.

Personal charge – This is for schemes which have one shared central system. For example, if it were a central heating system, this would cover the heating you use. Personal charges are not eligible for Housing Benefit or Universal Credit.

Personal charge Grand Union management fee – The cost for us to run and maintain any services covered by your personal charges.

Life24 – This is the cost of your personal alarm system.

Garage charge – What you pay to rent a garage from us.

Estimated cost – How much we thought it would cost to provide communal services and repairs throughout the financial year. This is done at the start of each year.

Actual cost – How much it costs to provide communal services and repairs throughout the financial year. This is reviewed at the end of each year. If there is a difference, it may be added or deducted from future charges as a service charge adjustment.

Service charge adjustment – We review how much we spend on service charges at the end of each year. This service charge adjustment is the difference in the amount actually spent versus what we estimated for that year.