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Service charges

Updated: 19 Nov 2018
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You can claim for service charges for keeping communal areas clean

Flats in Duncairn gardens
Service charges may be included as part of your eligible rent if:
  • you have to pay them to occupy your home, and
  • the Housing Benefit office accepts that the service charges are not excessive, and
  • they are related to the provision of adequate accommodation.

Service charges you can claim for

Service charges that you have to pay to occupy your home will be counted as part of your eligible rent if they are related to the provision of adequate accommodation. Examples of service charges that may be included in your eligible rent are:
  • children’s play areas
  • cleaning of communal areas. These are defined as areas (other than rooms) with common access (including halls and passageways) and rooms of common use in sheltered accommodation
  • connection to a radio or television system (except satellite and cable relay systems) in specified circumstances
  • other services such as those provided by caretakers which relate to the provision of adequate accommodation.
This list is not exhaustive; other service charges may be included in your eligible rent.

Service charges you cannot claim for

Examples of charges that cannot be included in your eligible rent are charges for:
Housing Benefit cannot help with heating and lighting charges for your home. If your rent includes an amount for fuel, it will not be met by Housing Benefit.
  • meals or groceries
  • personal laundry (but not a service charge for the use of laundry facilities)
  • cleaning of rooms and windows (other than communal areas) unless neither you nor any member of your household can do it
  • transport
  • leisure items like recreation facilities (but payments for children’s play areas are allowed)
  • television rental and license fee (but the cost of television relay and radio relay may be allowed).