Frequently Asked Questions

This pages is designed to provide all residents and leaseholders of Royal Wharf answers to the most frequently asked questions.

It's a great starting point for new residents and leaseholders alike, and we're constantly adding new questions and answers to the list.

If there's something you think we're missing, or you have a question you think we should answer, please let us know:

Clubhouse

Can I use the Royal Wharf Clubhouse?

All residents who pay (or, if renting, who's landlord pays) the variable service charge are entitled to use the Clubhouse Facilities. This includes residents on "help to buy" schemes. As social housing residents do not contribute to the variable service charge, the management company has indicated that they are not entitled to use the Clubhouse facilities.

Tenants of properties at Royal Wharf who are entitled to use the Clubhouse are required to pay a £45 fee towards the induction. Provided you've already registered with Concierge, you can register for the Clubhouse by clicking this link.

Service Charge

Why is the price per square foot different to what I was told I could expect?

As Royal Wharf is a new development, the service charge cost per sq ft would have been a preliminary estimate based on knowledge of the development and similar developments prior to completion.

However, it is typical for the service charge to fluctuate in the first few years, especially where the development has phased handover.

As parts of the development have come on, service charge has been subject to change to suit the needs of the development.

Why is my service charge based on estimated expenditure?

The service charge is demanded in advance as per the terms of the lease. The nature of service charge collection requires that to have sufficient cash flow to pay any costs associated with running the development, the funds are collected from all residents in advance to ensure that invoices can be paid in a timely fashion and ensure that the services are provided.

As the costs are estimated, on production of the final accounts following the year end, audited accounts and if required balancing statements are sent to all residents to ensure that leaseholders are aware the services provided during the period.

When does the service charge year run, and when do I have to make payments?

The budget year for Royal Wharf covers October to September payable in two instalments, for this budget year: 1 October 2018 and 1 April 2019. This will be repeated every year for service charge for Royal Wharf.

How is the service charge allocated?

The service charge consists of several different schedules Estate, Residential Services, individual Building or Townhouses, Commercial and Car Park. The Leaseholders benefit from and contribute towards the Estate, Residential Services and individual Building or Townhouse schedules within the service charge budget. All leaseholders with a right to park contribute to the Car Park schedule.

Who checks the amounts that are spent?

An independent auditor will undertake an examination of the accounts to provide a factual report of findings in relation to the accounts at year-end. The Auditor is responsible for securing the final account of the Royal Wharf budget. Hence, the estimated cost of auditing is for the services the independent auditors to certify the service charge expenditure following year-end, these will be distributed to all Royal Wharf leaseholders. The accounts for the year ending 30 September 2017 were prepared by Landmark Accountants Ltd, these accounts have now been finalised.

What does the cost for CCTV & Security include?

The CCTV and security charge include the salaries and uniform requirements of 20 security staff on a “4 on - 4 off” rota system, which covers 24 hours a day. The security team carry out patrols of the Estate, monitoring CCTV, building checks, car park patrols, are on call to respond to emergencies, incidents and providing a 24 hours presence in the Fire Command Centre. The service charge for CCTV and Security charge covers the provisions for servicing, repairing, maintaining the camera network (approximately 150 cameras by September 2018), this includes all associated equipment’s licenses, server mainframe, matrix, monitors, associated equipment, and body cameras. The CCTV the occupied residential areas of Royal Wharf and not for the areas still under construction. Also, CCTV & Security costs include the cost of the radio license and a provision for parts and repairs.

What does the cost for the loading bay and post room include?

The costs of loading bay / post room include the current salaries of 2 post room staff; however, due to the size of the Estate, we have budgeted this will be increased to 6 post room staff on a shift rota. Furthermore, the charge includes the post room system used to manage the parcels received and all IT infrastructure required for the smooth running of this area. The cost includes uniforms for the parcel room staff. The staff are provided with uniforms in line with the terms of their employment contract, as well as with appropriate personal protection wear.

What does the cost for the estate electricity include?

The estimated costs for electricity are only for the occupied residential areas of Royal Wharf and not for the areas still under construction. The estimate of the electricity costs is reached based on our experience of managing similar developments. The estimated costs of electricity cover the projected cost of the supply of electricity for external estate area lighting and central systems mechanical plants.

The Mechanical Electrical costs cover the compliance, repairs, maintenance and reinvestment of the communal mechanical and electrical equipment on the estate. BAML have entered into a long-term agreement with a partner organisation to provide these services which include (but are not limited to):

  • Heating, hot water and combustion plant
  • Water hygiene, storage and circulation
  • Pumps, drainage and irrigation systems
  • Air handling, extract and refrigeration plant
  • Buildings Management Systems (‘BMS’)
  • Fire detection and suppression systems
  • AOV (automatic opening vents) and ventilation systems
  • Electrical installations and generators
  • Emergency lighting
  • Estate lighting
  • Lightning protection

The contract scope provides for a planned preventative service regime in line with the HVCA sfg20 specification, in addition to a 24/7 callout facility for any breakdowns or reactive works.

What does the cost for General Repairs include?

The Estate and the buildings do carry a warranty; we do, however, have to maintain/service all equipment to ensure that the warranty remains valid. As a result, the general repairs charge is to cover aspects of areas where the warranty fails to cover.

This includes the staff costs for a Reactive Maintenance Engineering team employed specifically to deal with minor maintenance across the Estate, including lamping, joinery, plumbing, drainage etc. The engineers also assist with managing sub-contractors working on the Estate. A provision for lamps and fittings, tools, consumables, external pathway and road repairs and maintenance including rock salt is also allowed.

What does the cost of Satellite TV include?

Individual leaseholders are responsible for their contract with their satellite TV provider; however, there are costs associated with the preventative service visits and support callouts.

What does the cost for “Rents” include?

This is detailed in the lease, Schedule 7 clause 27.

“27. Provide a management office or concierge suite for use on the Estate (and to pay a reasonable rent in relation thereto provided that if the management office or concierge suite is within the Common Parts then the Landlord shall be entitled to a reasonable rent payable from the Service Charge for the provision thereof plus VAT if applicable)”

The Estate Management office will serve the whole development of over 3500 residential and retail units providing 24/7 cover throughout the year.

Why are we incurring costs in relation to a “car club”?

The car club is a requirement that is set under our planning conditions.

Why are we paying so much for “Landscaping and Floral”?

The requirement for flowers on the concierge is a standard item on all residential developments and the figure is based on a weekly display from other developments that we manage.

What does Townhouse Insurance include?

The buildings insurance for townhouses is provided by the freeholder and as per the lease payable under the service charge.

What does General Insurance include?

All residential and commercial buildings and properties in the Royal Wharf estate are insured to cover, property damage and business interruption, terrorism, public liability, insurance premium tax, as well as, inspection fee and insurance premium, and a provision for excess in the event of any estate claims. Finally, buildings insurance is required under the terms of the lease for the full reinstatement value of the building, this does not include tenants’ own contents.

What’s included in the “legal and professional costs”?

The estimated legal costs are applied to for individual buildings and Estate on the basis that these costs include the legal advice on employment law, professional advice from solicitors and ad hoc building surveyor consultancy services etc.., as well as any legal and professional advice that may be required for a specific building or property.

What’s included in the management fee for the Estate?

The Management fee includes the staff salary of a General Manager, Deputy General Manager and a team of Administrators, who work Monday to Friday bases, this also includes 4 Duty Managers who work on a "4 on - 4 off" shift pattern, one on site 24 hours a day.

The Senior Portfolio Manager Health & Safety Officer and Senior Administrator costs are also allocated under this cost heading. These operatives work across the BAML portfolio with related costs apportioned across the developments.

All salaried sections within the budget include allowances for the current staff training program for all grades and jobs. Staff training includes health and safety awareness and any training relevant to their roles such as COSHH training, manual handling, and working at height. We also promote fire warden and first aid training and continued development within their specific roles.

Staffing levels, services provision and service level for the Estate are regularly reviewed. Salaries are reviewed annually using the Average Weekly Earnings Index as a guideline. In order to ensure staff retention, our staff are paid at a competitive rate for a development of this nature and specification. Staff related costs include the employer contribution towards staff pensions, staff healthcare plan and employer’s national insurance contributions.

Uniform for the various roles has also been budgeted. The staff are provided with uniform in line with the terms of their employment contract. In addition, all staff are issued with adequate Personal Protective Equipment to be able to carry out their duties safely.

How is the car park cost calculated?

The estimated car park costs include the staffing for security, yard, administration, management salaries. The cost in addition to staffing also covers the maintenance of the car park and any required repairs which may fall out of insurance, insuring the car park, electricity and water charges, legal, auditing, accounting and professional fees, health and safety inspections and reserve funds.