On this page you can read answers to the most frequently asked billing questions.

This FAQ is intended to provide general guidance and may not be applicable to all bills. If you have a specific question not covered in this guidance, please contact our customer services team on 0800 085 3015, or email customer.service@property.nhs.uk

Questions on who to contact about your bill, timings, and how to pay

I’ve got a question about my bill. Who can I speak to?

Please contact our customer services team:
Telephone : 0800 085 3015
Email: customer.service@property.nhs.uk

 
To help our team direct your question, please let us know if it relates to rent, FM or service charge costs, or a combination of these.

Why are the amounts in my invoice and annual charging schedule different?

There could be a number of reasons for this. So that we can consider your specific circumstances, please get in touch with our customer services team at customer.service@property.nhs.uk who can make sure your query is answered.

To help our team direct your query, please tell us which part of your invoice (rent, FM or service charge or a combination of these) does not match the annual charging schedule.

Why have I received a bill for rent only?

This is because we are in the process of finalising FM and service charge costs with some of our suppliers, which affects the way we have issued bills for some customers. This follows changes to our FM contracts earlier this year. If you received a bill for rent only, you will receive a separate one for facilities management and service charges soon.

When will I get my facilities management/service charge bills?

We are in the process of finalising FM and service charge costs with some of our suppliers, which affects the way we have issued bills for some customers. This follows changes to our FM contracts earlier this year. If you received a bill for rent only, you will receive a separate one for facilities management and service charges soon. We thank you for your patience on this.

 

Can you send me separate bills for rent, FM and service charges?

We are developing our systems to make this possible in future, but we’re not there yet for the 2017/18 billing cycle.

You can tell us that this is your preference for the next billing cycle by contacting customer.service@property.nhs.uk or calling 0800 085 3015.

How do I change the contact for bills?

Please contact our customer services team:

Telephone : 0800 085 3015

Email: customer.service@property.nhs.uk

How do I pay my bill?

You can pay your bill by BACS or cheque made payable to NHS Property Services Ltd. All the details are on your bill.

The email address for remittance advices is remittances@property.nhs.uk

The postal address for remittance advices is:
NHS Property Services Ltd
99 Gresham Street,
London
EC2V 7NG

When will I receive an annual charging schedule?

Your annual charging schedule will normally be sent to coincide with your first bill of a new financial year. You should keep your annual charging schedule to hand throughout the year as a helpful reference when you receive your bills.

The bills for the first two quarters of 2017/18 were sent later than anticipated, and this is due to the work we were doing to implement a new asset management system, including capturing more up to date data on our properties. We thank all our customers for their patience while we made this change.
Bills and backing documents for the first two quarters of 2017/18 have now largely been sent and if you haven’t received one it will arrive very soon.

Our customer services team will be pleased to help if you have any further questions about the timing of your bill and annual charging schedule at customer.service@property.nhs.uk or 0800 085 3015.

 

What’s the difference between a bill/ invoice and an annual charging schedule?

Your annual charging schedule provides a detailed breakdown of your charges for the full financial year. Your bill contains only the total amount due for a specific billing period (month or quarter).

When do I need to pay the bills by?

Payment is due 30 days from when you received the invoice, unless you have an agreed lease that states otherwise.

How do I make a complaint?

By making a complaint, you’re giving us the opportunity to investigate and improve our services for everybody.

Your complaint will be handled by a case manager who will always look to address your concern quickly and keep you updated about progress.

Please contact:
Telephone: 0800 085 3015
Email: customer.service@property.nhs.uk

Or you can write to us at:

Customer Services
NHS Property Services Ltd
99 Gresham Street
London,
EC2V 7NG

 

 

Questions on rental charges

Why does NHS Property Services charge market rent?

We moved to charge market rent in April 2016 to provide our tenants with a clear picture of the true cost of occupation. This in turn leads to better decisions about cost efficiency and strategic planning.

For more information on Market Rent, please see our market rent page.

What is market rent and how is it set?

Market rent is the amount of rent that can be expected for the use of a property, in comparison with similar properties in the same area. Market rent provides a clear picture of the true cost of occupation. This in turn leads to better decisions about cost efficiency and strategic planning.

For GPs, we use the district valuer to determine the market rent for your building. For other customers, we use an external professional valuer who is a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors  (RICS).

For more information on Market Rent, please see our market rent page.

Is there extra funding for the move to market rent?

Yes. If you were charged market rent last year and have not yet received your top-up funding, you should get in touch with your Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) directly.

If you are a GP, you can get a CMR form to claim reimbursement from your local NHS England office.

Funding for 2017/18: Like last year, we understand that top up funding will be provided for market rent in 2017/18. Further details will follow from NHS England.

Questions on facilities management charges, service charges and additional sums

What is an additional sum?

Items that will appear as ‘additional sums’ are rates, utilities, insurance and superior landlord service charges. Listing some of our charges as additional sums is a change to previous years, but we’ve made this change because these items don’t fit easily into other categories.

What is the Facilities Management Charge?

The facilities management charges that appear on your bill are the costs of maintaining the exclusive space you occupy, which is often called your ‘demise’ or ‘demised area’. 

What is a service charge?

A service charge relates to the common areas and shared areas of your building.

If you occupy a ‘multi-occupancy’ building (one which you share with other organisations), then there are areas of that building you all use, called common areas.

For example, the main entrance, reception area, lifts and toilets would all be common areas. All the organisations in the building pay a share of the cost of the upkeep of the common areas, for example, for cleaning and maintenance. These are called service charges.

However, if you occupy a ‘single occupancy’ building (meaning there are no other tenants sharing it) you may still have a service charge, for example, where there is a ‘superior landlord’. In some cases, NHS Property Services does not own the building that you occupy, but we lease it from a third party, known as the ‘superior landlord’ and we pass on their costs for the repair and maintenance  of the building.

If the superior landlord owns more than one building on your site, there could be common areas outside. This could include the car park, estate road or landscaping and security.  You may be charged a service charge for your share of the cost of maintaining these areas.

Sometimes, you might see cleaning, maintenance or other charges listed twice on your bill and if this has happened, it’s probably because one is a service charge relating to the common areas and one is a facilities management charge, relating to your exclusive area.

What is a superior landlord?

A superior landlord is the owner of the building or site you occupy. In some cases, NHS Property Services leases a building from superior landlord and we pass on their costs in our bills.

Questions on business rates

What are Business Rates?

Business rates are set by the Valuation Office Agency and collected by your local authority. It is a local property tax on the occupation of commercial property, payable by private and public sector businesses alike.

The business rates on my bill are wrong – what can I do about this?

We actively review and challenge rates where we believe the Valuation Office Agency has miscalculated the valuation of the property.

For more information please contact:
Telephone: 0800 085 3015
Email: customer.service@property.nhs.uk

Questions on how we’ve calculated your costs

My bill doesn’t reflect changes to the space I use – what can I do about this?

To make sure we continue to have the correct information about your property, it is essential that you tell us if you plan to vacate, reduce, swap or increase the space you use, so that we can adjust our bills accordingly.
We have to continue to bill you on current occupancy levels until we receive notice and agree any change.
We have introduced an easy way to do this by filling out a short form (known as an occupancy change notice) on our website here http://www.property.nhs.uk/occupancy/

I share my building with other organisations (known as multi-occupancy). How do you calculate the exact amount I should pay?

If you have a lease, this will set out your charges.

If you don’t have a lease, and you share your building with other organisations, there are two parts to your charges:
1. Your contribution towards the cost of maintaining the shared areas and common areas (such as a reception area).  This is calculated based on your percentage occupancy of the total building area.
2. Your charges for the cost of maintaining the parts of the building you use exclusively.

Questions on management fees

Why have I been charged a management fee?

Management fees are charged to cover the administrative costs involved in arranging services on your behalf.  Management fees are charged on specific services at either five or ten percent, according to a policy agreed with the Department of Health and NHS England.

For 2016/17 bills, management fees were charged as set out in this letter.

For 17/18 bills, management fees were charged as set out in the charging policy here.

Questions on reimbursable costs (for GPs)

What costs are reimbursable for GPs?

Rent, business rates, water rates and clinical waste collection.

I’m a GP. How do I claim back my reimbursable costs?

If you are a GP, you can be reimbursed for rent costs. NHS England has passed the funding for 2016/17 to your local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). If you haven’t received your funding you should get in touch with them directly. Similar to last year, we understand that there will be top up funding provided for market rent in 2017/18. Further detail, including the amounts, will follow from NHS England.

Questions on increases in bills

Why has my bill changed/gone up/down?

There are a number of reasons why this could happen. Some common reasons are below, but our customer services team can refer you to the right contact for a more detailed and tailored explanation if you email customer.service@property.nhs.uk or call 0800 085 3015. To help our team direct your query, please let us know if there is a particular aspect of your bill that has changed, for example rent, facilities management or service charges, or a combination of these.

  • Your organisation may have chosen to occupy more or less space than previously, so the rent will have increased or decreased accordingly. If you do choose to vacate, reduce, swap or increase the space you use, it is essential you let us know by filling out a short form (known as an occupancy change notice) on our website here http://www.property.nhs.uk/occupancy/
  • In some cases, the historical information we inherited about space being used from our predecessors was incomplete or incorrect. To rectify this, local property managers visited all our buildings to re-catalogue the space being used and this data now forms the foundation of our property knowledge. Following that review, some of the information we hold about the space our customers occupy has changed, meaning that bills increase or decrease accordingly.
  • We have also been getting updated information about the FM services provided in our buildings, so we can more accurately divide the costs between tenants.
  • We have changed our facilities management contracts to replace the outdated and incomplete contracts and records we inherited from the former Primary Care Trusts (PCTs). Because our contracts with suppliers are now clearer on costs and levels of service provided, you may see FM costs increase or decrease.
  • We introduced market rent on our freehold properties from 1st April 2016 which means we now charge according to the market value of a property. If this has changed, rent bills can change accordingly. The move to market rent will benefit both the NHS and our tenants by providing a clearer picture of the true costs of occupation. This in turn will lead to better decisions about cost efficiency and strategic planning.
  • Where NHS Property Services leases a building from a ‘superior landlord’ we will pass on their costs in our bills. If they increase or reduce rent or other costs, our bills will change accordingly.
  • Historically, some customers may have had a proportion of property costs subsidised by local Primary Care Trusts (PCTs). PCTs did not always pass these costs on. Therefore, the increased charges may not be new, but you may not have seen them before. NHS Property Services, in line with the Department of Health’s objectives, seeks to show tenants the total cost of their occupation. This means better informed decisions can be made about the best location for services and there is an incentive to achieve more efficient use of space.

Explanations of key terms

What is a superior landlord?

A superior landlord is the owner of the building or site you occupy. In some cases, NHS Property Services leases a building from superior landlord and we pass on their costs in our bills.

What is ‘reconciliation’ or ‘true up’?

The costs outlined in your Annual Charging Schedule are forecasts for the year ahead. At the end of the year, we re-calculate your costs again based on the actual amount of facilities or services you have used and either bill you for the difference or refund it. This is known as ‘true-up’.

What is planned preventative maintenance?

Planned preventative maintenance is work we do to prevent your building falling into disrepair, helping to avoid the need for urgent, and usually more expensive reactive works to get things back up and running.

Why am I being charged for planned preventative maintenance and reactive works before work has even been done?

Operating in this way helps to protect you against sudden and unexpected costs throughout the year and helps with cashflow planning.

If at the end of the year the upkeep of your building hasn’t cost as much as we had budgeted for, we will refund any underspend to you. On the other hand, if it costs more than expected, we’ll charge you the increase.

We always try and set our reactive and planned budgets as accurately as possible, taking into account the work we have planned, and costs from previous years.

What are additional sums?

Items that will appear as ‘additional sums’ are rates, utilities, insurance and superior landlord service charges. Listing some of our charges as additional sums is a change to previous years, but we’ve made this change because these items don’t fit easily into other categories.