This is a monthly charge you pay in addition to your rent and/or mortgage payments.
The service charge varies from property to property. It can include items such as insurance and communal grounds maintenance (in the case of a house), plus communal cleaning, fire alarm testing and window cleaning, in the case of a flat. For Shared Ownership properties, you will also pay towards future major repair costs within the charge.
You will get a breakdown of the service charge prior to purchasing/renting the property so you understand what the cost is and what it's for. If you receive Housing Benefit or Universal Credit, it will often cover some or all of the service charge as well.
To find our more please consult our factsheet: Understanding your service charge.