It is becoming more common for freehold property owners to have to contribute towards a service charge for their property.
It used to be that local councils would adopt communal space on housing developments and undertake the maintenance of these areas on behalf of property owners.
Nowadays, this is not the case and companies such as Hillcrest are being appointed to undertake the management responsibilities for these areas. This ensures that the communal areas are maintained, and the development is managed as intended.
The transfer documentation for your property will detail the requirements for service charge payments for your property. As explained in the points above, your service charge will be calculated based only on the services that your property has the use of or benefit from.
As an example, if your property is part of a development that has a mix of houses and apartments, your service charge will be specific to the services providing benefit to the property. Maintenance of things like a lift, cleaning of the communal areas, buildings insurance etc would not be included within your service charge, however landscaping and street lighting would be included.