We occasionally receive enquires from residents asking for a reduction in their service charge fee given that they don’t use the gym/pool/laundry room in their block. If they are not using it, why should they have to pay for it?
Unfortunately one’s use of shared amenities has no impact on your obligation to pay for their upkeep. Not only would the administrative headache of allocating access to only the fee-paying residents be a nightmare, it also sets a dangerous precedent.
Consider the following scenario: Mrs Smith lives on the ground floor of her apartment block. She sees that Mr Jones has received a reduction in his service charge because he doesn’t use the on site gym. Mrs Smith concludes that as a ground floor resident, she has no need to ever use the lift, or to set foot on the higher level floors in her block. Mrs Smith asks for a service charge reduction to exclude the cost of lift maintenance from her fees, and a reduction against the cleaning budget as she gains no direct benefit from the upper floors being cleaned.
Common sense needs to apply here. As in life, some people will benefit slightly more from the communal resources than others, but all benefit more than if everything was carved up into individual packages (and the associated time and cost involved in managing this).
There is one exception here. If the majority of leaseholders (or the RMC acting on their behalf) decides that a shared amenity is too expensive to run for the value that it provides, it can be agreed to close the facility to all residents, thus saving the associated upkeep costs. As an example, on one of the blocks that Vixus manages, the RMC elected to only run the fountain in the main courtyard for 4 hours a day, as the energy costs of it running longer were prohibitive.