Find out what’s covered by our property charges
Retirement is your time. It’s when you can spend time doing the things that you’ve always wanted to. Our homeowners pay an annual service charge so that we can take care of tasks like maintenance and DIY, leaving you time to get on with more interesting things.
What the service charge covers at Retirement Living and Assisted Living developments
The annual service charge covers many of the costs associated with living in your new home:
- A dedicated House Manager to ensure your wellbeing and the day-to-day running of the Retirement Living development.
- 24 hour emergency call system to give you immediate assistance should you need it.
- Water and sewerage costs for individual apartments*, shared areas and guest accommodation.
- Electricity, heating, lighting and power for the shared areas and guest accommodation.**
- In some developments the apartment heating bills are included in the service charge.
- All external maintenance including gardening, landscaping and window cleaning.
- Care of the inside shared areas – all to a standard you’d be proud of had you done it yourself.
At Assisted Living developments, your service charge also covers:
- An on-site management team 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
- Waitress service restaurant (extra charge: on average £3.80 for a three course meal)
- Domestic assistance (one hour included per week).
- Flexible personal care by arrangement (extra charge).
Of course, as a homeowner of an apartment your personal energy consumption (with the exception of selected developments), council tax and utilities bills will remain your responsibility.
Your initial payment will be a lump sum covering the date from when you purchased your apartment to the end of April or October, whichever is closest to the purchase date.
*In Scotland, costs for water and sewerage are included in Council Tax.
**Individual apartments are metered separately and are each resident’s responsibility on most developments
A contingency fund to cover unexpected repairs
It’s as important to us as it is to you that you don’t face any unexpected financial burdens in your new home. In order to give you confidence that there’s enough money available to meet any major maintenance and refurbishment, we take an allowance from your annual service charge to help cover the unexpected. We call it the contingency fund. This figure varies for Retirement Living and Assisted Living developments. This is also topped by a one off charge of 1% of the resale price, when you come to sell the apartment.
Paying your service charges
When you complete on your new apartment, you will be required to pay for the rest of the service charge for that period upon completion. Then when the new service charge period begins, the Management Team will issue an invoice for that period and advise you when we will be collecting payments. Service charges are collected by direct debit on a monthly basis and ground rent is collected on a 6 monthly basis. (Ground rent charges do not apply to Scotland).
Homeowners’ opinions matter to us
We always want to hear what homeowners think, which is why we meet with you each year to discuss the management of your development. We talk about the level of services, the costs charged and how best to spend the budget for the year ahead.
Being accountable to you extends to the service charge accounts, which are independently reviewed each year. We then present the results back to you so that you know we always aim to give you the best possible value for money.
If you would like more detail, please call our team free on 0800 2014811.