The comments provided in this document are intended to give an overview of selected topics which, in the experience of Retirement Villages, have been raised by prospective purchasers at Castle Village and more generally at other villages within the Retirement Villages wider estate. Whilst the intention of the document is to provide clarification in respect of the topics covered, the terms of any legal documents to which prospective residents will be required to commit, as a condition of purchasing a property at Castle Village and residing there, will in every instance take precedence over any comment made in this Frequently Asked Questions document.
Last Updated: July 2018
A fee, called an assignment fee, is payable every time a property is re-sold. All properties sold by Retirement Villages are sold on a long leasehold basis and when the property is re-sold the lease on that property has to be “assigned” in the legal language, to the new owner, hence the expression “assignment fee”.
The assignment fee forms part of the original agreement when you purchase the property and is not charged in respect of any service(s) to be provided.
The fee varies from village to village (and may vary between properties) and may also vary depending on how long you have lived in your property. The fee can be up to 12.5% of the sales price of a property and Retirement Villages will provide you with worked examples of how this is calculated. Please be sure that you have been given and understand, the exact details for the particular property you may be interested in purchasing.
The terms of the Lease provide that an Assignment Fee is payable on each occasion that the property is sold and is calculated as a percentage of the sale price. Since the selling price of the properties will fluctuate over time it is not possible to know what the precise payment will be until a contract to sell is exchanged. If you would prefer to pre-pay the Assignment Fee when you buy your property, you have the option to do so. In that case, the amount payable will be determined by the percentage detailed in your lease. There will also be a legal charge payable to our preferred solicitor which currently is £650 +VAT. Please ask a member of staff for more details on this.
If you choose to pre-pay the Assignment Fee and then sell the property and assign your Lease within one or two years of your purchase the Landlord will refund a proportion of the fee (this will be dependent on the lease granted on the property, please ask a member of staff for more details). None of the fee will be refunded if you sell after two years.
Your solicitor will be required to advise the Landlord, via our solicitor at the point of purchase, whether you wish to exercise this option and he/she will be able to explain this to you in more detail.
Service charges and the assignment fee can be substantial payments. It is therefore clearly important to understand how these fees are calculated and when they are payable and you are advised to obtain legal advice in this respect. Retirement Villages will not grant any new lease or assign an existing lease to anyone who is not legally represented.
Indeed, we recommend that you should seek independent advice, support and representation as appropriate with regards to a move to one of our Villages.
When you wish to sell the property you can offer it on the open market. Retirement Villages has its own in-house dedicated estate agency service offering a specialised sales and marketing service and will be pleased to offer its services to you for a fee to be agreed at the time. Alternatively, you may instruct another estate agent of your choosing if you wish.
A Company (Castle Village Management Ltd) set up for the sole purpose of the management of the estate and buildings at Castle and arranging the services as set out in the Deed of Management.
The Deed of Management sets out the services and amenities arranged by the Management Company and provides for the payment of the Service Charge by residents in this respect.
The service charge varies according to the type of property.
For the current financial year (1st April 2018 to 31st March 2019) the current charges are:
Band A £5,281 per year
Band B £5,473 per year
Band C £5,665 per year
Band D £6,913 per year
In addition there is a charge of £200.00 per annum for a second person living in the property, the current charges for double occupancy are:
Band A £5,481 per year
Band B £5,673 per year
Band C £5,865 per year
Band D £7,113 per year
These charges are reviewed in January each year and any changes to the Service Charge will take effect from the 1st April. The service charge is payable quarterly in advance or monthly by Direct Debit.
There is also a Ground Rent between £250-£350 per annum that is payable.
There is a programme for planned maintenance, together with the replacement of large items of equipment. The reserve fund is designed to allow for these expenditures as and when they occur, thereby reducing the need for large variations to service charges. The fund is also there should unforeseen maintenance items arise.
The business rates for the office accommodation, restaurant, shop/kiosk and all other central facilities.
A block policy is in place to cover the buildings insurance on each property and on all communal buildings. Furnishings in communal areas and equipment used in maintaining the village are also covered, together with employers and public liability. You will need to arrange your own contents insurance cover.
This is the cost of heating, lighting and water to all communal parts of the village. Residents pay these charges separately in respect of their own properties.
The costs of running the office and associated services.
The payment of charges in respect of maintenance and servicing contracts for boilers, lifts, fire alarms, alarm call system and other communal equipment.
The annual independent Audit and the associated costs for the provision of Certified Accounts plus any other fees payable in relation to the operation of the Management Company.
The fee payable to the Landlord’s appointed manager, RV Services Ltd, for the provision of services to the on-site management company and for overall accountability of providing and monitoring the entire facility.
The service charge is operated on a strictly “not for profit” basis, in accordance with the relevant legislation and therefore future increases will only reflect the actual costs of providing the services.
It is not possible to give predictions for this but, suffice to say, the company has considerable experience, gained over 20 years of managing its villages and is very conscious of the need to keep costs under control whilst continuing to give a quality service.
There are some additional Management Fee charges which may apply from time to time. Details of these can be found within the Leaseholders Handbook.
As an illustration, we have calculated the annual costs for a typical property in Castle Village and we have also given an illustration of the potential costs on sale. These are available upon request.
External redecoration is the responsibility of the Management Company within a planned maintenance cycle. This is paid for from the service charges. Internal redecoration is the responsibility of the tenant at least every 5 years.
Subject to obtaining prior consent from the Landlord, minor internal alterations and improvements can be made.
However, when the lease is assigned, the Landlord reserves the right to restore the property to its original condition at the expense of the outgoing tenant. An administration fee of £90 inclusive of VAT is chargeable for approval and final inspection of the works.
Within the terms of the lease guests may stay with you for 28 days maximum at any one time. Please inform the office if any guests are staying.
En-suite guest rooms are also available within the Village at extremely reasonable prices.
Car parking is available within the Village on a “first come, first served” basis.
There are also garages available to lease for a term of 21 years. The cost lease premium for a garage is £12,000 plus a Ground Rent of £20 per annum.
The garage lease is not assignable, but can be surrendered to the Landlord for 50% of the full price paid originally (less a legal fee of £40 to cover the costs of de-registering the lease at the Land Registry).
Yes they are. However, for obvious reasons it is essential that they are well trained and controlled.
As per the terms of the lease, residents are not permitted to sub-let their apartments.
Retirement Villages does not discriminate on the grounds of age, marital status, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or disability and is committed to a policy of equal opportunities and diversity.
Our retirement villages are designed to provide an enjoyable and supported environment for older people living independently. So far as we are able, we will endeavour to accommodate residents in line with our diversity policy.
Prospective purchasers will be asked to confirm that they are generally in good health. Purchasers who have specific health problems may be required to provide further information via their G.P.
A suitably trained and qualified member of staff is on duty 24 hours per day 7 days per week to provide an emergency call out support service within the Village. This strictly covers emergency first response only.
The concept of the village is ‘Independence in retirement’. However, the Company is able to assist in arranging care packages through an external provider when necessary on a private basis, at an additional cost. Residents can, of course, make their own arrangements with Social Services.
Where the situation deteriorates and independence diminishes to the point where permanent care is needed, then inevitably the resident themselves or their relatives will recognise that alternative living arrangements need to be made.
In the very rare circumstances of this not being recognised, and bearing in mind the best interests of other residents, the staff, and the resident themselves, then there is a covenant in the lease where the Landlord may give notice. It should be stressed that this is the very last resort and it is hoped, that matters such as this can be dealt with in a sensible and sympathetic manner by all parties.
Where a couple are occupying a property and one of them becomes unable to look after themselves, there is no need for alternative arrangements to be made, as long as the other party remains able to cope, with the assistance of outside agencies.
At Castle Village there is a restaurant, conservatory, bar, library with an internet enabled computer, snooker room, kiosk, function room and a launderette.
The Village Residents’ Association also organises social events and outings for residents to join in if they wish. Some of the activities already in existence at the Village are as follows: art classes, keep fit, line dancing, theatre trips, poetry, music and bridge.
There are also coffee mornings, a luncheon club with guest speakers and events such as fashion show. A highlight of the year is the Village’s “Marquee Week” held in the summer when there is a week long festival of activities.
We encourage residents to form their own Residents’ Association and the Village Manager is available to attend the Residents Association Committee Meetings by invitation.
Under the terms of the Deed of Management, the Management Company provides each resident with a written estimated budget of the Service Charges for the coming year.
Prior to this being issued, the Village Manager meets with a Finance Monitoring Group appointed by the Residents’ Association, to discuss the proposed new budget and as far as possible to obtain agreement to it, having made available all the relevant figures and supporting information.
The Management Company will also provide to each resident, as soon as possible after the end of the financial year, a copy of the statement of accounts of the village, duly certified by a Chartered Accountant.