8. How much is the Service Charge?
The service charge for the current financial year (1st January 2021 to 31st December 2021) is £8230.00per annum.
In addition to this there is a charge of £300.00 per annum for a second person living in the property. Double occupancy service charge is £8530.00per annum.
These charges are prepared at least 3 months before the end of a financial year and are calculated using the actual expenditure to date, estimates of expenditure for the rest of the year and any known increases for the coming 12 month period. Any changes to the Service Charge will take effect from the start of the financial year.
The service charges and reserve fund that are in place are held in trust. The balance of the Reserve fund as of 31st December 2020 was £168,033.00.
A detailed presentation and consultation of the budget is made to the Financial Monitoring Group appointed by the Residents’ Association committee. If there are areas of the budget which are deemed either to be not satisfactory or to require further explanation or alteration, then a further presentation of the revised figures will be arranged.
In accordance with terms of the lease, the final proposed budget will be sent to all residents at least two months before the end of the current financial year. A written explanation of any significant changes will accompany this and the invitation given for residents to raise queries.
10. How much is the Service Charge likely to go up?
The Service Charge is variable and operates on a strictly “not for profit” basis, in accordance with the Housing Acts and therefore any future increases will only reflect any actual increased cost in providing the services. We will give at least 28 days’ advance notice of any change.
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.
If there is an underspend at the year-end on the original budget, then any credit will either be returned to the residents, or will be put into the Reserve Fund. This will be discussed in detail with the Financial Monitoring Group during the end of year accounts meeting.
If the budget is overspent, and at year end there is a deficit on the original budget. The deficit will be collected from residents as soon as possible after the certified accounts have been issued. Again this will be discussed with the FMG in full.
11. Is Ground rent payable?
Depending on the specific lease, a Ground Rent will often be payable and may increase over time. Our Key Facts and Financial Implications documents, available from the Village Manager, provide full details.
12. Are there any other additional charges?
There are some additional Management Fee charges which may apply from time to time. Details of these can be found within the Leaseholders Handbook.
13. Can you show me a worked example of what all this might cost me?
As an illustration, we have calculated the annual costs for a typical property in Charters Village and we have also given an illustration of the potential costs on sale. These are available upon request.
14. Who is responsible for the redecoration of my property?
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.
15. Can I make alterations to my property?
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.
16. Can visitors stay?
Within the terms of the Lease guests may stay with you in your property for 28 days maximum at any one time.
Two en-suite guest rooms are also available within the Village at reasonable prices.
17. What about parking?
In order to park your car at the village you must have a rental agreement in place for a car parking space. The rental agreement will be for a term of 1 year and renewed annually, but will expire if you leave the village or cease to have a car. The price to rent a car parking space is currently £500 per annum. There are also some spaces strictly reserved for visitors.
There are separate arrangements for disability scooters.
18. Are pets allowed?
Yes they are. However, for obvious reasons it is essential that they are well trained and controlled.
19. Am I allowed to sub-let my apartment?
As per the terms of the lease, residents are not permitted to sub-let their apartments.
20. Is there a selection policy for prospective purchasers?
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 villages are designed to provide an enjoyable and supported environment for older people living independently. Prospective purchasers will be asked to confirm that they are generally in good health and will be assessed on application to determine if any support, in addition to the services provided under the Deed of Management for all residents, is required to enable them to live in the village.
Purchasers who have specific health problems may be required to provide further information via their G.P. In ascertaining a person’s suitability in such a case, the Landlord will rely upon sound medical advice and assessment by interview with the Village Manager.
21. What emergency support is available?
Suitably trained staff are on call 24 hours per day 7 days per week to respond to an emergency call within the Village. This service covers emergencies first response only and is paid for through the Service Charge. There is no additional charge for use of this service.
22. What happens if I become unable to look after myself or my partner?
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.
23. Are there any social activities?
All of our villages offer an extensive social programme which are organised and planned by residents and facilitated by the management team.
There is a restaurant which is open for lunch at least 3 days per week, including Sundays and for dinner at least one evening per week. Meals can also be provided in resident’s own property if requested, 7 days per week. Use of the restaurant and home delivery meals are charged as used, as is the bar.
The resident’s bar, library with an internet enabled computer station, a hobbies room, a multi-function room for both individual and organised activities and a small kiosk selling essentials and seasonal goods are all available
24. Does the Management Company consult residents?
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.