The comments provided in this document are intended to give an overview of selected topics which, in the experience of Retirement Villages Group Ltd, have been raised by prospective rental tenants at villages within the Retirement Villages Group Ltd wider estate that offer rentals. 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 renting a property, will in every instance take precedence over any comment made in this Frequently Asked Questions document.
1. Assured Tenancy
Retirement Villages Group’ Landlords can offer Tenancies from one month onwards, usually Tenancies are granted as a twelve month fixed term with the ability to renew.
Two months prior to the end of the fixed term, we will contact you to discuss your plans and a new term will be negotiated and offered to you. (A review of the monthly inclusive charge is carried out annually on the anniversary of the start date, and is subject to a 3% increase per annum)
Renting can make it easier to budget your finances. The ongoing costs of maintenance within your property, and buildings insurance is covered by the Landlord which makes it much easier to predict your monthly costs.
Tenants will be asked to demonstrate their ability to comfortably meet the financial demands. We ask Tenants to produce a ‘Bank Reference’ which is a letter from their bank confirming their ability to cover the rent. We can also accept financial statements but these must be available funds in the Tenants name.
4. What services are included in my tenancy?
Maintenance – Employed or contracted staff are responsible primarily of the upkeep of the communal grounds, buildings and equipment in the village. They will also carry out minor repairs to individual properties that have arisen from structural damage, and there is an appropriate arrangement for property emergencies outside normal working hours. Where residents require further assistance i.e. electricians, plumbers etc. they will be required to pay for this separately (unless the issue has been caused by no fault of the Tenant in which case the Landlord will assist).
Domestic – Each property is entitled to have one hour of domestic assistance and to have up to ten pieces of linen laundered in our central facilities each week.
All of our villages offer an extensive social programme which are organised and planned by residents and facilitated by the management team.
Village restaurants are open between 5-7 days per week, some including Sundays (speak to our sales team for specific village hours). Meals can also be provided in resident’s own property if requested. Use of the restaurant and home delivery meals are charged as used, as is the bar.
Our villages also boast resident’s bars, libraries, hobbies room, a multi-function room for both individual and organised activities and a small kiosk selling essentials and seasonal goods. Village Residents’ Associations also organises social events and outings for residents to join in if they wish.
Some of the activities already in existence are as follows: art classes, keep fit, line dancing, theatre trips, poetry, music and bridge.
There are also coffee mornings and events such as film shows.
A team including the Village Manager who are responsible for the supervision and control of the complete on-site management of the village
*Facilities and services will differ from village to village
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.
6. Your monthly costs
As a tenant you will be responsible for:
The monthly inclusive charge including both the rent and the resident service charge
Utility Bills – Electricity, Gas, (if applicable) Water and Telephone.
Other personal bills – internet, home contents insurance, TV license and any TV subscriptions
7. When you move into your new rental home you will also be required to pay;
One month’s inclusive charge in advance and one month’s inclusive charge as deposit
Before you move in you will pay a security deposit, this is normally equal to one month’s inclusive charge. It is held for the duration of the Tenancy and the Landlord can claim against any damages or unpaid rent at the end of the Tenancy.
As a member of the DPS (Deposit Protection Service) Retirement Villages Group hold deposits in a secure managed account and any properties rented assured shorthold tenancies will be registered with the scheme as required by law.
The release of funds at the end of the Tenancy requires both parties to agree on any deductions, following an inspection to ensure the property is left in good order. If there is a requirement for repairs and/or cleaning the landlord can request the amount be withheld from the deposit. The DPS holds deposits which means in any dispute funds cannot be released unless agreed by both parties (Tenant and Landlord). Disputes will be passed to the DPS to arbitrate.
Short-term rentals are usually one to three months in length, but can be up to a maximum of six months fixed Term before they become a standard long-term rental. Short-term rentals are a fantastic way to test a village and ensure you are happy before committing. All facilities and services are available to short-term Tenants regardless of how short their stay.Just as with standard rentals, Assured Tenancy agreements are used with some minor adjustments to reflect the temporary nature of the agreement.
Extensions to the initial Term can be negotiated with one months’ notice, usually under the same terms as the initial Term.
Deposit is still one month’s inclusive charge. The monthly inclusive charge is usually expected in full at the commencement of the Tenancy (i.e. two month Tenancy equals two months’ inclusive charge in advance). This is due to Tenant referencing not being as detailed as with long-term rentals.
Short-term rentals are offered fully furnished including kitchen packs, meaning Tenants can arrive with personal items only (clothing, bedding etc..).
If Tenants wish to bring larger items of furniture with them, or request specific items of furniture to be added for their Tenancy then this must be flagged during negotiations.
Tenants are responsible for costs associated to the running of a property. Utilities will stay in the Landlords name and Tenants will be charged at the end of their stay for actual usage (meters are read at the commencement and termination of the Tenancy for accurate readings).
10. Unpaid monthly inclusive charge
Interest at 4% above the Bank of England Base Rate from Rent Due Date until paid in order to pursue non-payment of monthly inclusive charge. Please Note: This will not be levied until the monthly inclusive charge is more than 21 days in arrears.
11. Lost Key(s) or other Security Device(s)
Tenants may be liable for the cost of replacing any lost key(s) or other security device(s). If the loss results in locks needing to be changed, the actual costs of a locksmith, new lock and replacement keys for the tenant, landlord and any other persons requiring keys will be charged to the tenant. If extra costs are incurred there will be a charge.
12. Early Termination (Tenant’s Request)
Early termination is subject to the Landlord’s agreement with one months’ notice.
13. Who is responsible for the redecoration of the Village?
External and Internal redecoration of the communal parts of the Village is the responsibility of the Management Company within a planned maintenance cycle and is a Landlord cost.
Internal redecoration of your property is the responsibility of the Landlord, however, residents can redecorate their rented property with written approval from the Landlord.
14. Can I make alterations to the property?
Subject to obtaining prior consent from the Landlord, minor internal alterations and improvements may be considered.
However, when the Tenancy expires, the Landlord reserves the right to restore the property to its original condition at the expense of the outgoing tenant.
15. Can visitors stay?
Within the terms of the Tenancy Agreement 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.
16. What about parking?
Most villages offer parking either on a first come first served basis, or residents can rent allocated spaces.
Please check with the sales team for the arrangement at specific villages.
17. Are pets allowed?
Yes they are. However, for obvious reasons it is essential that they are well trained and controlled.
18. Am I allowed to sub-let my apartment?
As per the terms of the AT, residents are not permitted to sub-let their apartments.
19. Is there a selection policy for prospective tenants?
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.
New tenant residents are subject to approval by interview with the Village Manager and providing a proof of funds or status enquiry confirmation.
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, but we will wish to be satisfied that prospective residents are able to live independently within a community which does not provide full nursing care.
Prospective tenants will be asked to confirm that they are generally in good health. Tenants who have specific health problems may be required to provide further information via their G.P.
20. What emergency support is available?
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 Villages. This strictly covers emergency first response only.
21. What happens if I become unable to look after myself or my partner?
The concept of our villages is ‘Independence in retirement’. However, the Company is able to assist in arranging personal or domiciliary care packages through an external provider when necessary on a private basis, at an additional cost. Where possible 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 clause in the Tenancy Agreement 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.
21. Does the Management Company consult tenants?
Yes. We encourage residents to form their own Residents’ Association and Village Managers are available to attend Residents Association Committee Meetings by invitation.