Courts run not-for-profit
You own your apartment
When you buy a Retirement Security apartment, you buy a long lease on that apartment. In most cases, this means you are buying however many years remains from the original 99 or 125 year leases.
For owners at those courts which are managed by Retirement Security Ltd and whose leases have an original term of 99 years, Retirement Security Ltd is, at the time of writing and at its discretion, offering lease extensions of 26 years from the date built, at no charge bar legal fees.
For an apartment with a value of, say, £250,000, such extensions usually command a premium of £8,000 or £9,000 (see http://www.lease-advice.org/calculator). The current offer is believed to be unprecedented and reflects the company’s commitment to ensuring a fair deal for all owners.
Retirement Security Limited owns the freehold to the court as a whole
The freeholder is Retirement Security Limited. However, unlike most developments, no ground rent is payable by the apartment owners or the management company. Whilst the freeholder has to be consulted about changes to the building (such as redecorating of the common parts), it is the owners’ Board of Directors which decides what changes they want and how much they wish to spend.
As freeholders and under the terms of the lease with each apartment owner, Retirement Security is obliged to ensure the good maintenance of the court. It also provides estate agency services to owners wishing to sell their apartment, and interior design services to help those courts which wish to rejuvenate any of the common parts or their guest suite. There is no charge for these services.
Court owners choose their managing agents
To relieve the directors of the day-to-day responsibilities of running their court, all courts appoint managing agents to oversee these matters. In most cases (not all – there is no obligation), the managing agent is Retirement Security Limited. The management fees charged per apartment by Retirement Security Limited are currently some 8% below the level permitted by the government’s Housing and Communities Agency, with no additional fees. Most managing agents charge the full amount permitted and charge additional fees as well.
Income from the guest suite and laundry goes to the owners’ company
A modest charge is made to users of the guest suite to cover the costs of housekeeping and keeping it well equipped and in good order. That income goes directly the owners’ company, as do monies received from the coin-operated laundry (NB: all apartments are equipped with for a washer-dryer).