Transparent costs

The board of Cathedral Green Court meet their local MP, Stewart Jackson

Run for you, by fellow owners

The management of every Retirement Security court is overseen by a board of directors consisting entirely of apartment owners at that court. In consultation with fellow owners, they set the annual budget on a not-for-profit basis, appoint the staff and managing agents and listen to any owner concerns. This means that the quality and value for money are maximised, whilst all optional costs, such a meals, laundry and extra housekeeping, are passed on without profit. All owners are welcome to put themselves forward to serve on the board.

The owner-managed court company also holds shares in Retirement Security Limited, thus each board a vote on Retirement Security Limited corporate matters.

Utility costs for your apartment

All apartments have independent energy and, in most instances, water supplies, thus owners control and pay for their own council tax, electricity, gas (most have gas-fired boilers) and water rates. At some courts, water rates are included within the service charge. Heating costs tend to be very low in comparison with a house.

Service charge

The service charge covers a great many costs including all maintenance of the building and grounds, staff, managing agents and more. Please see more information on the Service Charge page.

Managing agency fees below Housing Association guide, with zero extras

Most courts appoint the freeholder, Retirement Security Limted, as their managing agents, to oversee much of the more day-to-day personnel and facilities management matters. Where this is the case, Retirement Security always charges less than the amount per apartment recommended by the Housing Association. In addition, whilst the Housing Association guidelines permit any extra charges on top of the standard amount per apartment, Retirement Security does not levy any such charges other than in the most exceptional circumstances.

No ground rent is payable at any court

As the freeholder, Retirement Security Limited charges no ground rent but does provide design and maintenance consultancy services over & above those of the managing agent. These aim to help owners to keep all courts in good shape and of maximum appeal (and thus value) to potential buyers of any resales which become available.

Free lease extensions

All Retirement Security apartments were originally sold on leases of either 99 or 125 years. 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 www.lease-advice.org/calculator/). The current offer from Retirement Security Limited is believed to be unprecedented and reflects the company’s commitment to ensuring a fair deal for all owners.

One freeholder charge on resale of 3% (maximum) of the selling price

The cost of the design and maintenance consultancy, and of the estate agency services, is covered by a one-off transfer fee. This varies slightly from court to court over the first two or three years but in all cases, is a maximum of 3% of the selling price. In contrast with estate agent fees, the transfer fee does not attract VAT. Estate agent fees, including VAT, are typically between 1.8% and 3% of the price achieved.