Run for you
It’s not just the design details which make Retirement Security courts a more sensible choice for those who want a little luxury with real peace of mind.
It’s the ownership and transparent fee structure, too.
When you own a Retirement Security apartment or bungalow, you own an equal share of your court’s not-for-profit management company, too. This means you and your fellow owners control the quality and cost of the services you enjoy. As the freeholder and – at those courts at which it has been appointed – the managing agent, Retirement Security Limited is there to assist with management, resales and maintaining overall standards.
All fees, including those paid to Retirement Security Limited, are wholly transparent, outlined in Safeguard your Capital and detailed within each individual court handbook, all of which can be downloaded from this website.
Retirement Security Overview
Retirement Security Boards Of Directors
Retirement Security Service Charge
Retirement Security Testimonials
Designing for Retirement
Designed for stylish practicality and enjoyment, now & long-term
Enjoy everyday life more, secure in the knowledge that your superbly designed property and services can cater for most potential future needs. Retirement Security apartments and bungalows share important design features which make life more practical for you, both now and in the event that you need some level of personal care in the future.
Each development has been carefully considered to provide the very best of comfort and practicality. Many features are designed discreetly to assist mobility and make a difference to daily living.
For the development as a whole, these features include at most courts:
-Duty manager, on site and on call, 24 hours a day.
-Communal lounge, hobby room and dining room, with induction loops for all to participate fully in meetings and social events.
-One, usually two, spacious lifts serving every floor.
-Staffed, fully equipped commercial kitchen serving meals to the dining room and to your property should you wish.
-Laundry (for larger items or if you have your laundry done for you).
-A full team of cleaners, gardeners and maintenance staff to keep the building in good order.
-Electrically operated entrances.
-Wide corridors with handrails to one side.
-Extra wide doors to both communal areas and apartments.
-A guest suite for friends and family to stay, making it easy to see them more often.
-Backup generator connection with local authority priority.
Within each apartment, there are also numerous design features to make life a little easier and more independent. Many of these make these solidly-built properties a more pleasurable place for all owners to live, only proving their full value as and when one needs, for example, taps which are not only stylish but, being lever operated, easy to open.
-Generous size apartments, most with two bedrooms
-Each apartment has its own front door, with milk bottle shelf and, usually, electronic fob operated lock and a safety door chain specifically designed for Retirement Security
-Alarm pull cords in every room
-Modern kitchens with slightly lower decks, electrically operated over-sink windows and stylish lever taps
-Washer dryer (or facility for)
-Larger bathrooms and en-suites arranged to enable independent use, comfort height WC, lever operated taps and level access shower
-TV aerial and telephone points to lounge and bedroom
-Higher level electrical sockets
-Independent heating systems with cool-to-touch radiator covers to avoid burning frail skin
Our aim is to make life a little easier for those who now find themselves at that time in life when it becomes a little more difficult, respecting the importance of maintaining independence as long as possible in an aesthetically pleasing environment of one’s own.
Safeguard your capital
The Retirement Security approach helps owners to safeguard their capital in several ways.
Control costs within your property and for the court
Each property has its own independent heating and utilities supply. Being equal share owners of the management company, owners also, collectively, control overall costs and ensure their court is run efficiently.
You purchase your apartment on a leasehold basis, just like any other leasehold property. This means that when you sell the property the only other consideration is a maximum 3% transfer fee payable to the freeholder.
Your costs are often lower than before
As an owner, your monthly service charge covers many items which you don’t now pay for separately, such as building maintenance, gardening and home help. Indeed, especially after factoring in the allowances we help and encourage all owners to claim, they are often better off, every month.
Margaret Court is a not-for-profit company, reinvesting into the up-keep and improvement of the property. Your investment remains protected.
Our priority is always value for money and helping owners to retain their hard earned capital.
It’s easier to be happier and healthier in a Retirement Security court
Freed from many day-to-day concerns and living in a more sociable environment, owners tend to be healthier and happier and stay completely independent for longer.
Reduce the likelihood of needing to move into a care home
Should you ever need extra care, Margaret Court is designed to facilitate extra care through 24 hour managers on call, additional restaurant, laundry and home help services.
Sensible budgets set and agreed amongst the owners at each court
Services and service charges
Margaret Court does benefit from a higher level of services than is typical for sheltered housing. These vary slightly from one court to another but usually include:
-Duty Manager on site 24 hours a day
-Daily check that you are ok
-One and a half hours per week of cleaning for your apartment
-Owner’s lounge, hobbies room and dining room with staffed kitchen serving meals – charged at cost
-A laundry for washing larger items or having your washing done
-Gardeners (often assisted by owners)
-Guest suite maintenance (supplemented by a fair, per night, cleaning & laundry fee)
-Managing agent’s fees
-Future Fund for Maintenance to spread large, predictable maintenance costs fairly, over decades.
The service charge is often surprisingly affordable
Inevitably, better services mean that, even with the tight control of the owners, service charges are higher than for standard sheltered accommodation. At the time of writing (June 2017), service charges range from a little under £500, to a little over £600, per month.
New owners are often pleasantly surprised by the extent to which their household running costs fall on moving to a Retirement Security court, leaving more cash free to pay the service charge than they had anticipated.
In addition, the great majority of owners qualify for the government’s non-means tested Attendance Allowance – a cash benefit intended to reduce your risk of accidents and thus keep you out of an expensive hospital bed. As of June 2017, Attendance Allowance is either £55.65 or £83.10 per week. It can thus cover between approximately 40% and 70% of the total service charge. In addition, pensioners who are “capital rich but cash poor” can qualify for Pension Credit.
Duty managers on site 24/7 Staffed kitchens at every court Courts choose their own staff Meals served every day
We can help you apply for Attendance Allowance
Retirement Security service managers and court managers have helped many hundreds of owners to successfully apply for Attendance Allowance so, whilst the form looks quite daunting at first, we can help you get through it in no time.
Pension Credit: a state benefit to which the value of your property is not relevant
Where applicable, the service managers and court managers can also help you to apply for Pension Credit. Pension Credit is available to many people whose savings amount to no more than £10,000. Pension Credit guarantees a minimum income for a single person who also qualifies for Attendance Allowance of around £360 per week (£1,560 per month). For couples who both also qualify for Attendance Allowance, the minimum is over £600 per week.
In contrast, elderly home owners who move to a care home have to pay the full cost of their care – rarely below £600 per week, often much more – until the value of their assets, including property, has reduced to £23,000.
Additional services are charged at cost
Because the management of the courts is overseen by a board elected from amongst the owners, all costs are kept to a minimum and additional services are passed on at cost.
The most popular additional cost is for meals in the owners’ dining room. Most courts have kitchen staff on duty every lunchtime to serve all those who want a nutritious meal in good company. As with all additional court services, this is provided at cost – typically around £11 for an excellent three course lunch. Meals can be brought to your room, too.
Those who wish, can also have additional housekeeping and have their laundry done for them. The rates for the housekeeping staff vary according to location and experience but, again, are charged on without profit.
Margaret Court has staff who can help should you ever need to put together a care plan. They know the local specialists well, so can also help you to identify the most suitable, qualified people to care for you. You will need to pay for the services of your carers. Many courts are Care Quality Commission certified and a small number employ care staff.
Importantly, the Court Manager and his or her team are always there for you to talk to about your care services. So if there is anything about which you are uncertain or unhappy, they can help you to make it right.
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 has 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.
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 Regulator of Social Housing Fee Limit
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 Regulator of Social Housing. In addition, whilst the Regulator of Social Housing 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.