Are you thinking of purchasing a luxury retirement flat from a housebuilders such as McCarthy & Stone, Renaissance or Churchill Retirement and you’ve heard something about paying monthly service change, but you’re not sure what it is and what it covers?
A service charge is something that all residents of a retirement development have to pay each month that goes towards the upkeep and maintenance of the building. The service charge is likely to cover things such as lighting and heating in the communal areas, security and camera entry system, buildings insurance and maintenance, exterior building maintenance, redecoration and upkeep of communal areas (hallways, lifts, stairs, paths, driveways etc.), domestic help and communal area cleaning. It also includes the services of a gardener, on-site concierge, access to a chauffeur driven vehicle (if one is available), house manager and a chef, if the development has an on-site restaurant.
Paying out for this sum each month can seem quite daunting at first, but when it’s compared to the cost of running a home, it does work out quite favourably and the overriding benefit is that the majority of the maintenance and bills are taken care of, thus, creating a worry-free lifestyle and giving you more time to enjoy life.
What does the service charge cost on average?
A service charge can vary depending on the housebuilder, location of the retirement development, the size of the development and the size of the retirement flat, plus the facilities on offer at the development.
Depending on the apartment and location, the cost of the service charge can vary from approximately £36.00 per week to £161.49 per week (April 2017 to 31 March 2018).1
What is the benefit of paying a service charge on a retirement flat?
The overriding benefit of paying a service charge on a retirement flat is that you don’t have to worry about any unexpected household bills or doing any maintenance because most of it is taken care of. There may also be a house manager on hand usually 24/7 to help you with any queries you may have.
What’s not included in the service charge?
The service charge doesn’t include Council tax, contents insurance, phone line/broadband and electricity in the apartment. So these are some of the things the residents would need to pay for themselves.
Here are 7 reasons why a service charge really pays on a retirement flat:
1. I don’t have to climb ladders to clean my external windows – these are all done for you.
2. I don’t have to remember to pay my buildings insurance – this is usually all taken care of.
3. I don’t have to do the back-breaking work in the garden. Including weeding and mowing the lawn – this is all done for you so you can sit and enjoy the scenery of the beautiful landscaped gardens.
4. I don’t have to remember to pay my sewerage and water rates – this is usually included in the service charge.
5. I don’t have to check and maintain my camera, security systems and emergency call equipment – this is usually all done for you.
6. I don’t have to worry about the upkeep of the building such as stair lifts – this is usually all taken care of for you.
7. I don’t have to worry about exterior house maintenance. Including cleaning the gutters and repairing facias – this is usually all done for you.
Overall the service charge does take care of a lot of the maintenance, leaving you more time to relax and enjoy your leisure time.
McCarthy & stone