Frequently Asked Questions
Please browse the list of our most frequently asked questions below.
The information provided in our FAQs is believed to be accurate at the date of publication but Renaissance Retirement gives no warranty as to its accuracy and accepts no liability for any misrepresentation or inaccuracy herein. This information forms no part of any contract with Renaissance Retirement Limited and will not do so if you proceed with the purchase of one of our apartments. You should not purchase one of our apartments unless you take legal advice from a solicitor or licensed conveyancer who is independent of Renaissance Retirement Limited.
Buying your apartment
Is it more expensive to live in a Renaissance apartment than my current home?
Our owners have found that moving into a Renaissance Retirement apartment, managed by our Renaissance Retirement Management Company, can be more cost-effective than living in a typical 3/4 bedroom house. Heating costs are often a lot lower due to modern insulation, energy efficient construction methods and the more manageable size of your new apartment. You can download a useful comparison sheet by clicking here.
Do you sell your apartments on a freehold or leasehold basis?
All of our apartments are sold on a leasehold basis. A copy of the lease relevant to each development is available for you to view in all sales suites.
Are your apartments furnished?
Floor coverings are provided but the apartments are sold unfurnished. On the sale of a show apartment, the furniture may be available for separate purchase.
What does buying off-plan mean?
We typically offer our new apartments for sale before they have been built. This may be a little strange, but it means you have the first choice of the plots which are typically varied in their advantages.
Do you offer part exchange?
Yes, we do, and a lot of our owners have found this helpful. You can find out more about our Part Exchange offering here. Please ask one of our sales consultants when you take the tour – they’ll be happy to share the information with you.
Do you rent apartments?
Some apartments are available to rent at some of our developments. Find out more on our Rentals page.
Can I obtain a small mortgage to purchase a Renaissance apartment?
Yes, it is possible to take out a mortgage against one of our apartments. A number of lenders offer specialist retirement property mortgages. For further information please ask the sales consultant at the development you are interested in.
What deposit will I be required to pay to secure my apartment?
You will be required to pay a deposit of £1,000 to reserve a new one bedroom apartment, and a deposit of £2,000 to reserve a new two bedroom apartment for an agreed reservation period. This will be deducted from the cost of your apartment if and when you exchange contracts. If you withdraw from the proposed purchase or the agreed reservation period expires a deduction may be made for abortive administrative and legal costs which we have incurred. Full details are set out within our Reservation Form. Please ask the Sales Team at your development for further information.
Do you charge a transfer or exit fee on the subsequent sale of an apartment in one of your new developments?
We do not charge a transfer or exit fee. We do, however, charge administration fees on change of ownership. There is an initial administration fee (crica £750 plus VAT - check your lease for the cost for your development) for approval of the incoming owner/occupier, including verification of age, and for providing management information to solicitors acting in the sale or transfer.
There is a further administration fee (currently £750 plus VAT) payable for preparation and completion of the Deed of Covenant required from an incoming owner and the provision of the certificate required for registration of change of ownership at the Land Registry.
- Is it more expensive to live in a Renaissance apartment than my current home?
Costs & charges
How much is your service charge?
The levels of service charge vary between developments dependent upon the facilities provided, the number of apartments within each development and the size of those apartments. Advance payments are required half yearly by reference to a budget for expenditure which we expect to incur in the relevant year. An end of year adjustment is then made once the service charge accounts for that year are prepared.
A copy of the service charge budget at the time of purchase is available from our sales team. Larger apartments will attract a higher contribution. We do reserve the right to adjust the apportionment of service charge between the apartments in each development if circumstances justify an adjustment to ensure that all residents are treated fairly and reasonably.
What does your service charge cover?
Our management costs and service charges reflect the expectations of our owners and the landlord (Renaissance Retirement Ltd) and the range of services provided under the terms of the lease. In our retirement living developments, the service charge covers a range of services provided for homeowners, including:
- The on-site concierge (or Roving Estates Manager where applicable)
- Careline monitoring
- Emergency call equipment
- Buildings insurance
- Electricity in the communal areas
- Water and sewage
- Ground maintenance (including gardening)
- Window cleaning
- Communal area cleaning and materials
- Redecoration fund
- Lift maintenance
- Access to the chauffeur driven vehicle
Will your service charge increase after I move in?
Our service charges reflect the costs of the services we provide to our residents. We share the individual costs that make up the service charge with homeowners and outline how each charge is calculated.
It is our practice to take due account of our residents’ representations when setting the annual service charge budget.
Is council tax included in the service charge?
No. This is the individual responsibility of each of our residents. For information on council tax bands, please ask our sales team or the local authority concerned.
Do you charge ground rent? If so, why do I need to pay it?
As with all leasehold properties developed in England & Wales, ground rents are payable on all our apartments. The ground rent charged goes towards helping meet the costs of providing the communal spaces that play a vital role in the success of our developments but which are nevertheless provided in the form of unsaleable floor space.
How much do you charge for ground rent?
Our ground rent charges vary according to the size of the apartment in question. At present, our ground rent ranges from £525 to £750 per year, which is broadly in line with that charged by other retirement housebuilders.
Why is your ground rent higher than other apartments sold on a leasehold basis?
Ground rents associated with retirement housing schemes of the type we build are usually a little higher than the charges linked to general needs apartments owing to the nature of the developments delivered. Open market apartment schemes do not make provision for the significant communal spaces that are included in retirement housing developments.
How do I pay ground rent and will this increase in the future?
All ground rent is collected on a yearly basis and all customers are clearly informed in advance as to when this is payable. The ground rent linked to all new and future apartments is fixed for the first 5 years of the term following which it will be reviewed every 5 years thereafter. All ground rent reviews will be associated with inflation at that time and linked to the Retail Price Index.
I thought the government had abolished ground rents, so why are you still charging them? What does this mean for purchasers?
The Government has announced its intention to prohibit the charging of ground rents last year as part of wider proposals to reform leasehold legislation. This proposal was largely triggered by issues arising from the sale of houses (as distinct from apartments) on a leasehold basis.
At present, however, these remain proposals and no legislation has yet come forward – in fact, it may be some time before any changes actually come into force. In the meantime and until legislative changes are enacted, ground rents will continue to be charged across our developments.
Do you sell your ground rent to investors?
We do sell what is referred to as freehold reversionary interests (ground rents associated with a development), as is commonplace in the housing industry, to professional property investment funds.
However, we only sell such interests in instances where we remain holding the ‘headlease’ to the development in question. This means that we continue to act as the landlord and retain all responsibility for management of the development.
What is the minimum age requirement to purchase and live in a Renaissance Retirement independent living apartment?
Generally, the minimum age for occupiers is 60 years. In the case of joint occupiers, one of whom is over 60, the other must be over 55. In some cases however the local council require us to impose a higher minimum age limit such as state pension age. Please check with our sales team.
If I buy a Renaissance Retirement apartment but I am not ready to live in it, can I rent it out?
Yes, you can, but the tenant must comply with the age limit and other criteria for occupiers set out in the lease.
- How much is your service charge?
About your apartment
Does the apartment come with a shower or bath?
Every Renaissance Retirement apartment is fitted with a shower in the bathroom and en-suite. However, by agreement, we can install a bath at the owner’s request. Terms and conditions apply. Please ask the sales team for more details.
Are your apartments sound proofed?
Our apartments comply with sound insulation requirements under Building Regulations current at the time of construction.
Does your apartment come with its own washing machine?
Yes, each apartment has a combined washing machine/tumble dryer installed. There are no communal laundry facilities at any of our developments.
Are there owners' parking facilities at your development?
Parking is available at most of our developments but numbers may be limited. All parking is offered on the basis of an annual licence and not as part of an apartment sale, Any licence is personal to the licensee and non-transferable, and a separate licence fee is payable. A full copy of our parking policy is available from our sales team.
Can my friends and family stay at the development?
Yes, we warmly welcome our residents’ guests. There is a guest suite at each development, comprising en-suite facilities, a TV and tea and coffee making facilities. The use of the guest suite is available on payment of a reasonable accommodation fee.
Do your induction cooktops interfere with cardiac pacemakers?
We fit induction hobs as standard in our kitchens, but this may not be suitable for you should you have a cardiac pacemaker, as this type of hob generates an electromagnetic field that may interfere with pacemaker settings. If you are likely to be affected, our sales team will be happy to discuss a possible alternative.
- Does the apartment come with a shower or bath?
Care & support
Can you help me with the organisation of the move?
Yes, of course. We offer a range of services to help take the pressure off your move. Whether it’s dealing with intermediaries or providing a packing and removals service, we can arrange it on your behalf. You can visit our SmoothMove page for more information about our moving service.
Do your provide your own management services?
Yes, we do. Each and every Renaissance Retirement development is managed by the Renaissance Property Management company.
- Can you help me with the organisation of the move?
Can I own a pet in my apartment?
We are one of few property developers that allow our owners to have pets, we think it's important that regardless of whether someone brings a pet with them or if they would like a pet for the company in their new home they should be allowed.
Of course, there are guidelines and a letter of consent will need to be granted. We give consideration to all pets and will make sure any decision that is made is done with the agreement of all.
- Can I own a pet in my apartment?