Normally, the landlord undertakes to carry out all repairs and upkeep of the building and to provide all services set out in the lease — the cleaning, lighting, gardening etc. The leaseholder undertakes to reimburse the landlord through the payment of service charges. The leaseholder has to rely on the landlord to look after the building and provide all support services and has to pay what is demanded, subject to statutory controls.
The leaseholder on his or her part undertakes to comply with the rules set out in the lease, typically not to sub-let or carry out alterations without permission, not to disturb or interfere with other leaseholders. Retirement housing is housing that is for occupation by people over a retirement age, usually 55 or 60, which is set out in the lease. In almost all cases there will be an alarm call system and most schemes will have a resident or visiting scheme manager. An effective alarm call system is essential in providing security for older people particularly as an increasing number of schemes do not have hour cover from the warden service.
On schemes where there is a warden or resident manager. The residents will have a pull cord in their property and on some schemes there are also cords in the communal areas. When the warden is off duty, the calls are diverted to a central call centre which will respond accordingly. If the system is compatible, some residents may wear pendants which can be activated easily in an emergency. When retirement housing was first built, almost all schemes had a resident manager who was available to answer emergencies during most hours of the week.
Over the years the nature of the warden service has changed and many schemes now have a manager who visits for a few hours each day, so residents have become increasingly reliant on the alarm call system. The duties of scheme managers have changed substantially so that there is more administration and less support provided.
Regardless of the level of services provided, buying a flat or bungalow on a retirement scheme usually represents a substantial investment and should relieve the leaseholders of the responsibility of the maintenance and management of their homes. If you are buying private retirement housing, you will normally select a scheme that provides the services you need, or wish to receive, at an affordable cost.
The lease will set out the services you are entitled to and explain how the landlord or managing agent will recover the costs through a service charge. Once you have bought your property it is a matter of some concern if those services deteriorate or the costs increase unreasonably. Most leaseholders will be satisfied with the management of their retirement development but occasionally problems do occur:.
The law relating to leasehold is complex and subject to change. If in doubt, seek further advice. The following courses of action should all be available to you; they are not set out in any order of preference and it will be for you to consider which is more appropriate to the circumstances. In almost all but the most urgent cases it will be sensible to attempt to find a solution by some means of alternative dispute resolution , before embarking on a more formal route, where costs could be incurred.
You may decide that you wish to contact your managers to give them an opportunity to resolve any difficulties you have experienced. There are several legislative remedies where leaseholders have greater rights working collectively than individually. Even without a recognised association, it may prove effective to have the support of your neighbours in any dispute with the landlord or managing agent.
This procedure should state who the leaseholder should complain to and any further steps if the complaint is not resolved at the first stage. There are often three or four stages of a complaint procedure, and the managers should give the complainant an opportunity a dispute resolution meeting, such as mediation , or for a meeting with a senior officer if the complaint reaches the final stage of the procedure.
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If all stages of the complaint procedure fail to resolve the matter, some leaseholders will have recourse to the Independent Housing Ombudsman. Many managers of retirement schemes are members of the Association of the Retirement Housing Managers ARHM , the aim of which is to promote high standards of practice and ethics on the management of retirement housing. The Association has produced its own code of practice, approved by Government as representing best practice in the retirement housing industry.
All ARHM members agree to make a copy of the code of practice available for reference at each retirement housing estate they manage. Ask to see it. Where the landlord is a Housing Association, the leaseholders will automatically have access to the Ombudsman; some private landlords are also members of the scheme and will be able to advise you if this is so. The Ombudsman will not usually deal with complaints unless you have first completed the complaints procedure of your landlord or manager. The Ombudsman has a duty to investigate all complaints made to him and a number of courses of action are available to him to resolve the problem.
Initially he may be able to resolve the matter through informal contact with the member landlord but, in more serious cases, he will carry out a formal enquiry. At the end of an enquiry, the Ombudsman will write to both the complainant and the landlord, explaining what he has found, what his decision is and what, if anything should be done about it. He is able to recommend to the landlord that he make an apology or pays compensation, carries out repairs or changes his management procedures.
A formal enquiry is a serious business and, in appropriate cases, the Ombudsman is able to arrange mediation or arbitration to resolve the issue. In addition to these less formal actions, all leaseholders have substantial rights under the legislation to require information, to challenge service charges or other management arrangements, up to the right to take over the management themselves or to acquire the freehold of the building.
Almost all of these rights will require the assistance of a professional, a solicitor , a surveyor, an accountant or a managing agent, and costs are likely to be incurred.
If your lease requires you to pay variable service charges, you are entitled to know how these service charges are made up and to see the accounts on which they are based. You are entitled to a summary of all service charge income and expenditure within six months of the end of the accounting year. The summary must contain details of all costs incurred by the landlord in the provision of the services and show how they are or will be charged to the leaseholders. The summary must show details of payments made by the leaseholders already and those still outstanding, what has actually been paid by the landlord and what monies remain in the service charge account.
The ARHM code of practice requires the landlord or manager to arrange, on an annual basis, to make these supporting documents available at a convenient time for inspection by leaseholders on their scheme. Section 42 of the Landlord and Tenant Act requires the landlord to hold service charges monies in a trust account.
This charge is intended to fund future works by building up a a sinking or reserve fund through accumulated receipts from sale proceeds. Traditionally such funds are used to pay for items of major expenditure such as roof repairs or lift replacement and to lessen the impact of paying in one year.
The amount of the charge should be set out in the lease, usually as a percentage. The law requires that the leaseholder must be consulted before the landlord carries out works above a certain value or enters into a long-term contract one for more than 12 months for the provision of services.
This has the joint effect of giving notice of his intentions to the leaseholders and seeking their views on his proposals. In cases where the landlord considers the works to be too urgent to wait for the lengthy consultation procedure, he still cannot just proceed with them, but must apply to the LVT for a dispensation from the need to serve the notices. For further information see S20 Consultation. Your monthly income should rise as you move through the decades and if you are in a company pension scheme, your employer will be contributing some towards your target amount.
When you save into a pension during your working life, the government likes to give you a bonus as a way of rewarding you for saving for your future.
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This comes in the form of tax relief. When you earn tax relief on your pension , some of the money that you would have paid in tax on your earnings goes into your pension pot rather than to the government. Things work slightly differently in Scotland.
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My Rental Retirement Strategy (or How to Not Run Out of Money)
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My Rental Retirement Strategy (How to Not Run Out of Money)
Pension tax relief calculator Pension lump sum withdrawal tax calculator Pension drawdown calculator State pension eligibility calculator Pension calculator - how much will I have? All 5 calculators. In this article. How much do I need to retire? How much do people spend in retirement? Average annual spending for a retired couple. How much money will you need in your total pension pot? How much do I need to save into a pension at different ages? How much money will I need to save in advance to deliver that income? Our video below shows how real retirees have been managing their money in retirement.
While splurging on vacation is fairly standard, spending that kind of money during retirement can quickly burn through your entire retirement budget. Chances are, you already do this at home without thinking, shopping where you know you can find the best deals and avoiding the places that are overpriced — or priced for tourists. To many people, however, retiring abroad means the chance to enjoy a better quality of life, new experiences, beautiful surroundings as well as the opportunity to make their retirement dollars stretch further.