April 25, 2019

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Latest news

MP Huw Merriman tells prime minister retirement ground rents should be zero

Tory MP Huw Merriman called for zero ground rents for retirement housing at prime minister’s questions today. He talked of pensioners trapped in McCathy & Stone properties, which have fast depreciating values. He named Vincent Tchenguiz, whose Tchenguiz Family Trust in the British Virgin Islands ultimately owns the old McCarthy and Stone freehold book, and […]

Your Housing Group shared equity retirement flat sells for £39,000, after three years on the market

A Your Housing Group shared 75% equity retirement flat has sold for only £39,129.26, after three years on the market. The property is at Your Housing Group’s Heyeswood Retirement Village, in Haydock, Merseyside. The property was bought by the mother of Cath White in August 2015 for £92,213 but has now sold – after three years […]

Family outraged by £50,000 exit fee at Retirement Villages’ Mayford Grange

But a cash loss from purchase of only £5,000 is not THAT bad, in UK retirement housing … By Sebastian O’Kelly Yet again retirement housing is in the news: this time Retirement Villages charging £50,000 in exit fees to a family who sold a two-bedroom flat at Mayford Grange, in Woking in Surrey. The Sunday […]

Move beyond feudal leases, says Association of Retirement Community Operators

A very good article by Michael Voges, who heads the Association of Retirement Community Operators – that is, Audley, Extra Care Charitable Trust, Retirement Security Limited, Anchor etc). Mr Voges writes: “The quality of services and staffing has by far the largest impact on whether customers will recommend a scheme to a friend, so services […]

Downsizing pensioners assailed by ‘fleecehold’ charges, reports Daily Mail

Fleecehold charges have been reported in the Daily Mail: Retired engineer Walter Wright and his wife Peggy thought they had found the perfect place to downsize,. The three-bedroom detached home was only a couple of years old and would need less upkeep than their bungalow, which had a very large garden. When they purchased the £269,000 […]

Rectory Court slashes service charges after dumping Stonewater for right to manage LKP accredited managing agent

Cherry Jones has managed to drastically reduce service charges using local contractors … The epic right to manage victory at Rectory Court – where Stonewater was given the boot and the new manager is LKP-accredited Cherry Jones of Swindon-based Home from Home – has made it to the national press. The leaseholders at the 44-flat […]

VAT on house managers’ wages will cost leaseholders £50m a year, says Rendall and Rittner

Changes to impose VAT on the salaries of house managers and concierges in blocks of flats will add £50 million to service charges, Rendall and Rittner tells LKP. Founder Duncan Rendall said: “This is a huge own goal by the Government given their stated objectives of trying to reduce the cost of leasehold. “The capitalised […]

Did government concession on ground rents stuff new thinking in retirement housing?

The new chief executive of McCarthy and Stone John Tonkiss is delighted the government has caved in over retirement housing ground rents, while announcing strategic changes that were prompted by the prospect of this reform. The company argued strongly in favour of ground rents because it was disadvantaged by having to provide communal areas at […]

VAT added to cost of house managers from November

The cost of in-house house managers goes up from next month. Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has issued new guidance regarding the payment of VAT for site-based staff at developments. Applying the correct VAT liability on residential domestic service charges (VAT information sheet 07/18) This information sheet, together with Revenue and Customs Brief 6 […]

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News archive

ARHM: This time the impetus to reform leasehold is serious …

If there is one thing that those seeking reform of the retirement housing sector and those employed in it can agree on – actually there is rather a lot we now agree on – it is that this time the impetus for leasehold reform is different. ARHM chair Richard Wheeldon made the point in his […]

Retirement housing message to Clive Betts MP’s Select Committee

By Michael Hollands I am interested in Leasehold Retirement Complexes of which I have much experience in the way many unfortunate Pensioners are robbed of their valuable savings. 1 When purchasing new these retirement properties are always more expensive than the non retirement properties, manly because they are desperately needed by elderly who have to […]

APPG July 11: Robust debate over retirement ground rents and event fees

By Sebastian OKelly, LKP trustee The controversial issues of ground rents and exit fees in retirement housing were discussed at this week’s meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group on leasehold and commonhold reform. These were the main event in a meeting which also had an insider’s examination of leasehold insurance commissions, and why developers […]

APPG July 11: Retirement event fees ‘align interests of buyers and operators’, Michael Voges tells meeting

By Michael Voges, executive director ARCO Retirement event fees – a term used to describe exit fees on re-sale – align interests of buyers and operators and are the business model for retirement housing in New Zealand, Australia and the US, said Michael Voges, executive director of the trade body the Association of Retirement Community […]

APPG July 11: The case for ground rents from McCarthy and Stone

By Clive Fenton, CEO McCarthy and Stone Hello, my name is Clive Fenton and until 31 August I’m the CEO of McCarthy & Stone. Thank you for inviting me here today. Today was never destined to be my easiest day in the office. I recognise that as a promoter of retaining ground rents for retirement […]

APPG July 11: Retirement fees whether ground rents or event fees need to be for designated services not open-ended profits, says AgeUK

And grounds cannot be set to zero but maintained in the retirement sector By Joe Oldman, AgeUK Age UK strongly supports extending the range of housing options available for older people – so we want to see a significant expansion in good quality retirement schemes and villages. We also recognise and appreciate the efforts of […]

ARCO conference offers a different vision to retirement housing, but …

There will be – and there are already – issues with big event fees The conference of the Association Retirement Community Operators in central London last week offered a fascinating alternative vision for the retirement housing sector to the one that we have. The organisation represents providers who build and manage their own sites, as […]

McCarthy and Stone and Churchill: are you blackmailing government over the ground rent ban and is your business model broken? Asks BBC R4 MoneyBox

Brilliant interview with outgoing McCarthy and Stone CEO Clive Fenton ‘Problem’ that retirement housebuilders have not been spoonfed profits, like others through Help To Buy Anyway, aren’t retirement housebuilders insignificant given the numbers of pensioners who are downsizing today, asks BBC? Radio 4’s MoneyBox quizzed retirement housebuilders McCarthy and Stone and Churchill Retirement Living on […]

Clive Fenton to stand down as CEO of McCarthy and Stone after profits slump

Is the ground rent ban responsible? Sebastian O’Kelly I guess when you stand down as boss of a publicly quoted retirement housing company that has seen profits fall from £110 million to £65-£80 the headline-writing punsters are not going to miss a trick. So, Clive Fenton, 60, McCarthy and Stone’s CEO, is being “pensioned off” […]

Anti-ground rent trade body ARCO snubbed at retirement housing conference … (along with us, less surprisingly)

The anti-ground rent trade body ARCO has been snubbed and left uninvited by retirement housing insiders at a City law firm conference next Wednesday to discuss whether a Retirement Housing Act is needed. The Association of Retirement Community Operators, whose members build and manage their retirement housing and care sites for the long term, has […]

Points to consider when buying a new retirement flat …

By Michael Epstein There can be no doubt that the new build and post 2010(non Firstport managed) McCarthy & Stone developments offer very good facilities are well managed and can offer residents a good quality of life. Increasingly extra services are being offered designated as “Assisted Living” No one can expect these services to come […]

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