December 17, 2018

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Complain to Advertising Standards Authority about misleading ‘home ownership’ when applied to retirement leasehold tenancies

A veteran leasehold campaigner from Carlex earliest days, Susan Wood, has just repeated a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority about leasehold tenancies being described as “home ownership” that she first made in 2012. Her first complaint concerned Churchill Retirement. Now she complains about McCarthy and Stone describing their flats in an advert in Saga […]

ARCO snubs McCarthy and Stone / Churchill by saying there is no need for ground rents

The trade body the Association of Retirement Community Operators announced yesterday that ground rents are “not essential” in retirement housing and it backs the government in ending them. The announcement directly contradicts McCarthy and Stone and Churchill. Both have argued that they need ground rents for the viability of retirement housing projects and without them […]

ARHM cannot see a future in traditional ‘granny flat’ volume retirement sales

Annual conference hears why renting, mutuals or guaranteed buy-back schemes are more attractive than leasehold flat sales Not one attempt was made to defend the volume retirement housing business model as it came under sustained attack at the annual conference of the Association of Retirement Housing Managers last week. The keynote speaker Sebastian O’Kelly, of […]

Pensioners hammered with 88% rise in ground rents

… Often in sites with dismal resale values Thousands of pensioners living in older retirement properties are facing a massive hike in ground rents: 88 per cent is not unusual. The older leases of mass retirement housing builder McCarthy and Stone are kicking in with huge hikes in ground rents. Ground rents at Churchill sites […]

The Times: ‘Exit fees and poor resale values: the uncomfortable truth about retirement homes’

The Times today (September 10 2016) reports the research by Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation into re-sale values recorded on the Land Registry for retirement properties. The article, headed “Exit fees and poor resale values: the uncomfortable truth about retirement homes”, quotes Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation / LKP patron Sir Peter Bottomley, who earlier […]

Law Commission outlines ‘event’ fee report, but still wants to hear from leaseholders

About 100 of those who have contributed to the Law Commission report into retirement housing “event” fees were invited to an evening get-together at Westminster last Thursday. There was wine and canapés and gossip, after attendees had digested the evening’s theme “Building Fairness: Growing a housing market older people can trust”. Esther Rantzen was the […]

Will Lord Best’s proposals produce a healthy retirement housing market …

… Or help perpetuate what is already wrong with it?   – Government should underwrite retirement flat purchases like Help To Buy scheme – There should not be any stamp duty when downsizing – Schemes where some service charges are deferred until a property is sold should be ‘made available more widely’ – Retirement accommodation offers huge savings over maintaining […]

AgeUK: Retirement leasehold IS NOT WORKING and needs urgent reform

– Self-regulation (by ARHM, ARMA, RICS) has failed – Leasehold tenure itself disempowers residents and makes them vulnerable – Commonhold should be explored – Right to manage needs to be made easier for the elderly – LEASE’s ‘problematic’ role serving all sides in leasehold – CMA’s skimpy Ipsos MORI poll ‘should not be used as the basis […]

Seven months after buying our retirement flat, we have put it up for sale

– Couple deeply regret hasty decision – Why did they not RENT instead? – Churchill satisfied with sales procedures A couple who bought a one-bedroom retirement flat deeply regret making the hasty decision and were desperate to sell up – only seven months later. Evelyn Matthews, 78, and her husband Stan, 94, bought the one-bedroom […]

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