FAQs
Please browse our list of our most frequently asked questions below.

Can I own a pet dog or cat in my apartment?

We normally welcome well behaved pets, but do ask the sales consultant at the development you are interested in for more information. Terms and conditions apply.

How much is your service charge?

Our service charge varies between developments due to their varying sizes and facilities. However, they are formulated in the same way throughout the country. We calculate the total cost to maintain the development and split it between each apartment. However, an owner of a one bedroom apartment will pay less than the owner of a larger two bedroom apartment. In addition to service charge, ground rent is also payable.

For example, the weekly service charge at our Hartley Wintney development is £56.25 (including £10.10 ground rent) for a one bedroom apartment, and £80.67 (including £11.44 ground rent) for a two bedroom apartment.

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*
  • 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 (please ask for details)*
  • Sundries

*Not provided at Cavendish Collection developments

Will your service charge increase after I move in?

Our service charges are fixed annually and reflect the costs of the services we procure on behalf of our homeowners. We share the individual costs that make up the service charge with homeowners and outline how each charge is calculated. The service charge for each year is set in consultation with homeowners.

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 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 efficiency 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, like others developed in England and Wales, are sold on a leasehold basis as opposed to a freehold one. A copy of the lease relevant to each development is available for you to view in all sales suites.

Are your apartments furnished?

The apartments come unfurnished. However, quality carpets are installed throughout (except in bathrooms and kitchens).

What does buying off-plan mean?

We typically offer our new apartments for sale before they have been built. This may feel a little strange, but it means you have first choice of the plots which are typically varied in their advantages. Once you reserve there is generally a few months until construction has been completed and you can move in. This gives you lots of time to plan the sale of your existing home. Remember, our free of charge SmoothMove service is on hand to make your move as stress-free as possible!

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 size of the apartment in question. At present, our ground rent ranges from £400 to £625 per year, which is broadly in line with that charged by other retirement housebuilders. Further detail relating to ground rent is clearly communicated by our sales staff as part of any initial enquiry received from a potential purchaser.

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 the ground rent and will this increase in 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 announced its intention to prohibit the charging of ground rents last year as part of wider proposals to reform current arrangements following issues around the sale of leasehold houses. 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 any event, the Government made it clear that ‘limited exceptions’ may apply and it would be holding further discussions with the industry.

On this basis, we continue to charge reasonable ground rents commensurate with our developments.

Do you sell your ground rent to investors?

We do sell what is referred to as freehold revisionary 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 relevant development.

The sale of freehold revisionary interests allows us to obtain valuable income, which is used to help fund the development of new schemes, including supporting the provision of the communal spaces referenced.

Is council tax included in the service charge?

Council tax is not included within the service charge. This is the responsibility of the owner of the apartment. For information on council tax bands, please ask the sales consultant at the development you are interested in.

Which council tax band do Renaissance apartments fall within?

Council tax bands vary between location and development. Please ask the sales consultant at the development you are interested in for more information. Council tax bands can be found at:
www.gov.uk/council-tax-bands.

Do you offer part exchange?

Yes we do, and a lot of our owners have found this helpful. You can find out more about part exchange by clicking here. Do bring it up with one of our sales consultants when you take the tour – they’ll be happy to share the information with you.

Do you rent apartments?

We currently offer rental at our Wareham, Wantage, Marlborough and Haywards Heath developments. Please click here to download our Rental Brochure for further information.

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.

Can you help me with the organisation of the move?

Yes, of course. We have all the skills and time 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 completely free of charge moving service.

What deposit will I be required to pay to secure my apartment?

You will be required to pay a deposit of £1,000 to secure a new one bedroom apartment, and a deposit of £2,000 to secure a new two bedroom apartment. Please note this deposit is non-refundable but will be deducted from the cost of your apartment when you move to purchase. We recommend asking the sales consultant at your chosen development for more information. Terms and conditions apply.

Does the apartment come with a shower or bath?

Every Renaissance 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 consultant for more details.

Are your apartments sound proofed?

Yes and they are built to comply fully with building regulations which cover sound proofing.

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.

If I buy a Renaissance 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.

Do you provide your own management services?

Yes we do. Each and every Renaissance development is managed by the Renaissance Property Management company.

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 the sales consultant at your preferred development.

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 (currently £750 plus VAT) 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.

Can my friends and family stay at the development?

Yes, we warmly welcome guests of our owners. There is a guest suite at each development, comprising en-suite facilities, a TV and tea and coffee making facilities. We charge £20 for one person per night, and £25 for two people per night.

Are there owners’ parking facilities at your development?

Yes. Most are also gated to provide added peace of mind. When you exchange contracts on an apartment, you will have the option to reserve a car park space (if one is available). This is charged at £250 per year and is renewable annually. Terms and conditions apply. Please speak to the sales consultant at the development you are interested in for more information about requesting a car park space, and to find out how many spaces are available. Please be aware that any vehicle parked on-site will require a valid MOT certificate, be properly taxed and insured, and the owner must have a full and valid driving licence.

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. Our sales consultants will be happy to discuss a possible alternative.