Churchill FAQs

FAQs

If you have retirement questions to ask that are not in this section, then feel free to contact us and we'll try to answer as quickly as possible.

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    • Retirement living is about enjoying a new lifestyle. In many ways, living in a retirement apartment is no different from living in any other development. Your home is your own and you can decorate and furnish it as you wish.

      The individual apartments are typically one or two bedrooms. They each have their own front door, modern kitchens and shower rooms and, in some cases, have access to landscaped communal gardens.

      Churchill Retirement Living developments also include a Lodge Manager, Owners' Lounge, coffee bar and a lively social calendar. There is a community of like minded people of a similar age and the maintenance is taken care of, so you can relax and enjoy your retirement.

    • Retirement developments or apartment complexes are essentially apartment blocks for independent individuals who just happen to be over 60, but so many people still seem to confuse retirement living with care homes or nursing homes.

       

      The differences are:

       

      Care homes for the elderly, what we used to know as 'old people’s homes', are facilities where a number of older people live together. The residents usually live in single rooms with en-suite facilities, much like a larger hotel room. As residents of care homes often have greater medical needs most homes have on-site care services.


      Care homes range in size from small family businesses for 3 or 4 residents to large complexes with 100 or more.  In care homes all meals are provided, either in residents’ own rooms or in the dining room, and communal facilities will usually include lounges, activity rooms and a garden area.


      Nursing homes provide the same facilities and personal care as a care home but also have a qualified nurse on duty 24 hours a day to carry out nursing tasks. These homes are for people who are physically or mentally frail or people who need regular attention from a nurse.

    • All of our developments have a range of communal facilities:

      • Communal grounds provide a welcome retreat for you and your friends.
      • The Owners' Lounge provides the perfect venue for entertaining and socialising.
      • A Guest Suite is provided for family and friends to book and stay over when visiting.
      • A lift to all floors comes as standard - so heavy shopping isn't a chore.
      • A free car park on every development means that spaces are available for Owners on a first come, first served basis.
    • Once you have bought your apartment, the only costs you will have to pay to live in the apartment are your own weekly bills (food, electricity, telephone etc.) and the service charge (payable six months in advance).

      Service charge costs for each individual development are available from the Sales Executive or Lodge Manager. Your water rates are included in the service charge, together with all electricity used in the communal areas.

      Additionally, as with any leasehold property, Churchill apartments are subject to ground rent. This enables us to provide extensive communal areas - such as the Owners' Lounge, Guest Suite and other facilities - which are an essential ingredient to the lifestyle on offer at our developments. Ground rent helps to pay for the provision of this space, which could otherwise be sold as apartments.

      The lease provides for a ground rent review after seven years and a review every seven years thereafter. Ground rent reviews are calculated in line with inflation, and linked directly to the Retail Price Index (RPI).

    • At least one of the Owners living in the apartment must be aged over 60, with the partner being over 55.

    • Simply visit a Churchill development of your choice. Choose the apartment which suits your own individual needs and reserve with a deposit. The purchase then proceeds exactly the same way as any other property purchase.

       

      We will ask you to exchange contracts once your Solicitors have satisfied themselves that the lease and local searches have been properly scrutinised. Final completion usually takes place a short time after exchange.

       

      Your local Churchill Retirement Living Sales Executive will be happy to help you through the apartment purchase process. We aim to make this as simple and easy as possible.

    • Yes. All Churchill Retirement Living apartments are sold on a leasehold basis and you are free to choose to sell the apartment whenever you like. All new apartments released for sale from January 2018 onwards will be sold with a 999 year lease. Apartments released for sale prior to January 2018 are sold with a 125 year lease.

    • As is common with all apartment buildings, Churchill Retirement Living apartments are sold on a leasehold basis. All new apartments released for sale from January 2018 onwards are sold with a 999 year lease. Apartments released for sale prior to January 2018 are sold with a 125 year lease.

    • Yes, you can sell your retirement apartment at any time on the open market or through our preferred retirement property agent - Stratton & King, which specialises in the sale of retirement apartments. The apartment is owned by you and you do not need to ask permission to sell it. However, under the terms of the lease, you do require written approval from the landlord to assign the lease, should you wish to sell or rent your apartment.

      You will have no transfer or exit fee if you sell or sublet your property as Churchill Retirement Living does not charge this fee. On resale, 1% of the gross sale price or 1% of the open market value if subletting is payable by way of contribution to the Contingency Fund, which is held on behalf of Owners towards longer term repair and replacement cost.

    • The apartment will become an asset owned by your estate. It will pass to whoever it was bequeathed to in your will. They are free to sell it as soon as Probate is granted.

    • Yes. Anyone can own one of our apartments but only those over 60, or partners of those over 60 who themselves are over 55, can live in the apartment.

    • Yes, we are happy to consider part exchange when you wish to move into a new Churchill apartment. We can arrange for your property to be purchased for cash, making your move quick and hassle-free. We can also provide a financial contribution towards your estate agent fees, legal fees and even pay for your removal costs. Our Sales Executives will be happy to explain all these in more detail.

    • Yes, there are mortgage products available to help you buy one of our apartments. The Sales Executive will be able to give you more details.

    • Yes, you can rent out your apartment. Your tenants must be over 60 years old and you must get permission from the management company, Millstream Management Services.

    • You will still be responsible for the service charge and ground rent on the apartment. You will also incur a contingency fee of 1% of the market value of your apartment at that time.

    • There is a service charge for each apartment which covers the cost of providing the Lodge Manager, security systems and call monitoring, external maintenance of the building and grounds, building insurance, heating, lighting and provision of all of the furnishings for the Owners' Lounge and communal areas.

      A full budget analysis is available for each individual development and we aim to keep the cost as low as possible. As with any property, you have to pay your Council Tax according to the band allocated by the local council. You will also have to pay for the electricity you use in your own apartment and for your own TV licence. A TV licence is free for those over 75, but this has to be applied for.

      While buildings insurance is covered by the service charge, you will need to take out your own contents insurance. Due to the excellent safety and security of our buildings, contents insurance premiums are typically lower than the ones offered to those living in their own houses.

    • As with any property, you have to pay your local Council Tax - within the band allocated by the local council. Additionally, you will have to pay for the electricity you use in your own apartment.

      You will have to pay for your own TV licence. However, a TV licence is free for those over 75, but has to be applied for.

      There are no other hidden day-to-day charges to pay.

    • Repairs to the fabric of the building, the communal areas, the safety and security systems (including those inside your apartment) and the garden are all covered by the service charge and will be taken care of by the management company, Millstream Management Services.

      Repairs in your own apartment are your responsibility but, of course, the Lodge Manager can provide you with help and advice.

    • Yes. Churchill Retirement Living is a member of the National House-Building Council and every Churchill apartment is covered by a 10 year NHBC build mark warranty.

    • As with any property, you have to pay your local Council Tax - within the band allocated by the local council. Additionally, you will have to pay for the electricity you use in your own apartment.

      You will have to pay for your own TV licence. However, a TV licence is free for those over 75 but has to be applied for.

      There are no other hidden day-to-day charges to pay.

    • Buildings Insurance is covered by the service charge, however you will need to take out your own Contents Insurance.  Because of the Safety and Security of our buildings, Contents Insurance premiums are typically much lower than offered to those living in their own houses.

    • Well behaved dogs, cats or caged birds are welcome in all our apartments. However, to ensure the privacy and comfort of other Owners, we simply ask that prior permission is obtained in writing from the Lodge Manager. Find out more about keeping pets in your retirement home here.

    • Yes, you can smoke in your apartment but, in order to comply with the current regulations and for the comfort of the other Owners, not in any of the internal communal areas.

    • As with most retirement developments, car ownership declines soon after many Owners move in. Often two car families reduce to one car and, with close proximity to shops and amenities, car ownership is less necessary. Unreserved marked parking bays for Owners are provided at all of our Lodges. All of our car parks are free for Owners.

    • Of course. Your apartment is your home and you can have whomever you like to come and stay.

    • Yes, but on some developments you would have to cover the cost of installation yourself, and all such installations will be connected to a communal dish. The majority of developments are SkyQ enabled.

    • All our Lodges have landscaped gardens that are easily accessible for all of our Owners. Our management company constantly maintains the gardens to ensure they are always looking their best.

    • Please do. We think it is very important that you are able to hear from our Owners what it is like living in a Churchill Retirement apartment.

      To talk to someone who lives in the development of your choice, simply let the Sales Executive know and he or she will arrange everything for you.

    • Most of our Lodges now have a fitted washer/dryer in the kitchen as standard. Some of our developments have separate laundry rooms, so in this case you can certainly have one fitted if you wish.

    • Yes. Just as in any non-retirement apartment block you will have keys to the block itself and keys to your own apartment.

    • Of course - it is your own private apartment, and you can do with it as you wish, subject to the terms of your lease. In all cases, it is advised to obtain approval from the Lodge Manager who is always on hand to guide you with any ideas you may have to ensure the safety and integrity of your apartment.

    • The only person who has a set of keys is the Lodge Manager so that they can get into your apartment in an emergency.

    • We ensure all communal areas are kept clean and tidy. We do not provide cleaning for your personal apartment but our Lodge Manager will be able to help you find suitable cleaners if you desire.

    • Yes, each of our Lodges has a Guest Suite which Owners can book for any friends or family. This is one of the main reasons many Owners decide to purchase a one bedroom apartment, rather than a two bedroom apartment. Owners can of course have family and friends to stay in their own apartment whenever they like. They can also book the Guest Suite in any other Churchill development throughout the UK.

      • A camera entry system is installed and can be operated from your apartment.
      • An intruder alarm is fitted to the front door of every apartment, and apartments on the ground floor also have sensors fitted.
      • Smoke detection systems are fitted in all apartments and throughout the communal areas in the development.
      • A 24 hour support system, for added peace of mind.
    • Yes, as long as they do not interfere with the integral system of the Lodge. If you choose to install additional features you will have to cover the cost of these and their installation.

    • We do not provide on-site care but a 24 hour emergency call alarm system is provided via a discreet personal pendant alarm and bathroom call point. In an emergency, this system provides direct contact to either your Lodge Manager, or a member of the careline team 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. If you require care visits, you can arrange these in much the same way as you would in your current property.

    • Camera entry system

      A camera entry system is installed and can be operated via a standard TV set from your apartment.

       

      Intruder alarm

      An intruder alarm is fitted to the front door of every apartment. Apartments on the ground floor have sensors fitted throughout the apartment.

       

      Detection system

      Sophisticated fire and smoke detection systems are fitted in all apartments and throughout the communal areas in the development.

    • We don’t believe you will need to but you can as long as they do not interfere with the integral security systems of the Lodge. If you choose to install additional security features you will have to cover the cost of these and their installation.

    • There is a Lodge Manager at every development. You'll find them a great help, from answering day to day queries, to keeping an eye on your apartment if you go away.

    • For men born before 6 December 1953, the current State Pension age is 65.
      For women, the current State Pension age increased from 60 to 65 from April 2010.

      This affects women born on or after 6 April 1950.

      You cannot claim the State Pension until you reach this age but can retire if you have a personal or company pension scheme.

    • For women, the current State Pension age increased from 60 to 65 in April 2010. This means that women born on or after 6 April 1950 cannot retire until they are 65.

    • For men born before 6 December 1953, the current State Pension age is 65.

      For women, the current State Pension age increased from 60 to 65 from April 2010. This affects women born on or after 6 April 1950

      From December 2018 the State Pension age for both men and women will start to increase to reach 66 in October 2020.

      The current law already provides for the State Pension age for both men and women to increase to:

      • 67 between 2034 and 2036
      • 68 between 2044 and 2046
    • State Pension age, or statutory retirement age, in the UK is not the same as retirement age. Retirement age is when you choose to retire and you can still work after you have reached State Pension age.


      When you reach State Pension age, the Government gives you a number of options. You can either:

      • stop working and get your State Pension
      • carry on working and get your State Pension as well
      • carry on working and put off claiming your State Pension

      If you put off claiming your State Pension, you may be able to get extra State Pension or a lump-sum payment when you do claim it.

    • The full new State Pension is £159.55 per week. The actual amount you get depends on your National Insurance record. The only reasons the amount can be higher are:

      • If you have over a certain amount of Additional State Pension
      • You defer (delay) taking your State Pension

      You can still get a State Pension if you have other income like a personal pension or a workplace pension.

      You might have to pay tax on your State Pension.

    • You have to tell the Department of Work and Pensions that you have retired and that you wish to claim your State Pension.

      You can contact the Pensions Service at the Department of Work and Pensions on 08456 060 265 or go to www.direct.gov.uk. You can also find a pension calculator on the website that may help you to calculate your pension entitlement.

    • You can contact the Pensions Service at the Department of Work and Pensions on 08456 060 265 or go to www.direct.gov.uk

    • There are now lots of magazines and websites aimed at those in their retirement. The magazines are available at most large newsagents and the websites can be found through internet searches. 


    • As with any leasehold property, Churchill apartments are subject to a ground rent. This enables us to provide extensive communal areas – such as the Owners’ Lounge, Guest Suite and other facilities – which are an essential ingredient to the lifestyle on offer at our developments. The ground rent helps to pay for the provision of this space, which could otherwise be sold as retirement apartments.

    • Apartment developers do not normally provide Owners’ Lounges, Guest Suites, Wellbeing Suites, or the range of other facilities on offer at Churchill Retirement Living developments. The higher ground rent helps to pay for the provision of this space, which could otherwise be sold as apartments.

    • For all developments released for sale prior to March 2020, the lease provides for a ground rent review after seven years and a review every seven years thereafter. Ground rent reviews are calculated in line with the Retail Prices Index (RPI).

      For all developments released for sale from March 2020 onwards, the lease provides for a ground rent review after every 10 years. Ground rent reviews on these developments are also calculated with reference to the Retail Prices Index (RPI), with the annual increase being no less than 2% and no more than 5% per year.

    • The ground rent is collected twice a year in June and December, at the same time as the service charge.