July 19, 2024

My Future Living welcomes greater transparency in leasehold service charges

Hometor House Exmouth

The Leasehold and Freehold Reform Act[i] which passed into law last month includes requirements for greater transparency over leaseholders’ service charges, something that is welcomed by My Future Living, the UK’s leading retirement rentals brand.

 

Joanne Couch, Managing Director at My Future Living says, “This new law is a significant step forward and will protect the interests of homeowners of leasehold properties by making freeholders or managing agents issue bills in a standardised format that can be more easily scrutinised and challenged. As a landlord of over 2,000 apartments in retirement developments across the UK, this aligns completely with our commitment to supporting older tenants. Our mission is to make renting as easy and affordable as possible and providing reassurance through transparent rental fees and charges is central to that.”

My Future Living’s tenants benefit from affordable rents that include service charges and ground rent, making budgeting easy and more straightforward. Additionally, there is a cap on rent increases at a maximum of 6% annually, which is communicated clearly to tenants before they move in.

 

One couple who benefit from this transparency and knowing what to expect in terms of rent increases are Paul Jones, a 68-year-old retired landscape gardener and his wife Lindsey, a 63-year-old part-time nurse, who moved from their home in Exeter to a one-bedroom retirement apartment at Hometor House (pictured above)  in Exmouth.

Facing spiralling rent and the ever-growing burden and cost of maintaining their spacious Victorian house with its large garden, they realised something had to change.

Beautiful Exmouth has a lot to offer retirees, as well as the benefits of living in a retirement community

Paul explains: “The cost-of-living crisis was pushing our rent up, and the house upkeep was getting too much, especially after I had Covid-19 which has left me with weaker lungs. We decided it was time to downsize and find a home that was cheaper and easier to manage. Our new apartment is much cheaper to run. It’s highly insulated which means it scores high on energy efficiency. We have really noticed this in our bills, and keeping these as low as possible is important when you have retired.”

 

Paul and Lindsey rent on an assured ‘lifetime’ tenancy, so never have to move again providing they keep up with the terms of their tenancy agreement. Also, their annual rent increases are low and linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI).

Paul said: “Before we moved Lindsey had started to worry about how much our rent kept going up. Now, not only do we benefit from a lower rent due to downsizing, but we know what to expect in terms of increases. The assured tenancy gives us extra peace of mind too. As we get older, we don’t want the stress of knowing we might have to move again.”

 

Downsizing was not just about finances; it has also unlocked a vibrant community. As Lindsey still works, Paul has embraced their new social life including tea parties and bingo nights and going on coach trips together when Lindsey is off work.

The couple wholeheartedly recommend downsizing.  Paul concludes: “It’s worked brilliantly for us. We love our new life, the community, and the freedom it brings. Do not be afraid to downsize – the benefits far outweigh the challenges. Plan your move, let go of what you don’t need, and enjoy a worry-free life in a welcoming retirement community.”

 

For more information about My Future Living, please visit www.myfutureliving.co.uk.

[i] https://www.gov.uk/government/news/leasehold-reforms-become-law