How it works
Frequently asked questions
Our comprehensive list of FAQs below gives you more information about the finer details of buying a property in an ERL village. If you are interested in renting, as there are significant differences in purchasing your home or entering into a tenancy agreement, please see the separate FAQs for rental properties.
ERL retirement villages bring together like-minded people in inspirational places with everything taken care of, enabling you to enjoy the life you’ve looked forward to: independence and personal space; variety and companionship; support and security; health and well-being – all the ingredients you need for a relaxed, care-free and fulfilled retirement.
Why not Try Before You Buy? Our completed villages all have guest suites where you’re welcome to stay for a couple of days to experience what life could be like. You’ll have the chance to see the standard of the properties and the beautiful communal facilities, meet our friendly staff and some of the people already living in these lovely places, try out the restaurant and maybe even take part in one of the many social events that go on. Complimentary breakfast will be provided.*
* Other meals can be taken at the preferential prices in the restaurant. Travel is at your own cost.
Reserve the property of your choice
Once you’ve made up your mind, maybe after a Try Before You Buy and/or other visits, possibly with family and friends, you can reserve the property of your choice. Our Sales Team will explain everything in detail and take you through the process.
There is a reservation fee of £1,000, which will be deducted from the deposit payable on exchange of contracts. If the reservation doesn’t proceed for whatever reason, the reservation fee is refundable, subject to deduction of reasonable costs incurred. The standard reservation period is two months, but this can be extended, depending on your circumstances (for example, if you have a house to sell).
We can put you in touch with a firm of solicitors from the carefully selected panels we use who are familiar with our villages to handle the legal process for you, if required. You are, of course, free to use solicitors of your own choosing.
Exchange of contracts
The usual property purchase process will follow and the Sales Team can explain what happens during this time. Your solicitors will make enquiries of us on your behalf and will advise you throughout. This process can take as little as 28 days, but can be up to two months or longer, as described above.
When you and your solicitors are happy that everything has been covered, you will pay a 10% deposit, less the £1,000 reservation fee, and contracts are exchanged.
Completion of the purchase
If the property you are buying is physically complete and ready to move into, a completion date is usually agreed on exchange of contracts and the period between exchange and completion is normally a few weeks. We will decide on a date between us to suit your requirements – for example, you may want to move in almost immediately or you may have completion on a related sale to consider.
For properties purchased off plan, completion will be on notice, which is issued once the property is ready. The notice period, during which completion can take place at any time is usually 20 working days.
When the day arrives, someone from the Sales Team or the Management Team will be there to welcome you and provide any help you need. If you prefer, you could spend a night or two in the guest suite (subject to availability) so you can unpack everything in your new home at a more leisurely pace.
Once in, if there are any little jobs you need doing, we have a Handyman who will be able to do these for you.*
* Three hours are provided free for all new properties; additional time can be purchased by arrangement.
Our Assisted Move Scheme enables you to reserve an ERL property before you’ve sold your own home and we will help you to sell it. More details are given on this website under Assisted move or any member of our Sales Team would be happy to go through it with you.
This option makes the process of moving home stress-free, smooth and effortless. We can put you in touch with a third-party part-exchange company who can take your existing home as part-payment for an ERL property, so you can move in almost straightaway. We would be happy to give you further details of this option if you would like to investigate whether it would work for you.
We have established relationships with removal companies local to our villages who can offer a comprehensive helpful moving service by fully-trained staff at preferential rates. This includes de-cluttering your existing home, full- or part-packing of your belongings, transporting everything to your new home, and unpacking, as directed by you, on arrival. You can choose any element of this service or leave everything to these professionals. Please ask for more details if this is of interest to you.
Monthly fee/service charge
The monthly fee/service charge1 covers the day-to-day running of the village. A full list of the items covered will be provided and our staff can explain anything in detail, if required. Simply put, the only things you have to pay for yourself are your utility bills (Council Tax, energy, water, TV and telephone), home contents insurance and food/drink.
The leases for properties in ERL’s first two retirement villages2 were structured to provide for a ground rent payment,3 which was common practice at the time. However, the Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Act 2022 abolished the inclusion of ground rent in new leases for retirement properties entered into on or after 1 April 2023, such that any new leases after this date will not be subject to ground rent. (Please note: the provisions contained in the above Act are not retrospective and any leases (including when they are assigned in future) that pre-date this legislation will continue to be subject to ground rent.) A peppercorn ground rent is included in the leases of properties in subsequent villages, because this is necessary for leasehold properties, but it is not collected and no ground rent is payable.
Our villages have a wide range of hospitality services that are not covered by the monthly fee/service charge but that are available to you at reasonable cost. These include meals in the restaurant, drinks in the bar, laundry and hair/beauty treatments.
Unallocated parking on a first-come, first served basis is available at all our villages. However, in some locations, a limited number of spaces may be available under an open-ended licence for which an annual charge is made. The Sales Team can advise if this applies and what the annual cost is.
Whilst our staff, who are all chosen not only for their ability but also for their character and nature, are dedicated to supporting everyone living in our villages and can offer assistance in many ways, they are not able to provide personal or domiciliary care. However, we have contacts with reputable, suitably qualified, local care companies who can provide a range of services. You are free to choose any care provider you wish, and we do everything we can to help you select the right service for you and get any assistance you require put in place, but any such arrangements are not covered by the monthly fee/service charge. Separate contracts for these services are between the care provider and the recipient, who is responsible for the associated costs.
With these services available, we hope that those living in our villages can retain their independence and remain in their own homes for as long as they wish.
When you move out
When your property is sold, or re-assigned, a Deferred Development Payment (DDP), which is a percentage of the selling price or market value based on the length of time you owned the property, is paid.4
DDPs are normal practice in retirement villages. Their purpose is to ensure that all property owners, not just the original purchasers, contribute to the initial capital cost of the buildings (construction and/or renovation) and provision of the communal facilities, which together have been very expensive and which will benefit owners/occupiers over many years; leases have, therefore, been structured to take account of this. The alternative would be for the first purchasers to pay a very high initial price. They also ensure that the value of the landlord’s investment is maintained, thus enabling the villages to be operated by the landlord to the high standard you would expect, which in turn can help improve the resale value of the individual properties.
Our Sales Team will fully explain the DDP (and Sales Administration Fee, if applicable).5
(1) As appropriate, depending on the village.
(2) Boughton Hall in Chester and The Red House in Ripon.
(3) If a ground rent payment applies, full details will be provided at the outset.
(4) The percentage rate varies between villages and, in some villages, a Sales Administration Fee of 1.8% (including VAT) is also charged, but the DDP percentage is lower.
(5) The DDP also covers the services of the Sales Team when re-selling a property where a separate Sales Administration Fee is not charged.
When the time comes to resell your property, our experienced, permanent Sales Team will handle everything. Vendors are free to use an external agency if they wish,* but our Sales Team will work in conjunction with the agency to promote the sale of the property. Indeed, it is quite often the case that we have details of people waiting for properties to become available in our villages and they will be advised of any opportunities immediately.
The DDP (and Sales Administration Fee, if applicable) – see above – becomes due on completion of the sale.
* Any fees are the responsibility of the vendor.
Please note that neither ERL, nor any company or person associated with us or our villages, receives any incentive or commission from any external companies or organisations we may recommend or put you in contact with.
Choose to part-exchange your property and speed up your move to the happy retirement you’ve been dreaming of.Part exchange
The process of selling your home needn’t be a daunting one. We can help things run smoothly with our Assisted Move service.Assisted move
Our expert removal companies offer a professional service to make moving easy and keep your belongings safe.Find out more