Why buy when you can rent


“It's all beautifully kept and so well run - marvellous!”

Eastbourne Resident

Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional| Valid CSS!
  • Retire with style at The Hawthorns
  • Retire with style at The Hawthorns
  • Retire with style at The Hawthorns
  • Retire with style at The Hawthorns

Renting is the answer to ensuring retirement dreams don’t turn into nightmares

THE many drawbacks of buying a retirement home were again in the spotlight this week, in a critical report into retirement housing by Age UK presented to MPs on Tuesday.

The report warns that retirement housing must undergo wide-ranging improvements if older people are to see it as a practical and attractive option for later life and calls on the Government to launch a review of retirement and sheltered housing in order to build an ambitious vision of retirement housing.

Its findings has prompted one operator of retirement complexes to point out there is an option which overcomes most, if not all, the negative issues raised in the report – and the option, believe it or not, is renting.

Hawthorns Retirement, an American company, has brought a concept popular not only in the States but Australia to the UK in the form of retirement complexes in Eastbourne, Clevedon near Bristol and Braintree in Essex.

The big difference with these developments is they offer retirement housing which is rented, not bought – and not just retirement housing, but a retirement lifestyle. A fixed monthly rental includes all your many monthly expenses including three meals a day prepared by in-house chefs, gas, electricity, water and drainage, weekly housekeeping, maintenance – even a free mini-bus to take you to the shops and back.

John Gray, UK Director of Hawthorns Retirement, said the Age UK report endorsed every facet of his company’s philosophy to retirement living – that renting is far preferable to buying.

“With our fixed monthly rental, there are no nasty surprises, no third-party management company changing the goalposts as to what is included and no long-term commitment. Your only additional costs are your telephone and broadband and your contents insurance, if you choose to ensure.

“Our developments offer you continued independent living, none of the worries of home ownership including falling prices, totally transparent costs and the flexibility to change your lifestyle at a month’s notice should circumstances dictate. We keep things simple: a straightforward agreement with no long-term commitments which is achieved by simply renting your retirement home rather than buying.

“Renting no longer carries the social stigma of previous years. Instead it is a common sense approach for those in retirement. Why be property-rich and cash-poor at a time of life you should be reaping the benefit of your years of hard work and savings? Leaving you property to the family, that old Victorian mantra, does not sit happily in today’s economic environment - not when the average lifespan is now more than 80, when pensions are being hard hit and costs are rising. No, a new approach to how we look after ourselves in retirement years is required and renting is that approach.

“Whilst some residents fund this idyllic retirement lifestyle from the proceeds of the sale of their home, many others opt to rent out their own property and fund their new-found lifestyle from the rental income, maintaining their property as part of their estate.”

As well as the financial argument, life at The Hawthorns offers the added benefits of security, companionship and the flexibility of handing in just one month’s notice of your decision to leave.

For Alan and Jean Ward, the decision to move to The Hawthorns in Braintree was swift in the extreme. They saw an advert for the development in a paper on a Sunday morning, visited in the afternoon and signed on the dotted line the next day following a second visit.

Their decision to rent out their existing property rather than sell it was almost as quick, as Alan explains. “I have to admit my initial thought was to sell our own home, a three-bedroom detached bungalow, but after a chat with our son we realised it made more sense to rent out our bungalow. The rental income from that subsidies our rent at The Hawthorns and enables us to enjoy not only a fabulous but an affordable lifestyle.

“Of course, it makes complete sense at the moment to rent out the bungalow.  With the housing market in the doldrums, I can wait two or three years for prices to pick up and then consider selling it and getting much more capital for it - very appealing,” said Alan.

Further information on retirement living Hawthorns-style can be found at www.hawthornsretirement.co.uk or by telephoning 0845 450 1814.