Frequently asked questions

Welcome to our FAQs page. You will find answers to the most frequently asked questions about our retirement properties. If you’d rather speak to someone you can call us on 0800 201 4811 or contact us online.

Buying a Property

All our retirement communities are age exclusive and dependent on the type of development the property is situated. Whilst some lease agreements vary the majority of our Retirement Living Plus (formerly Assisted Living) developments have a minimum age requirement of 70 years, whilst our Retirement Living developments welcome residents aged over 60 years and our Lifestyle Living properties are exclusive to people over 55 years.

Yes, it is possible to purchase a retirement property on behalf of your parents, providing the resident of the property meets the age restrictions of the development and completes the occupier approval. 

Deciding on when to move into a retirement community is a very complicated decision that requires lots of careful thought. While many people wait for a crisis to occur before making the move, others plan ahead of time and move before something bad happens.

It also can be very difficult to navigate the various retirement living options to find the right home that suits your needs. Our team is on hand to answer your questions and will be happy to explain retirement living in more detail. 

Selling a Property

Should you decide to sell your property in the future our dedicated team would be delighted to support you and market your apartment. We have specialist knowledge of selling McCarthy Stone managed properties and pride ourselves on our professional and unique service. Contact our team to arrange a free market appraisal.

No. A transfer fee, which is also known as an exit or event fee, was a charge paid directly to the freeholder of the development when an apartment was sold or rented out. On 1st September 2008, McCarthy Stone abolished this fee on all leases in all developments built after that date.

If the development was built before September 2008 but third parties own the freehold, we are unable to control the transfer/exit fee, but the owners will be fully aware of this.

McCarthy Stone does however charge a 1% sinking/contingency fee which is paid on resale. This fee does not go to McCarthy Stone but covers the long-term maintenance of the development. 

For those who want a hassle-free move to their new retirement home, we are delighted to be able to offer a Part Exchange service. This means we will buy your property, giving you a guaranteed buyer with the flexibility to move at your own pace. You don’t have to worry about estate agent fees or the sale falling through. To find out more contact our team who will be happy to arrange a valuation of your property.

Service Charges and other fees explained

The service charge allows McCarthy Stone to take care of the day-to-day running of the retirement development, which includes maintaining the communal areas and gardens. As well as this, the Service Charge pays for the House Manager at our Retirement Living developments or the 24-hour staff and Estates Manager at our Retirement Living Plus developments. We believe the charge provides good value for money and always aims to be transparent and competitive.

Service Charges are reviewed annually, and budgeted costs are presented to all homeowners for agreement. These are then divided among homeowners in line with their lease. 

We always aim to keep service charges as low as possible, while maintaining the level and quality of service we provide. Any necessary increases that result from changes in the market and inflation (which affects all homes, not just retirement communities) are discussed openly at the annual budget meeting, so residents fully understand the budgeting process. 

Except for water bills and buildings insurance, the running costs of your apartment are not included in the service charges. So you should budget for council tax and electricity bills, as well as maintenance specifically relating to your apartment.

The Ground Rent covers the construction costs of the valuable communal areas we provide. These shared spaces include communal lounges, restaurants, or bistros, rooms for mobility scooters, guest suites and staff accommodation. They are vital to retirement communities and make up around 30% of the total area at each of our developments. 

The level of ground rent you are likely to pay will reflect the size of your development and the communal areas it provides and will be set by us at the very start of the building process.

Ground rents only apply to selected developments and clearly highlighted within our property details.

Absolutely, you are welcome to have guests stay in your apartment. Alternatively, you can book them into the guest suite and save yourself the hassle of making up the spare bed. Costing just £25 per night your guests can stay in our hotel style room, complete with ensuite shower room, television and tea and coffee making facilities.

We understand how important pets are to our homeowners, which is why most of our retirement homes are pet friendly – whilst being mindful of the needs of pet-free people living in our communities. Homeowners are allowed common domesticated household pets in their properties, providing written permission has been granted.

Yes, if you own a McCarthy Stone apartment you can smoke within your property only, but not within the communal areas.

Yes. The use of lightweight motorised scooters (maximum speed 4 mph) is invited within the development. This type of scooter must be stored in your retirement property. You can also store Class 3 (maximum speed 8 mph) scooters in the storeroom – usually you can charge it there too. Conditions apply and the sales team can explain these to you.

Talk to us on 0345 556 4120 is you want to know more. 

Living in a McCarthy Stone apartment – rights, rules and what’s included

Yes, it is possible to rent your privately owned retirement apartment, however we advise checking your lease documents to confirm.

Absolutely, the best way to fully understand what retirement living is all about is to visit one of our communities. Our team will be happy to arrange this for you and the Estates or House Manager will be delighted to provide a tour of their development.

Downsizing from a large period family home into one of our warm, energy-efficient retirement apartments can mean substantially lower energy bills and cheaper maintenance and running costs.

Our research shows homeowners can save on average up to £2,312 a year on their household bills compared to those for an average existing property**. You are also likely to benefit from cheaper heating, water and other bills including council tax.

**Facilities and services vary by property type and location, with some at an extra cost. Based on average new build data set out in the HBF Watt a Save report 2022. Source: internet research carried out by McCarthy Stone 2018.

Private car parking spaces vary by development and the lease of the property. Some developments operate a permit scheme, whereas others have private parking spaces you are able to purchase. Please check with a member of our team who will be able to answer your car parking query on the specific property you are interested in.

This is a homeowner perk, which allows you to book the guest suite at any of our 500+ developments across the UK. Whether you fancy a city break in Edinburgh or a coastal weekend in Cornwall, you can enjoy a fantastically priced holiday or short break.

Every development has an experienced, dedicated care and support team onsite each day. The services we offer are flexible and can be tailored to suit you. Available in 15-minute increments, you can have as much extra support as you need, when you need it. Services include lifestyle support, domestic assistance and personal laundry services, which means we can support you with anything from popping to the shops, preparing meals or ironing. These additional services can help you to do more of the things you love and enjoy peace of mind when you need a helping hand.

All our developments and apartments have been thoughtfully designed with you in mind, including special design features to make your life easier. These include waist height ovens, plug sockets, slip resistant flooring and lever taps.

As well as this all our communal areas, including landscape gardens offer great access for wheelchair users and the lifts ensure all floors are easily accessible.

Care homes typically offer single room accommodation for rent, whereas our retirement apartments are available to buy privately. 

Care home fees usually include personal care services, whereas McCarthy Stone does not offer nursing care and all homeowners need to be able to live independently.

Additional Information about Retirement Living Plus apartments

All our Retirement Living Plus developments have on-site restaurants or bistros. They provide nutritious, freshly prepared meals 7 days a week. From Cottage Pie to Thai Green Curry, we cater for all dietary requirements or occasions. This is perfect for days when you don’t fancy cooking. If there are any allergies, just let our team know and they will ensure they cater for your needs.

All our meals served within our restaurants and bistros are very competitively priced – homeowners pay roughly £5-£7 for a main meal. Visitors will pay a little more than our homeowners, but they’ll still be wow-ed by the quality and value.

Absolutely, our chefs often prepare meals and cater for private events to celebrate a special occasion. From afternoon teas and buffets to fine dining, our chefs enjoy helping our homeowners celebrate in style.