Paying For Retirement Living

Retirement living apartments usually have three options available – buying, renting or shared ownership. As with any leasehold (you'll own the property for a fixed period but not the land it is built on), owners must pay a monthly service charge and ground rent.

These charges include exterior maintenance, redecoration, and upkeep of communal areas, including outdoor spaces and gardens. This page outlines any charges and support that may be available to you.

Service charge

A service charge is paid by leaseholders to meet the cost of the services provided. The service charge will vary from scheme to scheme, and the amount payable will probably change every financial year. Water and fuel charges for communal areas may also be part of your service charge.

If you are considering a retirement living apartment, make sure you check what you’re expected to pay, both when you sign, and in the future.

Ground rent

On a leasehold property, it's usual for leaseholders to pay a large amount upfront with smaller 'ground rent' payments annually. This may be as low as £50 but is usually around £300 to £500 a year.

Since June 2022, the law changed so that people buying a new leasehold property, don’t have to pay ground rent.  

Additional charges

Charges will vary from scheme to scheme, but the organisation that manage the retirement living community must provide certain services. You are usually responsible for repairs inside your property and for arranging contents insurance.

The charges may include:  

  • Communal or structural repairs
  • You may need to contribute towards a reserve fund to cover unexpected or expensive communal works
  • Cleaning and general upkeep of communal areas and gardens/grounds
  • Emergency alarm provision and upkeep
  • Management fees – the management organisation may charge a fee for staff time.

Wellbeing charges

If you are moving into retirement living with care, you can pay wellbeing charges to get extra support. Residents’ personal wellbeing can change at different times and some residents may use the service more frequently than others. Our aims are to enable residents to maintain their physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing, to ensure that people live later life well by remaining independent for as long as possible, and reducing the risk of social isolation and loneliness.

There is a monthly fixed fee for wellbeing to provide a core service across each scheme. The wellbeing service includes 24-hour assistance, 365 days a year, help in an emergency and the support with an activities and events programme, depending on availability.

Financial support available

Service charges
You may be able to get help to cover your service charges by claiming Pension Credit, Housing Benefit or Universal Credit.

Attendance Allowance

Attendance Allowance helps with extra costs if you have a disability severe enough that you need someone to help look after you.

It’s paid at two different rates and how much you get depends on the level of care that you need because of your disability. This Attendance Allowance page details what you could be entitled to.

We recommend about speaking with someone in our Retirement Living team if you are concerned about paying your fees, email 

Or visit our Benefits and Entitlements page >

Page last updated: November 2023. 

MHA Retirement Living

MHA Retirement Living

Supporting you to live a full and happy retirement - independently

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