The rise of the retirement villiage

Sarah Gillbe, a conveyancing specialist at Setfords Solicitors, said: “Retirement villages offer a secure and sociable environment, in which residents can enjoy a balance between care and independence.

“The properties are usually leasehold, with matters such as buildings insurance and external repairs managed by the landlord, who claims the cost back via service charges.

“This lessens the practical responsibilities of home ownership, but do check the service charges, as they can be several times those of a similar non-retirement community property.

“The lease can only be in the name of the retired person, so you cannot share legal ownership. However, this can be dealt with by way of declaration of trust, so the beneficial interest in the property can be shared.

“Prospective buyers typically have to meet certain criteria, such as being above a specified age. This means you cannot leave the property to your children, although you can of course leave them the proceeds of sale.

“You may also have to pay the landlord or Housing Association a percentage of the sale price when you sell the property. Always check whether this is the case so you can budget accordingly.”

Details correct at time of writing.