Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, there is an annual service charge that is paid quarterly. It covers the cost of providing the services and amenities that make our estates such secure and convenient places to live, such as the day-to-day care and maintenance of the gardens and buildings and the employment of an estate manager. This service charge is shared equally between all the properties on an estate. There is also an annual contribution towards the long-term maintenance reserve fund, which covers work like the external redecoration of buildings, resurfacing drives and safety checks.
As a not-for-profit company our profits are all put back into the business, our services and the maintenance of our estates. Apart from the service and maintenance charges mentioned above, the only other potential additional cost would be at the point of sale. Some estates have an administration fee of 1% of the gross sales value payable when a property is sold, for promotional activities to ensure continuing interest in the estate.
Cognatum Estates, a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee, is the freeholder of all estate properties, which are sold on long leases with no ground rents and no restrictions on owning a property, except that one resident must be over 55 years of age.
Naturally every family is unique. However, owning one of our retirement properties compares very favourably with the stereotypical costs of running a home on par with the Cognatum lifestyle (excluding some exceptional items such as swimming pools, etc). The arithmetic confirms that living on a Cognatum estate should significantly reduce your annual household expenditure, in addition to the financial benefit of releasing immediately-accessible capital by downsizing.
Cognatum Estates is about independent living, so while every estate offers a 24-hour emergency contact we do not provide specific care services. However, should a care package become necessary, our estate managers can help to arrange for one to be put in place.
All our properties have a personal emergency alarm system with a 24-hour monitoring service, and our estate managers will also respond as necessary.
Protecting the capital value of our owners’ properties is one of the principal objects in the Cognatum constitution. Over the past 40 years properties on our estates have generally held their values relative to the market, indeed often outperforming the market as they receive regular care and maintenance. They also benefit from our exclusive estate agency dedicated to promoting and selling Cognatum retirement properties, maintaining an active enquiry list of those interested in buying.
As a Cognatum homeowner you will be responsible for your council tax, the insurance of personal possessions and looking after the interior of your home - although our estate managers can always put you in touch with local suppliers and tradespeople.
As members of the Cinnamon Trust we understand the value of pets and our homeowners are welcome to bring their animals onto all Cognatum estates. We only ask consideration for the wider estate community and expect you to ensure any pets do not cause a nuisance to other residents.