Published in Retiremove 18th January 2024

The demand for homes you can lock up and leave is on the increase among the older generation

A survey of Cognatum retirement residents revealed that over 25 per cent of them expected to spend two months or more away from their homes every year.

“Extensive travel is something that many people plan for their retirement years, and cruises and golf trips are being swapped out for later-life gap-year type adventures that are likely to extend beyond the usual one or two weeks in duration,” explains Cognatum Managing Director John Lavin.

“Many of our residents have second homes or timeshares in the UK and overseas, while others have family and friends that they like to visit regularly.

“Others simply like to holiday, some extensively, and to experience new cultures or just better weather.

“So it’s no surprise that there’s a trend in the property market for a good lock up and leave property that allows for worry-free globetrotting and spontaneous trips away.”

So what makes up a good lock up and leave property?

“Good transport links make frequent and spontaneous trips much more attractive, if being able to do things last minute appeals then the easier it is to get away the better,” adds John Lavin.

“A property with good infrastructure, modern wiring and plumbing, that’s easy to maintain and will keep your home warm and dry in your absence offers peace of mind.

“Old and leaky doesn’t sit well with switching off and relaxing.

“One of the main concerns people have is the security of their home while they’re away.

“Leaving a remote property unattended for significant periods of time can be risky while properties within communities, whether that’s a town, village or estate, is much safer.

“Neighbours are one of the best deterrents to unwelcome visitors.

“Making the most of smart technology that allows you to ‘check in’ remotely brings added reassurance.

“Knowing that your property will be looked after in your absence adds another level of reassurance.

“The fact that all our retirement estates have an estate manager is a significant and positive factor for our residents.

“Estate managers’ responsibilities include overseeing the day-to-day running and long-term maintenance of grounds and buildings, being available at all times in an emergency, a weekly property check, and a monthly alarm check – all great things on a day to day basis but particularly attractive if you may be away from your property for extended periods.”

Excellent lock up and leave properties are available at two of Cognatum’s newest estates, The Rivus in Wantage, and The Canopy in Chigwell. 

The Rivus, Wantage:



Just moments away from the amenities of Wantage, and with speedy access to Oxford, national and international road, rail and air connections, The Rivus is in a peaceful but prime position. It offers a range of easy to maintain one and two bedroom apartments and a worry-free lifestyle for the over 55s.

There are a wealth of communal areas including a lovely roof terrace, and a Wellness Centre with infrared sauna, gym, stretch studio and treatment room.

Other features include internal courtyard, and indoor communal socialising areas; car club; guest suite; high speed broadband; lift to all floors; 24 hour personal emergency alarm service, and dedicated estate manager.

Prices from £265,000 for a one-bedroom apartment; rentals from £1,600 pcm including utilities. Part exchange available.; 07548 558801

Green & Co, 01235 763562 /

The Canopy, Chigwell










The Canopy is a superb collection of 25 luxury apartments exclusively for the over 55s, nestled among the leafy treetops of the desirable and sought-after London suburb of Chigwell.

Set in its own woodland, The Canopy is a perfect balance between bustling convenience and quiet retreat.

With the well-connected transport links, travelling to London and beyond is a breeze. Liverpool Street and nationwide rail connections are a 30-minute tube ride away, while the M11 and M25 are easily accessed from the village.

The apartments all have two bedrooms, one with en-suite bathroom, a guest bathroom, open plan living spaces, bespoke kitchens and underfloor heating. Many have a private balcony.

An estate manager is on hand to ensure the smooth running of the estate, the properties are energy efficient, there’s a lift to all floors, dedicated parking space per apartment, high speed broadband and 24 hour personal emergency alarm service.

Prices from £499,950. Part exchange available; Rentals from £2,000 pcm including utilities. Part exchange available.; 07548 558802

Butler & Stag: 01992 667666

For more information:
01491 821170 /

Cognatum, a not-for-profit company, has 60 retirement estates in 21 counties across central and southern England, a total of 928 retirement homes. All are in prime locations within vibrant market towns or villages, within walking distance of shops and restaurants. Each estate benefits from thoughtful architecture, landscaped grounds, and a dedicated estate manager.