Healthcare Business 12 April 2019

New rental-only retirement scheme launches in Kent

A new rental-only retirement scheme launches to meet the growing demand for rental properties for the over 65s, which is predicted to double over the next 15 years. The luxury development in Sidcup, in the London Borough of Bexley, is being developed by Birchgrove and will be the first of a further eight rental retirement schemes in Greater London over the next five years.

Birchgrove is backed by Bridges Fund Management, which has a 15-year track record of investing in property related businesses. The trend of retirees renting rather than buying originates from the US, Europe and Australia but has been quietly gaining popularity in the UK, with a 13% increase in retired renters from 2012 to 2016 (NLA). Scottish Widows have recently predicted that figures will double to 9 million by 2022.

Honor Barratt, Managing Director at Birchgrove comments: “For many, the idea of selling up and buying a retirement property is not only stressful but also a financially unattractive option. High stamp duty rates and the knowledge that some retirement properties don’t tend to gain value are tough facts to accept. Renting, on the other hand, allows homeowners to release equity from the sale of their property and live an overall more flexible lifestyle.”

“Although the private rental sector boasts an abundance of properties, these homes are not really kitted out for ageing residents. Our build-to-rent scheme was created to fill the current void by offering properties that encourage independent living but can equally adapt to the tenant’s care needs”, Barratt adds.

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Due to open in May 2019, Birchgrove will feature 74 modern apartments with one, two and three-bedrooms. Residents have access to the exclusive onsite facilities such as the restaurant, club room, library, wellbeing and fitness centre, hairdressing and beauty salon as well as the communal gardens with plots to grow vegetables. In addition, each apartment is linked to a 24-hour emergency call service, for immediate assistance.

Regular events and hobby groups will contribute to the community spirit, whilst the onsite shuttle service to the local high street and shops adds to the service offer. All tenants are entitled to one hour’s domestic support per week, meaning a member of staff will help with chores such as cleaning, cooking, shopping or doing the ironing.

All apartments feature wide doors and corridors, making them wheelchair accessible, whilst appliances in the fully fitted kitchens are waist height for easy access. The modern bathrooms come with en-suite walk-in showers that are equipped with simple to use switches, taps and plugs. Family members benefit from an onsite guest suite, which can be booked via Birchgrove’s concierge service.

For the potential scenario of a resident needing extra care, Birchgrove has teamed up with homecare specialist Alina, which was rated ‘Outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission. Alina Homecare offers tailored care solutions, giving residents peace of mind that their new home can easily adapt, should their support requirements change.

Rent includes concierge service, 24-hour onsite emergency assistance, access to the onsite facilities, transportation, one hour domestic support, phone line installation, and utility costs (gas, electricity, water).

For more information, please visit or contact the team on 020 3929 5599.