Frequently asked Questions

We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions that will hopefully answer many of your queries, but please don't hesitate to contact us if you cannot find a suitable response here. We’re happy to help.

Buying a Property - Coming to Holy Cross Priory

Who can live in Holy Cross Priory?

The services and facilities have been designed for people of the retirement age group of any or no religious beliefs. Visitors are of course welcome.

What social activities are available?

As part of our independent lifestyle and in addition to other facilities, residents are encouraged to form their own Residents’ Association with an elected committee. From here events and planned activities will spring to life.

Is there any nursing or medical cover?

A 24-hour on-call emergency support service is in place. This is to cover emergencies only.

Are pets allowed?

They may be allowed, providing they are well trained, controlled and do not cause a disturbance to other occupiers and residents. This could be subject to review and in any event is subject to the Landlord’s consent.

What about car parking?

There is limited car parking available on site on a “first come, first served” basis, but there are Reserved spaces for visitors.

Can I rent my apartment to others?

Yes you can. However, you can only lease to someone who is assessed as needing care and is a close relative.

If the apartment has not been completed is the price fixed?

Yes. The price is fixed once the apartment is reserved.

Leases, Prices and Service Charges

What are the lease terms?

The lease for all properties will be for a term of 125 years. On leaving Holy Cross Priory, the lease is assignable to any person who will reside in that apartment. You will need to consult with the Sisters prior to agreeing a sale with anyone else.

How will service payments be made?

Service charge payment is paid quarterly in advance. All other charges are paid by a monthly Direct Debit.

What if I want to sell my lease?

When the time comes to sell your apartment at Holy Cross Priory, you may choose your preferred estate agent to provide this service for you, at your own expense. Holy Cross Priory has a scheme so that the Sisters may buy back your apartment if you so wish. This will be subject to prevailing market conditions and prices and also any assignment fee.

How much is the service charge?

The service charge is dependent on the floor area of each apartment. St Mary’s Apartments have an initial service charge calculated at the range of £45 per week and £95 per week. This is a provisional calculation and the figures will be confirmed to you. In any event, a concessionary service charge will apply until the 31st March 2013. These charges will be reviewed in March 2013 on an annual basis. Any changes to the service charge will take effect from 1st April 2013. Thereafter any changes will be effective from 1st April in the following years. The Landlord will contribute the proper proportion of charges due for any unsold properties.

What is included in the service charge?

  • Administration - A small team, including the Property Manager, who is responsible for the complete on-site management of the village and arranging any additional care or Home Extra Care services.
  • Maintenance - Employed or contracted staff who are responsible primarily for the upkeep of the communal grounds, buildings and equipment in The Priory will also carry out minor repairs to individual properties, and there will be appropriate arrangements for property emergencies outside normal working hours. If residents require further assistance, such as electricians and plumbers for major repairs, they will be required to pay for this separately.
  • Maintenance Reserve Fund - There will be a programme for planned maintenance, together with the replacement of large items of equipment. The reserve fund is designed to allow for these expenditures as and when they occur, thereby reducing the need for large variations to service charges. The fund is also there should unforeseen maintenance items arise.
  • Communal Rates - The business rates for the office accommodation and all the other central facilities.
  • Insurance - A block policy is in place to cover the building’s insurance on each property and on all communal buildings, together with employers and public liability.
  • Communal Energy - This is the cost of heating, lighting and water to all communal parts of the Priory. These costs will be partly offset by the use of the Combined Heat and Power unit for the photovoltaic equipment that reduces the amount of electricity drawn from the Grid. Residents are responsible for payment of their own utility bills for their own properties.
  • Office supplies/telephone - The costs of running the manager’s office and associated services.
  • Repairs and Maintenance - The external maintenance including decoration and repair of all properties on the estate and also including the structure, roofs and foundations.
  • Internal maintenance including repair and decoration of the communal and other common parts of the estate.
  • Refuse collection service.
  • The maintenance or replacement of plants, machinery and equipment when required.
  • Maintenance Contracts - The payment of charges in respect of maintenance and servicing contracts for boilers, lifts, fire alarms, alarm call systems and other communal equipment.
  • Cleaning Materials, Window Cleaning, Garden Supplies, Uniforms, Interest and Recruitment Advertisements
  • Accountancy/Legal - Auditors costs for the provision of independently certified statements of accounts and any license fees payable.
  • Management Fee - The fee payable to the Landlord’s appointed manager for the provision of services to the site management company and for overall accountability of providing and monitoring the entire facility.

How much are service charges likely to go up?

The service charge is operated on a strictly ‘not for profit’ basis, in accordance with legislation. Therefore, any future increase will only reflect the actual rise in costs of providing the services. It is not possible to give predictions for this but suffice to say, everyone is very conscious of the need to keep costs under control whilst continuing to give a quality service.

Do I insure my property?

The Priory will insure the buildings and furnishings in the common parts. You only need to insure the contents within your own home.

Can I make alterations to my property?

Minor internal alterations and improvements can be made with the Landlord’s consent. However, when the lease is assigned, the right is reserved to restore the property to its original condition at the expense of the outgoing leaseholder.

Does the Management Company consult with residents?

The day-to-day on-site running of the village will be the responsibility of the Management Company to whom the leaseholders pay their service charges. A representative of the Management Company will attend meetings of the Residents’ Association Committee where any matters relating to the management of the village can be discussed. The Management Company will also provide every resident with a copy of the certified statement of accounts as soon as possible after the end of the financial year.

Care Services

Can I receive personal care in my own home?

Yes, you can have a tailor-made package to suit your needs, such as help with bathing, dressing, meals, for example. This would be priced accordingly.

If my partner or myself become frailer and need more care what will happen?

The concepts of the Holy Cross Priory Independent Living and Care on-site are that the Sisters of Grace and Compassion Benedictines will be able to arrange care packages when necessary subject to payment of additional fees to cover the additional cost of the services provided.

If the situation deteriorates and independence diminishes to the point where permanent care is needed, then, inevitably the residents themselves or their relatives, will recognise that appropriate care arrangements need to be made.

Very occasionally, this situation is not recognised and having regard to the best interests of other residents, the staff and the residents themselves, there is a covenant in the lease where the Landlord may give notice for the situation to be remedied. It should be stressed that this is the very last resort and it is hoped that matters such as these be dealt with in a sensible and sympathetic manner by all parties.

If a couple are occupying a property and one of them becomes unable to look after themselves, there is no need for alternative arrangements to be made, as long as the other party remains able to cope with the assistance of outside agencies.

Are care staff on site 24 hours per day?

Yes, for emergencies, including Christmas and New Year.

What happens when my executor or myself want to sell my property?

Holy Cross Priory has a “buy-back scheme” whereby they may purchase your property subject to market conditions, prices and the assignment fee. If they do not do so you can sell via your chosen estate agent in the normal way.

Catering Services

Is there a restaurant and when is it open?

The restaurant is normally open 7 days a week. Tea, coffee and cakes are available in the reception area. You choose exactly which meals you want to take and where you want to take them: in the restaurant or in your own home. Until the completion of the development, transitional arrangements will be in place.

Can I have meals delivered to me in my apartment?

Yes, the Sisters will prepare a monthly account for you from the cashless till system in use within the village complex.

Other Services

Is there a shop?

We have a small shop that sells essentials and seasonal goods.

Is there a laundry service?

This can be provided as part of your optional and flexible care services, which are available to all residents.

Payment of care, catering and other services

How do I pay for care, catering and other services that I will require?

There will be an internal charge card system introduced to cover all items of expenditure, and each month the amount will be paid by Direct Debit from your bank account.

Other Matters

Is there a no smoking policy?

There is a no smoking policy for all communal areas. You may smoke if you wish in your own apartment but there may be occasions when the cost of redecoration will be charged against you.

Is there an NHBC (National House Builders Certificate) included with the purchase?

No. There are collateral warranties from the building contractors, architects and building professionals for up to 12 years. These details will be made available to your solicitors.