LETTER: Why is ground rent so high?

How does Churchill Retirement Living justify the exorbitant ground rent charged on their retirement flats?

I have a small one bedroom flat in a development in an attractive southern town.

For this I have the privilege of paying AVIVA (Churchill sold the lease) £655 pa.

The current ground rent for a two bedroom flat is £715pa(!)

When I moved here, recently bereaved, in 2008 the rent was £550pa, more than enough one would have thought for such a property – but no – every seven years we are subject to an increase based on the compounded RPI which has brought it up to its present level.

I wrote to Esther Rantzen, Churchill’s Ambassador, she questioned senior management whose response was that this was necessary for long term investment!

But why should I, and many, many others of ordinary means have to subsidise Churchill Retirement Living?

We have already paid ample for our flats, sorry, apartments.

As the years go on it causes increasing worry and anxiety, trying to meet this charge.

We also have the six monthly service charge.

I have been told by Leasehold Knowledge Partnership, the charity which is trying to rectify this situation, that this is the rate you would expect to find in central London – not our quiet backwater.

Rosemary Marshall (Mrs), Spitalfield Lane, Chichester