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Renting In Retirement Leads to Marriage

When Mrs Sybil Smith, as she was then, decided to downsize from her home in Cambridge, she did not expect to find her second love in a retirement development.

Sybil lost her husband in 2000 and wanted to downsize from their large family home to a manageable retirement property. Whilst searching for a property to buy, Sybil saw a “to sell / rent” sign outside Havenfield Place on Arbury Road in Cambridge and viewed the development with her daughter. After seeing Girlings’ apartments for rent and learning about its Assured Tenancy rental contracts, which would allow her to remain in the apartment for as long as she wanted, she decided to rent instead of buying.

She sold her home, invested the capital and moved into a one-bedroom flat in Havenfield in the summer of 2001.

She settled well into the development, meeting new friends and enjoying the freedom from the burden of owning a property. In November 2001, Sybil had met Leonard Clarke (70), a retired accountant who lived across the hall. The pair developed a strong relationship and when she fell ill in 2002, Leonard looked after her.

The couple were married on 19 June 2004 at Shire Hall, with the reception at Sybil’s son’s home. Leonard moved into Sybil’s flat in Havenfield and they have been living there very happily ever since.

Mrs Sybil Clarke comments, “Renting through Girlings has changed my life. I have met my second love, and we are living with the security of tenure that we want, without the worry of owning a property at this age. We have invested the money from our properties so renting has afforded us greater financial freedom. We are learning new skills such as how to use a computer, and spending valuable time with our family, including our 11 grandchildren!”

Havenfield Place is a purpose-built retirement development situated north of Cambridge’s historic city centre. Its 67 self-contained apartments are set over three floors and the development is in a residential area very close to local amenities, including shops, a post office and transport links.

A House Manager is on-site and facilities include a residents’ lounge, communal laundry, guest suite, maintenance of the garden, heating, lighting and upkeep of communal areas, as well as maintenance and insurance of the building, a secure entry-system and a 24 hour emergency care line. Rental prices are inclusive of the service charges and ground rent.

Peter Girling, Chairman and founder of Girlings states, “Renting on an assured tenancy is the only contract that gives tenant the security of choosing how long they remain in a property. Our monthly rental rate includes maintenance and ground rent costs. Any rental increases are in line with the Retail Price Index, and capped at 6%, enabling our tenants to plan their finances and ensure they can live a comfortable retirement.”


For further information please contact:

Heather Baker / Kathryn Hughes
hbl media
Tel: 020 7612 1830
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About Girlings

Girlings Retirement Options Limited is the market leader in private rental retirement property offering rentals on an assured tenancy basis (tenancy for life). The properties are purpose-built to suit the needs of the independently minded and active 55+ age group. They are available to rent at affordable market rates which are reviewed every twelve months in line with RPI and capped at 6%, enabling easy financial planning for tenants. Maintenance costs are included in the rental rates; there are communal facilities at the majority of developments and a house manager is available for help and advice. Reassurance and peace of mind are also covered through the 24 hour emergency Careline.

The company has in the region of 1800 retirement properties available to rent in the UK and Spain and Girlings has seen year-on-year growth in demand for new properties from people who are finding this to be an affordable and convenient way of living in retirement, enabling them to pursue long held dreams such as long holidays, gifting money to their children or pursuing new hobbies and pastimes.