Retired Ministers' Housing Society

Properties we buy

Find out about the types of properties we buy and the criteria we follow when purchasing them.  

To ensure it achieves value for money always, the Society will make sure that the properties it owns meet specified standards.

When viewing potential properties, it is essential to consider the following: 

Property standards

  • It should be a resalable property, not older than 10 years, otherwise it must be assessed for Decent Homes (Government’s target to ensure all homes meet certain standard of decency) to ensure no major works are required within five years of purchase. Lower maintenance properties tend to have uPVC framed windows, external doors fascias and bargeboards, rainwater gutters and downpipes.

  • It must have full and working gas central heating, FENSA registered double-glazing, driveway/garage/off street parking, straight and wide stairs (if applicable), ground floor toilet (if applicable).

  • It must have energy efficient features and Energy Performance Certificates as they provide useful information about the efficiency of the property and future running costs.

  • It must have loft insulation and cavity wall insulation.

  • Electrical test and gas safety certificates must be available. Without these the purchase will not proceed. 

  • Inside the property, cupboards and doors should be intact, there must be no damp, outdated electrics (light switches, power points) or old radiators, cookers and boilers.

Please note, minor repairs are included in the local ceiling allowance. Replacement of fixtures and fittings are the applicant’s responsibility. These may include but not limited to gas fires and small/immediate repairs.

Property location

  • Properties near shops, buses to shopping centre, doctor, hospital, library, church are preferred. In the longer term, when driving may not be possible, these are more suitable.

  • No house on a steep hill or sudden drop and remote from neighbours. These houses may be exposed to winds especially in the winter in addition to access difficulties. Avoid low-lying areas, flood plains, near farms and land-fills.

Properties avoided

  • Properties that have large trees nearby or in the boundary. Sometimes Preservation Orders may be in place and these are difficult and expensive to negotiate.

  • Properties that have flat roofs, are in poor maintenance, have poor or loose brickwork or look ‘tired’.

  • Properties built with non-traditional materials such as concrete walls, steel or wood framed structures, thatched roofs. Warm air heating is noisy and dusty especially for asthma sufferers, electric storage heaters are inflexible, oil and Calor heating facilities are expensive and the latter can be dangerous.

  • Properties that have alterations done unless building regulations and planning permission certificates are produced on request.

  • Properties that have cladding. This can be hiding problems and may have higher decorating costs or rendering.

  • Properties that have solar photovoltaic modules (solar panels) installed.

  • Properties with conservatories. While conservatories are attractive and may serve useful purpose when they are new, they are expensive to maintain. 

  • Properties with steps up to the front door as they may cause problems in later years. Even when they are replaced by ramps, they may be expensive and unsightly. 

Other considerations

  • Downsizing is an inevitable consideration in looking for properties. Properties for retirement are not Manses, therefore looking for a property that will fit everything from a Manse is not practical nor affordable.

  • Make sure the property meets ministers’ (spouses/partners) long term needs: two or three-bedroom bungalows, dormer bungalows, semi-detached and detached.

  • The size of the garden also needs to be thought about. Large gardens can be difficult to maintain.

  • Two receptions reception rooms rather than a through lounge is often more useful because a separate room can serve as a dining room, office or a downstairs bedroom.