You don’t need to spend too much time browsing for information on living options in retirement to come across retirement villages and similar developments proudly declaring themselves to be ‘Lock Up and Leave’. So what, exactly, does this mean?

Anyone who has owned a house for many years will be familiar with the precautions and arrangements it calls for when it comes time to go on holiday or travel for other reasons. Depending on the scale and location of your home, and how long you plan to be away for, making provision to leave it secure and safe while you’re away may involve turning off heating systems, pulling out electrical appliances, putting regular deliveries and services on hold, re-programming home systems and devices, arranging for plants to be watered and the lawn to be mown, leaving keys with nearby friends or neighbours and ensuring alarms are primed and alarm services advised that you are away.

Lock Up and Leave, in contrast, describes properties that can safely have the key turned in the front door as you head off, comfortable in the knowledge that everything is safe and secure and there are people on hand to keep an eye on things in your absence.

Retirement villages and Lock Up and Leave

Being able to just lock up and leave is a luxury that is relatively difficult to arrange for most private homeowners. In retirement however, it can be a different story entirely. For those who decide to downsize and relocate to a good quality retirement community or retirement village like our own Santhem Residences village at Shenfield in Essex, the ability to lock up and leave safely whenever you wish forms an integral part of the attraction. At retirement communities like Santhem, the maintenance of the gardens and grounds you enjoy around you is simply not your responsibility. These carry on just the same, day after day, when you’re not there, under the management of the village’s maintenance team. The same is true of the maintenance of all common parts of the village and the residence buildings. Simply not your problem! If you wish to travel around South America for six months, or to spend the entire winter with your grandchildren in Australia, off you go! The retirement village will be cared for while you’re away. What’s more, you can usually arrange for a member of the village management team to check your personal apartment at agreed intervals while you’re away, just to make sure everything is OK inside.

What makes a Lock Up and Leave retirement village especially secure

If you do like to travel, or just to get away in the UK at the drop of a hat to walk, smell the sea, or visit family or friends, the lock up and leave model at a good retirement village will provide you with even more assurance about security than locking up a private home. Villages like ours provide round the clock manned security, with centrally monitored cameras at multiple points around the site. What’s more, because it’s a community, there are always lots of people around including neighbours in and around the building. Even though you’ve locked up and left, your apartment is far from abandoned, and offers no outward signs to strangers that you’re off enjoying yourself.

What Lock Up and Leave leaves you free to enjoy

The freedom of lock up and leave living makes numerous way-from-home leisure and social activities easier, safer and less hassle to enjoy. Love weekend getaways? When you know you can safely pack a bag, close the door and go, the full beauty and diversity of the UK’s lakes, mountains and national parks is waiting for you. Plus, being retired… it’s entirely up to you how long you decide a ‘long weekend’ should be. Do your children and grandchildren, or maybe your siblings, live in another part of the country? Again, just lock up and leave. And what if your children or siblings are living on the other side of the world, or you just love to sneak off to warmer climes for a few weeks, or book onto a luxury cruise when the fancy takes you? The same applies. Freed of the need to cancel services or worry about security and maintenance, you can simply lock the door and head for the airport.

Talk to us about Lock Up and Leave living Our team have huge experience in helping people make the move from a home where everything is their own responsibility, to one where they can lock up and leave knowing friendly and helpful staff are on hand to take care of lots of the responsibilities. If we can help you in any way, get in touch!