All residential properties on St Mary’s Island are subject to an annual rentcharge
A rentcharge is a legal obligation that attaches to a freehold property, and enables collection of a contribution to maintenance costs, and regulation of the development through restrictive covenants.
On St Mary’s Island rentcharges are attached to the freehold of all houses. They are also attached to the freehold of blocks of flats and maisonettes, so in these cases the rentcharges are collected from the block owner, who passes them on to individual lessees.
Rentcharge income is used by the Trust to help fund the maintenance of Island infrastructure (including HMS Chatham Bridge and the parkland), and towards overall estate costs such as landscaping, security, insurance, and management.
Island rentcharges do not cover the maintenance of blocks of flats or their grounds – these are funded by service charges paid to the block landlord.
St. Mary’s Island rentcharge for the period 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024 rises in line with RPI.
The rentcharge payable for properties on St. Mary’s Island is based upon the number of bedrooms in the property.
Whilst any increase is unwelcome, to maintain the standards of the estate and to cover rising costs faced by the Trust, the Board of Directors agreed that the standard RPI rise is appropriate and necessary.
If you experience financial difficulties, there are organisations that may be able to help you:
- Citizens’ Advice Bureau, 3rd Floor, Kingsley House, 37-39 Balmoral Road, Gillingham ME7 4PF. Tel: 01634 383760.
- Step Change Debt Charity. Tel: 0800 1381111.
- CAP UK. Tel: 0800 328 0006.
Information relating to the calculation of the rentcharge together with budget information and how to pay is included with the Rentcharge Invoice which will be mailed to residents week commencing 13th March 2023.
Freehold owners of houses can now pay by direct debit in equal instalments spread over 10 months, without incurring additional fees or interest.
Other forms of payment accepted: Online, debit or credit card, cash or cheque (post-dated cheques are not accepted). All details are contained in the documentation sent with the Rentcharge Invoice.
The charges below show the total amount payable, i.e. the variable Rent Charge (£104.41 per bedroom for 2023-24 period) payable on each residential dwelling, multiplied by the number of bedrooms, plus the Fixed Rent Charge of £1.00 per residential dwelling, inclusive of VAT.
Azure Sector rentcharge 2023-24
Rentcharge invoices for the period 1st April 2023 to 31st March 2024 fall due for payment on 1st April 2023 and should be settled within 21 days.
Paying your Rentcharge
Each house is subject to a Fixed Rentcharge of £1 per annum, plus a Variable Rentcharge based on the number of bedrooms in the property. The Variable Rentcharge increases annually in line with the increase in the RPI All Items Index for the year to January 2023.
Rentcharges are due annually in advance on 1st April each year. Full payment instructions and forms accompany the Rentcharge Invoice. It is important that you quote your Chargepayer Reference Number from the invoice in order that your payment can be allocated to the correct rentcharge account.
Flats and Maisonettes
Flats and maisonettes on St. Mary’s Island are not directly subject to Rentcharge Deeds
Houseowners on St Mary’s Island have entered into a Rentcharge Deed which covers compliance with restrictive covenants and payment of the Island Rentcharge.
With blocks of flats, the Rentcharge Deed is entered into by the freeholder of the block. Individual flat owners do not therefore have a direct obligation to Chatham Maritime Trust, but the individual flat leases should reflect the block owner’s covenants under the Rentcharge Deed, and are likely to contain provision for the block owner to recover the collective Rentcharge levied on the block through the block service charges.
Flat owners are therefore indirect contributors to the Island Rentcharge.
Unlike house owners, leasehold flat owners do not require a consent certificate from Chatham Maritime Trust to enable the onward sale of their flat. They may, however, require a certificate from the block owner or management company to permit onward sale. Vendors of flats should ensure that their conveyancers check the flat lease and make the necessary arrangements.
What the Rentcharge Covers
The rentcharge income is a contribution to the overall costs of maintenance of St Mary’s Island. Until the Island is fully developed, Homes England makes a contribution to these costs in respect of the unbuilt houses. Chatham Maritime Trust also makes a contribution from its endowment fund towards the maintenance of key infrastructure on the Island.
All the rentcharge income is spent on maintenance of the Island that falls to the Trust to maintain. The total rentcharge income does not meet revenue outgoings and Homes England make up the shortfall during the development period.
The Trust has covenanted with residents to maintain the main access to the Island via HMS Chatham Bridge in good and substantial repair and condition; likewise the central parks and Finsborough Down.
St. Mary's Island Final Phase (Parklands Azure)
Azure (Blackcap Mews, Cade Close, Firecrest Close, Gadwall Mews, Ripple Waters, Westerly Way, Whinchat Way, Wilkey Way and part of The Causeway) is the latest addition to the growing riverside community comprising of 3, 4 and 5 bedroom homes. The new sector will include a neighbourhood play area and a multi-use games area. The development has three distinct phases: Parklands, Water’s Edge and The Docks.
Prior to the commencement of the final phase, the Trustees and the Developer agreed to set the rentcharge at a higher level for the new development. This is in order for us to ensure that the Trust is able to maintain the Island to the standard that the residents expect and to reflect that this part of the development that has dock basins, river views, attenuation ponds and additional play areas. The Trust is a non-profit making charity and needs to ensure that maintenance required on St. Mary’s Island is undertaken to high standards as well as safeguarding the financial sustainability of the Trust.