Author Janet Hilderley reveals why she has chosen to rent rather than buy a retirement property

With many more people choosing to rent in retirement, one lady who has chosen this lifestyle is author Janet Hilderley, 76. The writer moved in May to a one-bedroom apartment in Kingsmead Court, a purpose-built retirement development in Wimborne, Dorset. She rents her apartment on an assured tenancy through Girlings Retirement Rentals.

Originally from Surrey, Janet hadn’t considered living in Dorset until she visited a friend who had returned from overseas to live in his home town of Bournemouth. Janet loved the area and realised she could afford a better quality of life there, so decided to make the move.

The friend, David, found Janet a flat to rent through Girlings in Bournemouth where she lived very happily for two years until she became ill and then lost David at the end of last year.

Following her recovery, Janet wanted a fresh start and started to look for somewhere new to move to in the same area with Girlings’ help. When the apartment in Wimborne became available it offered the perfect opportunity for her to relocate.

Janet says, “Wimborne is a lovely little market town and there is always lots going on. I’m interested in local history and enjoy attending events at the local museum and concerts at the Minster. I’ve made new friends in Kingsmead Court who often pop in for a coffee, and old friends like to visit too because it’s such a lovely area.”

I’m very happy renting through Girlings. They are fair and when I needed different accommodation they came forward with sensible suggestions.

Kingsmead Court is a small retirement development close to local shops and amenities. Janet has also discovered some nice gardens nearby where she likes to stroll, although Kingsmead Court has its own small communal garden too.

Janet says there are many benefits of renting in retirement. She doesn’t have to worry about any property upkeep or maintenance as this is included in the rent. The apartment is safe and secure, there is a house manager on site to check in on the residents, communal gardens and a communal laundry room. Financially it makes sense too as Janet can budget effectively every month as she knows her outgoings.

Janet is a published author and is currently busy writing an article about Wimborne’s Minster for a local magazine and researching the history of smugglers in the area. She says that Wimborne has a fascinating history and is full of old smugglers tunnels.

Janet got into writing when she took early retirement from her job in the charity sector and needed to fill her time. She used to give talks for the local WI about Mrs Disraeli and they suggested she write a book about her, which was later published. Janet has a written several other biographies including one about Mrs Gladstone.

Janet says, “I’m very happy renting through Girlings,. They are fair and when I needed different accommodation they came forward with sensible suggestions.

“I have an assured tenancy which means I can remain here for life if I choose and I don’t have that awful fear of the landlord turning me out. I also find it reassuring that there’s a very capable and caring manager at the development should I need any assistance.”

Peter Girling, Chairman of Girlings Retirement Rentals says, “Renting in a purpose-built retirement development particularly appeals to single people in later life. Many of our residents are widowed or on their own. They like the fact there is a ready-made community of people of a similar age and they can take part in social activities if they wish.

“Many find it reassuring that all our apartments come with a 24 hour emergency call line  in case of emergency, and renting also frees people from the worries of property and garden maintenance as this is all included in the monthly rent.” www.girlings.co.uk

Kingsmead Court