How can I arrange to live at Amberglen Retirement Village?
You can buy or rent when cottages become available. The Amberglen Office does not undertake sales or rentals, but can provide names of resident professional property brokers.
Would I own my cottage outright?
Yes, by Sectional Title. See the Village Section of this website for details.
What are the monthly expenses?
There is a monthly levy to pay for administration, maintenance of common buildings, grounds and facilities, security, staff salaries and other expenses that make living in a retirement village convenient, safe and pleasant. Rates (for which Amberglen has been awarded an additional rebate) and electricity accounts are paid direct to the Municipality. Water and telephone charges are added to the monthly account, along with any other incidental expenses incurred by you (e.g. meals in the Community Centre). As with all expenses, these costs rise with inflation.
Who runs the Village?
Amberglen is run by the Body Corporate (all the owners). They elect Trustees at Annual General Meetings. A Chairperson of the Trustees is appointed. The Trustees appoint a General Manager who has a full administrative staff.
Are there many rules?
Wherever you live, there will be rules and regulations. At Amberglen, these are not considered to be oppressive, but essential for the rights and comfort of the whole community. The Management Rules and the Conduct Rules have been fine-tuned during the years and have been approved by common consent of the majority of owners. These have been modelled on the standard rules prescribed in the Sectional Titles Act. Those proposing to live in a retirement village should familiarise themselves with the regulations beforehand. Information about the rules is available from selling or renting agents, and from the Amberglen Office.
What are the rules regarding pets?
Permission must be obtained from the Trustees before bringing a pet. A dog must be on a leash, except when in its owner’s cottage or within the private fenced area of the cottage. Cats will only be permitted under special circumstances. Pets are not allowed in communal buildings, such as the Community Centre or the Care Centre. Pets must be inoculated against Rabies, and are not allowed to cause a nuisance to residents, staff or visitors.
How are new residents helped to establish themselves?
Shortly after arrival, they are welcomed by a member of the Social Committee who will visit with a booklet of helpful hints about settling into the community. The Clinic sister will also visit to enquire about medical needs and to give details of the services available. At intervals, there is a function for recent arrivals to meet the management and other key figures.
How does the telephone system operate?
It is a PABX system with direct dialling facilities. This enables calls within Amberglen to be free. Each cottage has a telephone installed.
Is there an emergency call system?
Yes. Dialling 9 on your cottage telephone will result in an immediate response from the sister on duty in the Care Centre. The fire and security services may be alerted this way. This is a twenty-four-hour service. You may subscribe in your personal capacity to a private company, called SACAN, which covers you in case of medical and other emergencies outside Amberglen or in the grounds, by simply pressing a speed dial that has been programmed into your cell phone.
How are major medical emergencies handled?
Nursing staff in the Care Centre or the Clinic may be called to an emergency in a cottage. Amberglen has a contract with a private ambulance service.
What medical facilities are in Howick?
Howick has a fully-equipped private hospital (MediClinic). Larger and more-specialised hospitals are thirty minutes away in Pietermaritzburg. There are several doctors’ practices and specialists’ consulting rooms in Howick.
Is there internet in Amberglen?
Reasonable access to the Internet is available via the cellular 3G networks and several local ISPs. Contact the Reception Office for up-to-date advice in this regard. At present there is no Village-wide WiFi network. There is password-controlled coverage in the immediate vicinity of the Reception and the Care Centre. The provision of ADSL to the cottages is not technically possible with the existing copper cable network. The Trustees are currently investigating the viability of a phased replacement of the old cable network with a fibre-optic version.
What television channels are available?
All cottages and Care Centre rooms are now equipped with a satellite dish and cable feed to a single point in the cottage/room. Residents need only to supply the decoder of their choice and the television set. Amberglen offers a DSTV bouquet of a popular selection of television, radio and music channels at a reasonable monthly rate, payable with the levy account. The current rate and the list of all the available channels can be obtained from Reception. Residents may, if they wish, contract directly with DSTV to access any of the bouquets on offer.
Can friends and relatives come to stay?
Your cottage at Amberglen is your home. There are no restrictions for visitors to stay, except that children may not reside for longer than seven days in any calendar month without the consent of the Trustees. Alternatively, there are several excellent B&Bs in the Howick area. All visitors to Amberglen are expected to adhere to the Conduct Rules that apply to the residents.
Is there a charge for using the Swimming Pool?
No, it is included in the levy. The pool is available free for residents and their visitors. Naturally, there are regulations regarding its use by minors.
Is transport available for residents without vehicles?
There are private transport providers that will escort residents to hospitals, doctors’ appointments or the shops. Some Amberglen residents also provide a similar service. There is a weekly courtesy minibus to a shopping mall in Pietermaritzburg.
Can domestic workers be employed?
There are regulations available from the Office regarding gardeners and cleaners. Workers must be registered with the Amberglen office. Some residents require only a few hours’ work a week. Domestic workers can share their time between two or three cottages in Amberglen. Domestic workers are not permitted to remain in the Village overnight. Several domestic cleaning companies also provide a service to residents. There are laundry services in Howick.