ELM Group expands portfolio of UK retirement properties with major new acquisition

Lorraine Collis, Chief Executive, ELM Group

ELM Group announces the major acquisition of retirement property which sees the property management company stand to substantially increase the number of estates it owns across the country.

As part of the formal sales process facilitated on behalf of leading UK housing provider Orbit, ELM Group has acquired 1,368 units across 30 local authority areas, taking its portfolio of properties across the South of England from over 3,300 to 4,638 units – representing a combined growth of nearly 50% across owned and managed properties.

The sale includes 1,178 private retirement leasehold apartments, 168 private retirement leasehold houses and bungalows, 17 general needs and shared ownership houses and bungalows and five car parking spaces for which ELM Group will carry out its property management and sales administration services.


After exchanging contracts this week, the transfers of property will be taking place in three stages to ensure that a high level of attention can be given to make the transition as seamless and stress free as possible for all leaseholders. The first tranche will take place on 1st November 2023, the second on 1st February 2024 and the final tranche on 4th March 2024.

ELM Group has taken over ownership of this new portfolio and has made a number of operational changes internally, revising its corporate structure and creating new senior leadership roles to be able to support this significant growth internally. To streamline the company’s estate management service across its portfolios, two new roles for its head office leadership team have been created.

  • The first is a Head of Estates role which will be responsible for leading the area manager team, as well as leading and directing the estates team to develop and deliver the estate management service in a comprehensive manner across the entire portfolio.
  • The second role created is the Director of Service Improvement. They will be working closely with the company’s Chief Executive Lorraine Collis and other members of the Executive Team to deliver ELM Group’s strategic plan. The role will be focussed on ensuring that team structures and individuals are organised to deliver ELM’s objectives in the most efficient way, along with developing and overseeing a policy framework for service improvement and supporting business development in line with the overall business strategy.

In a further operational change, the company’s current Area Operations Manager Lynette Foli will be taking on a new projects role which will see her oversee the smooth onboarding of the new properties as well as supporting the leaseholders during this transition.

Lorraine Collis, Chief Executive of ELM Group, said: “This is an incredible, significant time for ELM Group as we enter a period of the greatest expansion the organisation has seen in such a short space of time. The acquisition has presented some challenges for the business and no doubt there will be more to come, however ELM Group was built on a foundation of pioneering the retirement housing sector so we are perfectly positioned for ensuring the transition from Orbit to us is successful.

We’ve made the necessary changes to our corporate structure to ensure we can continue delivering the same service excellence we’ve become known for, with an honest, upfront, and ethical approach to property management.”

Paul Richards, Group Director of Customer and Communities at Orbit, said: “We are delighted to complete this transfer with ELM Group. As a specialist provider in the retirement sector, we believe ELM Group will be able to offer long-term benefits to residents.

“This transfer also supports our densification strategy and creates operational economies of scale across our wider portfolio.”

The acquisition has been facilitated for ELM by PDT Solicitors and Fairthorn Farrell Timms Surveyors and Savills and Anthony Collins Solicitors for Orbit.

ELM Group manages and owns retirement communities across the South of England and has become one of the UK’s leading retirement leasehold management companies. The company originated in 1971 as Retirement Lease Housing Association (RLHA) a charitable organisation founded by a group of volunteers with a shared vision - to pioneer the development of sheltered housing for sale to people of retirement age. Sheltered housing for rent was already widely available, but the founders wanted to introduce the concept to those who valued owning their own property and saw the benefits of a purpose-built Estate, with onsite support from an Estate Manager.

Having built upon their enviable reputation in the independent retirement living sector, RLHA are proud to be one of the South of England’s leading leasehold property management companies.

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