New code of practice for retirement housing in England

There are currently estimated to be over 500,000 leasehold retirement homes in England and Wales, making up over 75% of the retirement housing market. Since 2005, the management of these properties has been governed by The Code of Practice for Private Retirement Housing ("the Code").

The Code is an important source of reference for managers and leaseholders of retirement property. Published by The Association of Retirement Housing Managers ("ARHM") and approved by the government, the Code sets out the statutory obligations that apply to the management of leasehold property (whether by private companies or housing associations) as well as a number of additional requirements which should be followed as a matter of good practice. It also forms a benchmark for the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) in cases to do with the management of retirement leasehold properties.

Managers and leaseholders of retirement property should therefore be aware that a new code of practice is coming into force on 1 June 2016. Pursuant to The Approval of Code of Management Practice (Private Retirement Housing) (England) Order 2016 ("the Order"), on 1 June the government''s approval of the Code for properties in England will be withdrawn and will be replaced by the ARHM''s new Private Retirement Housing Code of Practice – England ("the New Code"). The Code will continue to apply in Wales for the time being.

Little detail is available on the content of the New Code at the present time. The ARHM''s website merely states that its code of practice is currently under review and is expected to come into force in April 2016. Interested parties should keep an eye on the ARHM''s website in the coming weeks and months for further details.

A copy of the Order can be found here

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