Older people get their say on retirement housing
Published on 08 March 2013 12:30 PM
For the first time, older people and their families will help shape new guidelines to improve practice in the private retirement home industry.
The poorly regulated retirement homes sector has come under fire in recent years over unfair practices by some retirement housing providers, which has been investigated by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT). Problems include confusing service charges, lack of competitive tendering for maintenance contracts, high transfer fees, high commission charges on building insurance, and unfair rental charges for wardens' flats.
In response to these concerns, the Association of Retirement Housing Managers (ARHM) - of which the majority of providers are members - has worked with Age UK and a panel of leasehold residents to improve the voluntary code of practice. The consultation comes after a recent roundtable discussion chaired by the Housing Minister, Mark Prisk, looking at promoting best practice in the sector.
'The more people who take part, the better'
Joe Oldman, Housing Policy Adviser for Age UK, said: 'This consultation is a fantastic step forward and reflects the ARHM's commitment to improve standards in the sector for leaseholders. We are encouraging older residents, as well as their family and friends, to respond to the consultation and highlight any concerns they have. The more people who take part, the better the chances that we will see significant improvements in the sector which will benefit everyone.'
Mr Oldman added: 'Adherence to this voluntary code will certainly help separate good landlords from those who are failing their residents. But Age UK is clear that this is not enough and the retirement industry urgently needs a firmer statutory framework, based on the principles contained in the code, to give older people greater confidence about buying a retirement property.'
To contribute to the consultation:
Download a copy of the form on the ARHM website
Post completed forms to:
Black Prince Road