If you are a managing agent whose portfolio includes retirement housing you should be aware of the latest ARHM (Association of Retirement Housing Managers) code updates that come into being on the 1st of June 2016.

The new code of practice is set to impact on all involved in the management of leasehold properties in private retirement developments. Acting as a best practice guide for managing agents this code aims to raise the bar on standards in retirement property management with emphasis on quality of services provided.

The new code is approved under S.87 of the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 and applies to leasehold retirement properties in England. We have outlined the key considerations for managing agents below:

  • It is the duty of managing agents to understand their obligations as set out by the code and follow it as a matter of good practice.
  • Whether services are provided by housing associations or private companies managing agents should follow the code’s best practice recommendations within the service charge budget.
  • The code forms a benchmark for the First-tier Tribunal when exercising their powers on matters involving service charge and management of retirement leasehold properties.

In future. where standards are not in line with the new code of practice, managing agents may risk Tribunals reducing the service charge or leaseholders disputing the service charge which will impact on funding for the estate.

ARHM’s objective is to provide clear direction on obligations and expected actions and also reminds managing agents that leaseholders continue to expect high standards of management.

*The Approval of Code of Management Practice (Private Retirement Housing) (England) Order 2016 is enforceable from 1 June 2016. It replaces the Approval of Code of Management Practice (Private Retirement Housing) (England) Order 2005. For more information on the code click here.