Introduction

The Association of Retirement Housing Managers (ARHM) is an organisation that represents most of the managers of private retirement housing in England and Wales, including registered social landlords and private companies. Private retirement housing means leasehold (and some freehold) residential properties specifically designed and designated for older people. Private retirement housing is housing for sale at a premium, and differs from rented sheltered housing in this respect.

The overriding objective of the ARHM is to promote high standards of practice and ethics in the management of retirement housing. To this end, the ARHM has published a Code of Practice setting out the standards required of its members. The Code has been approved by the Government as the benchmark for good management of private retirement housing.

Therefore when you contact us please be prepared to be very clear which section or sections you consider the organisation has breached.

What you need to know about the way we handle complaints

  • Our main focus in dealing with complaints about our members is the Code of Practice
  • Any complaint you make should preferably be in writing by email.

We have certain criteria that must be met before we will consider a complaint:

  • The matter must have been raised with and exhausted the landlord/manager’s internal complaints process including reverting to the Housing or Property Ombudsman or the First Tier Tribunal as the final stage.
  • The ARHM will consider the response by the external agencies outlined above and where there is an identifiable breach of the Code of Practice, ARHM will take the matter up with the relevant organisation
  • The matter does not relate to the reasonableness of (service) charges

Furthermore,

  • All ARHM members agree to make a copy of the Code available to residents at all retirement schemes they manage. Ask your scheme manager for a copy. Alternatively you can order a copy by ringing 020 7463 0660 or download a copy free of charge from our website at:  www.arhm.org/publication-category/code-of-practice/
  • We will only consider a complaint about a manager that is currently a member of the ARHM. If you are not sure please telephone our office on 020 7463 0660 or look on our website at www.arhm.org
  • We will only consider a complaint if it has already been dealt with through the complaints procedure of the ARHM member. All of our members are required to have a fair complaints procedure and this should always be used before turning to the ARHM. The final stage of which should be recourse to the Housing or Property Ombudsman or the First Tier Tribunal
  • We will not normally consider a complaint if it is currently being dealt with  another relevant dispute procedure e.g. First Tier Tribunal,  Housing or Property Ombudsman Service. We will review any outcome from a recognised third party to identify any breaches of the Code that need to be addressed with the member organisation.
  • We will not consider anonymous complaints. We will consider requests to withhold your name if the matter could still be pursued in a fair and appropriate manner.
  • Any correspondence sent to the ARHM in support of or in reply to a complaint, will be copied to the other party involved.

 ARHM Complaints Procedure

If you have exhausted the member organisations complaints process including the First Tier Tribunal, Housing or Property Ombudsman, please contact us and provide a copy of the determination by the external agency who has considered your complaint.  It is also important that you tell us succinctly where you consider the ARHM Code of Practice has been breached.

Within 28 working days the ARHM will advise you if it has found any breaches from the investigations undertaken.  The ARHM will also confirm what action will be taken to ensure the member organisation rectifies any breaches and what timescales have been provided.

What Sanctions does the ARHM have against its Members?

The aim of the ARHM is to improve standards of management. Our approach is to ask the member to put matters right. This includes changing their policy or practice to prevent a similar situation recurring.

We do not have the capacity to award compensation to residents whose complaints are well founded. We do have the ability when appropriate to discipline members and as a last resort to expel them from the ARHM.