News

Joint Letter to the Government from ARHM Retirement Housing Group (RHG) and Home Builders Federation (HBF)

ARHM has teamed with RHG and HBF to write to Ministers seeking clarification on a number of important concerns raised by members about coronavirus and residents in Extra Care and Sheltered Housing schemes and offering the support of the sector at this difficult time.

Concerns include:

  • support for self isolating  and vulnerable residents,
  • access to protective clothing,
  • testing for Covid19
  • how to respond when residents contract Covid19
  • clarification on key worker status for managers and support staff who are not

Coronavirus Covid-19 Information for Members

Below are some articles which you may find useful on how COVID-19 will affect business:

UNIFIED CODE OF PRACTICE?

ARHM is involved in discussions about the possibility of a unified Code of Practice. This idea was also raised as part of the discussions that took place under Lord Best’s Regulation of Property Agents (RoPA) considerations. RICS, Property Ombudsman, ARMA, IRPM are also involved. There is no concrete information as yet as to the current Government’s appetite for the Leasehold Reform agenda and the feeling is that if regulation does come, as is the thought, then it would seem sensible

GOVERNMENT CONSULTATIONS

There is currently a consultation on ‘First Homes’, a potential new discount market sale product aimed at first time buyers but the consultation considers the potential for including people ‘currently stuck in unsuitable housing and cannot move because the next step is unaffordable’. It goes on to say that ‘we are keen to explore circumstances in which the prioritisation for first-time buyers should be waived, which could include age-specific housing for older people, and we welcome further

WELSH GOVERNMENT NEWS

In 2019, our former Chair of ARHM, Richard Wheeldon, was invited to work with the Welsh Government on an initiative looking at Leasehold Reform in Wales. This included heading up the group who were tasked with looking at Codes of Practice. The final recommendations were presented to the Welsh Housing Minister Julie James in June 2019 as we have previously reported in earlier briefings. We were pleased to learn that one of the important recommendations of the Code of Practice

LATEST FIRE SAFETY NEWS

The Secretary of State HCLG,  Robert Jenrick, delivered an announcement  in late January on Building Safety. This supercedes previous advice and consolidates previous advice notes into a consolidated one in the attached link

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/building-safety-programme#building-safety-advice-for-building-owners-including-fire-doors

We have also recently taken part in discussions with MHCLG Building Safety Programme Team to discuss some of the specific issues arising out of fire safety management in the leasehold retirement sector.

ARHM CONFERENCE

The ARHM Annual Conference returns to Central London in 2019. We are putting together a varied and specialist programme which will again be delivered by a fantastic line up of top speakers. In an environment of change we look forward to addressing current issues, highlighting best practice and catching up with sector colleagues on what promises to be a key date in the retirement housing calendar.

Speakers include Siobhan McGrath Property Chamber President, Katrine Sporle, Property Ombudsman, Andrew Bulmer, CEO

NEW FREEHOLD MANAGEMENT ENQUIRIES FORM RELEASED

Over 15 cross industry trade and representative bodies have come together to create and endorse a new Freehold Management Enquiries (FME1).

Those involved in the creation of the FME1 form are urging all conveyancers to use this new standardised questionnaire to secure the necessary information if a property being sold is managed freehold.  This is where a freehold property has a shared amenity requiring a maintenance either through an estate rent charge or covenants set out in the title.

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