Retirement Villages Code of Practice strengthened

  • Nick Smith
Building and Housing

Improvements to the Code of Practice for Retirement Villages will better support residents’ rights and resolution of complaints, Building and Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith says.

“There is huge growth in retirement villages as the population ages and seniors look for housing options that better meet their unique needs. These changes to the Code of Practice are about ensuring residents rights are respected and that complaints are dealt with fairly and quickly.”

“The key changes are to the dispute resolution process in the Retirement Villages Code of Practice under the Retirement Villages Act 2003. The Retirement Commissioner undertook a review of the Code and recommended changes in August. The changes include a new step by step complaints process that includes the option of mediation to encourage earlier resolutions. The review also recommended more regular and robust reports on complaints. These changes have been incorporated into a new Code of Practice gazetted today and will take effect on 1st April 2017.

“There will be some increase in costs for retirement villages from this stronger Code of Practice such as  the requirement to fund mediation services and for improved reporting. This cost is justified in ensuring retirement villages provide a quality housing option for retired New Zealanders.”

“The number of senior New Zealanders living in retirement villages has grown by 10,000 over the last decade to a record 32,000. The Government welcomes this growth which helps overall housing supply and frees up traditional homes for other families. However we need to recognise that there is a power imbalance between residents and retirement village companies and the need for a robust Code of Practice to ensure that residents are treated fairly.”