A response from Elderly Accommodation Counsel

Elderly Accommodation Counsel (EAC) welcomes the proposals for reform, set out today by the Law Commission. It is our opinion that the legal status of event fees, applicable to most leasehold retirement housing, is in urgent need of clarification, for the benefit of the consumer, as well as the reputation of the industry. Our role as a provider of independent information and advice for older people, through our advice services and national database of specialist housing for older people, places us in a unique position to champion these proposals for older consumers.

Whilst we do not consider it necessary to prohibit event fees altogether, we do argue that consumers need transparent information about them. We are therefore pleased to see that the Law Commission’s recommendations require this. EAC aims to work with the Law Commission, Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and other stakeholders to incorporate the information about event fees specified within the Commission’s report into its national database. We look forward to working with the industry to achieve two of the Commission’s primary aims – increasing protection for consumers and providing the legal certainty to the industry that event fees, which comply with the Commission’s code of practice, will be enforceable.

We acknowledge that the Commission’s remit was restricted to reviewing and recommending on event fees. However we hope that Government will now consider commissioning further work as part of its broader review of leasehold tenure. EAC’s work to deliver information and advice to older people on housing options is a key component in reforming the sector and thus increasing consumer confidence in retirement housing. We hope that Government will continue to acknowledge the importance of information and advice and support its role in making these proposed reforms a success.

John Galvin, Chief Executive of Elderly Accommodation Counsel

“We are proud to have been part of the Law Commission’s consultation process into event fees in leasehold retirement housing. Our aim, as a charity, is to help older people make informed decisions about meeting their housing and care needs. It is reforms, such as these, that will help build confidence within the leasehold retirement housing sector.

Elderly Accommodation Counsel looks forward to working with Government, the Law Commission, and the retirement housing industry, to implement these reforms. We remain committed to providing independent information and advice to older people, so that prospective purchasers can make a decision from an informed position.”

Further information

Elderly Accommodation Counsel’s aim is to help older people make informed choices about meeting their housing and care needs. EAC was founded in 1984, and became registered as a charity in 1985.

Our national database of specialist housing for older people is made publicly available on our housingcare.org website. We maintain details for almost 25,000 housing developments and nearly 12,000 care homes.

In addition to this information resource, EAC’s FirstStop service provides specialist advice on housing, care and related financial matters to over 20,000 people every year. This is delivered over the telephone, by email and through the live chat facility on the HousingCare website.

The full report from the Law Commission can be viewed here.

Media contacts

In the first instance media enquiries should be directed to our Development Advisor, Adam Hillier.

Email: adam.hillier@eac.org.uk

Telephone: 0203 519 6020

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