Code of Practice

The Code of Practice 2008 sets out the rights and obligations of retirement villages’ operators and residents. It provides a set of minimum requirements that all retirement village operators must comply with. It overrides any less favourable provision in an occupation right agreement.  The Code of Practice has been in effect since 2 October 2009 replacing the 2006 code.

Operator must provide copies

The village operator must give a copy of the Code of Practice to any intending resident along with the disclosure statement, occupation right agreement and Code of Residents Rights before the intending resident signs an occupation right agreement.  The village operator must also give a copy of the Code of Practice to any resident or intending resident who asks for one.

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Areas covered by the Code of Practice 2008

The Code of Practice 2008 sets out minimum requirements of operators in ten areas:

  • Staffing of retirement villages
  • Safety and personal security of residents
  • Fire protection and emergency management
  • Transfer of residents within a retirement village
  • Meetings of residents with the operator and residents’ involvement
  • Complaints facility
  • Accounts
  • Maintenance and upgrading
  • Termination of an occupation right agreement by the operator or resident
  • Communication with residents

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Read and get guidance on the Code of Practice

At the Code of Practice 2008 page on the website of the Building and Housing Group, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, you can:

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Determining fair wear and tear

The Building and Housing Group, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment also provide guidance on determining fair wear and tear when refurbishing retirement village units. This relates to clause 50 of the Code of Practice. See Best Practice Guide for Determining Refurbishment and Fair Wear and Tear in Retirement Villages

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Variations to the Code of Practice

The Retirement Commissioner is responsible for consulting on any proposed variations to the Code of Practice, analysing submissions and making recommendations to the Minister for Building and Construction.

Variations in effect from October 2013

In October 2012, the Minister for Building and Construction gave notice of variations to the Retirement Villages Code of Practice 2008 which came into force on 14 October 2013. The variations were to clauses 22, 47 and 54 and concerned no-fault exit situations in retirement villages such as that which occurred as a result of the Canterbury earthquakes.  

Read the updated code of practice including the variations at the Building and Housing Group website.

Submisions and recommendations

The Retirement Commissioner received submissions on the proposed variations in November 2011. The submissions were analysed and a summary of submissions was prepared. The Commissioner presented her recommendations to the Minister for Building and Construction in March 2012.

Recommendations by the Retirement Commissioner (PDF 131.93 KB, Sep 2013) to the Minister for Building and Construction on proposed variations to the Retirement Villages Code of Practice 2008 (March 2012)

Summary of submissions (PDF 563.36 KB, Sep 2013) received by the Retirement Commissioner in November 2011 on proposed variations to the Retirement Villages Code of Practice 2008 (March 2012)

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Consultation on the proposed Code of Practice 2008

Prior to the Code of Practice 2008 coming into effect, the Commissioner consulted on the proposed code and made recommendations to the Minister for Building and Construction.

Read or download a copy of the Retirement Commissioner’s September 2008 recommendations  (9 pages).

Recommendations to the Minister for Building and Construction on the Retirement Villages Code of Practice 2008 (PDF 142.15 KB, Sep 2013)

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