RELEVANT LAWS

 

There are two legal documents fundamental to the satisfactory operation of retirement villages.

 

Retirement Villages Act 1999 No 81

This is the parent Act which sets out particular rights and obligations of residents and operators of retirement villages; to establish mechanisms for the resolution of certain disputes between residents and operators of retirement villages.

 

VIEW THE ACT HERE

 

AND the associated regulation:

 

Retirement Villages Regulation 2017

The Retirement Villages Regulation 2017 replaced the Retirement Villages Regulation 2009 effective from 1 September 2017 and features numerous changes that were intended to improve the operation and administration of the Retirement Villages Act.  The Regulation was developed by the Department of Finance, Services and Innovation in conjunction with key stakeholders, including RVRA.

 

VIEW THE REGULATION HERE

 

Changes to the Regulations

 

The key changes incorporated into the 2017 Regulation were:

 

  • Requiring copies of a village’s insurance policy documents be available to residents;
  • A new ‘average resident comparison figure’ in the Disclosure Statement to facilitate more effective comparison between villages;
  • Reducing the maximum amount payable for an operator’s legal and other expenses to $50;
  • Adding new matters for which village rules can be created, including smoking in communal areas;
  • Requiring clearer information in annual budgets around head office expenses
  • Lowering the maximum amount allocated for contingencies to $1
  • Prohibiting additional matters that cannot be financed by recurrent charges
  • Simplifying the process for allowing residents to hold office on a residents committee for longer than three years; and
  • Allowing service of documents by electronic means.

 

RVRA representatives were closely involved in discussion with the Minister’s Office and The Office of Fair Trading regarding the Regulation.
Whilst RVRA was disappointed that not all of its proposals for change were adopted, but appreciates that those that were are welcome enhancements to the regulatory framework governing retirement living.

RVRA will continue to fight for the recognition of our residents’ rights to live with certainty and fairness in Retirement Villages. We need to be vigilant and bring to the notice of The Office of Fair Trading any situations where residents are treated unjustly.