Changes benefit retirement villages
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Amendments to laws governing retirement villages will ensure residents have clearer information about the fees they are required to pay and will make operators more accountable for the services they provide.
Commerce Minister Michael Mischin said the changes would be phased in over the next 16 months.
“Under the amendments, retirement village contracts must include specific information about the fees and charges a resident will pay across the term of the contract,” Mr Mischin said.
“Contracts will also have to contain details about services and amenities the resident will receive or have access to if they move into the village.
“Operators will not be allowed to require residents to give them power of attorney under a residence contract. Exit fees will have to be calculated on a daily pro rata basis.”
The amendments will also strengthen measures that ensure financial reporting by operators is consistent and transparent.
Residents must be consulted and given access to proposed budgets, quarterly and annual financial statements, both for the operating account and for any reserve fund that they contribute to.
They must also be given detailed information about proposed refurbishment of residential premises and the charges associated with these where residents are contractually required to contribute to the cost of the work.
“The changes are being brought in after a wide ranging and comprehensive review of retirement village legislation over the past few years,” the Minister said.
“Residents and industry groups have contributed greatly to the development of these reforms, which will give greater protection to people who choose to live in retirement complexes.”
More information on the changes is available on the Consumer Protection website:http://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/consumer-protection/retirement-villages
For general information on retirement living options, call the Seniors’ Housing Centre on 1300 367 057 or visit http://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/seniorshousing
Minister’s office - 6552 5600
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