More information required with retirement village contracts
Extra protections for Seniors who are considering living in a retirement village have now come into effect, with operators required to provide clearer disclosure of information before any contracts are signed.
The changes to regulations covering retirement villages, which started on 1 April 2016, build on requirements implemented in 2015 that require operators to provide more extensive information at least ten working days before the signing of a residence contract.
This information includes:
- new pre-contractual disclosure statements, that provides accurate information about a range of matters including fees and charges payable by the resident in relation to the village they are considering;
- a copy of the residence contract;
- a copy of the residence rules of the village;
- a copy of the Code of Fair Practice for Retirement Villages; and
- a notice that informs you about your rights, including the necessity for residence contracts to be in writing and the cooling off period that applies after signing your contract.
Acting Commissioner for Consumer Protection David Hillyard said he hopes the changes will reduce any confusion about retirement village contracts.
“In the past 12 months, the Seniors Housing Centre received about 600 complaints and enquiries regarding retirement village contracts so it’s hoped these changes which provide greater transparency and help reduce any misunderstandings,” Mr. Hillyard said.
“Consumer Protection has worked with both the industry and residents to come up with these new regulations.
“All relevant information about the contract, residents’ rights and living arrangements will now be more clearly presented so that prospective residents and their families can better compare retirement villages and make a well-informed and considered decision. It’s hoped this will prevent issues arising further down the track.
“The Department has allowed a three-month implementation period for the industry but I encourage all retirement village operators to get on board with the new regulations as soon as possible.”
The disclosure statements together with other explanatory information are now available on the Consumer Protection website: https://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/publications/retirement-villages-forms-1-and-1a
General enquiries about retirement living can be made by contacting the Seniors’ Housing Centre by email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1300 367 057.
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