Retirement village law reforms 2019

Reforms of retirement village laws are under way with the core focus on enabling consumers to better understand their rights and obligations when entering into retirement village contracts.

Status: CRIS paper 2 coming soon; CRIS paper 1 closed 27 September 2019

Background

The Statutory Review of Retirement Villages Legislation Final Report, November 2010 (Final Report) resulted in considerable reform to the retirement villages industry in Western Australia.  These reforms focused on increasing transparency around retirement village contracts to assist consumers make better informed decisions.

The Final Report made over 100 recommendations for reform.  Stage one of the implementation of reforms (stage one) occurred between 2012 and 2016 and included amendments to the Retirement Villages Act 1992 (RV Act), amendments to the Retirement Villages Regulations 1992 and to the Retirement Villages Code of Conduct.  Stage one implemented 79 recommendations either in full or in part from the Final Report.

Despite these reforms, some problems have persisted including consumers continuing to enter into retirement village contracts without fully understanding their legal rights and obligations.  Over the last 24 months, some outstanding recommendations have required reconsideration to reflect issues that have emerged since 2010.  This current consultation represents the second stage (stage two) of the reform process regarding the retirement villages laws in Western Australia. The outstanding recommendations from the Final Report have been grouped into categories to deal with common issues and themes with the first category focusing on improving Western Australian consumers’ understanding of the retirement village product and its price.

There will be further Consultation Regulatory Impact Statement (CRIS) papers released throughout 2019-2020 with the categories (in no particular order) including: 

  • Operator management responsibilities to the village community including clarifying issues such as the owner/operator dichotomy, payment of exit entitlements, capital works, approval of budgets and refurbishment obligations.
  • Clarifying the scope of the RV Act including issues such as application to short-term residents, residents’ relatives and partners, aged care facilities on retirement village land and the need for a public database of retirement villages.
  • Multi-site villages, scheme termination, memorials and the statutory charge including clarifying current uncertainty about the regulation of multi-site villages, the memorial requirements of the RV Act, statutory charge provisions and the process for terminating a retirement village scheme.
  • New village developments (staged developments and redevelopments) leasing off the plan, and multiple residence contracts including issues relating to wait list and holding fees, staged developments and redevelopment and processes for land to be excisable from village land.
  • Compliance and enforcement including issues such as whether the head of power for the Fair Trading (Retirement Villages Interim Code) Regulations 2019 should move from the Fair Trading Act 2010 to the RV Act, what enforcement tools the Act should contain and the State Administrative Tribunals jurisdiction.

Current consultation phase

We need your views and opinions to reform the laws about retirement villages.

This phase of the consultation is to collect your views on the current legislation being:

  • the Retirement Villages Act 1992 (the RV Act);
  • Retirement Villages Regulations 1992 (RV Regulations); and
  • Fair Trading (Retirement Villages Interim Code) Regulations 2019 (WA) (RV Code).

Downloads and resources

Have your say

  • Consultations are currently closed until release of Retirement villages law reforms 2019 CRIS paper 2

Enquiries

Enquiries can be made by calling Consumer Protection Advice Line on 1300 304 054 or by email.

Stay informed

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