- New retirement village laws underway to improve seniors' experiences of entering, living in and leaving a village, and support the sector's long-term viability
- Exit entitlements to be paid to former residents within 12 months of their departure from a village
- Proposed changes to balance greater protections for village residents and the interests of operators
The McGowan Government is progressing its reforms of the laws covering retirement villages in Western Australia to make retirement village life fairer and easier for seniors.
Major amendments to the Retirement Villages Act 1992 will now be drafted to address issues that have arisen between operators and future, current and past residents and their families.
The revamp is aimed at making retirement village living fairer and easier for seniors, while supporting the long-term viability of the sector.
All stages of the retirement village journey will be covered, from choosing the right village and signing the initial sales contract, through to living in the village and the rules relating to exiting the village.
- Fairer arrangements for the existing payment of exit entitlements to former residents to be paid within 12 months from when the resident leaves;
- Greater disclosure requirements for operators so consumers have the clear and accurate information they need to better understand the contract they are signing and the product they are buying, including the amenities and services to be provided;
- Clarifying the obligations of operators around the financial management and maintenance of the village;
- The establishment of a process for operators to make significant changes to a retirement village, subject to safeguards for residents; and
- Refining the memorial requirements of the village land to ensure that residents' interests are protected, while ensuring there is flexibility for operators to make changes to the land.
Operators will have 12 months after the passing of the legislation to comply with the new exit entitlement time limit so they can adapt to the changing circumstances.
More information on the new laws being proposed is available on the Consumer Protection website.
Comments attributed to Commerce Minister Sue Ellery:
"Greater transparency during the sales process and easier-to-understand contracts will reduce any misunderstandings by potential residents about what they are being offered.
"At present, some residents have had to wait several years to receive their exit payment which has created a great deal of anxiety, especially for those seniors needing to pay for independent living or aged care, but soon there will be a welcome 12 month time limit in place.
"These new laws are long overdue. Consultation with the community and industry in developing these amendments has been extensive, which was essential to ensure that we achieved the right balance in protecting the interests of both operators and residents."
Minister's office - 6552 5700