What is the definition of a retirement village, law reform consultation asks

The third phase of consultation on proposed changes to retirement village laws in WA is looking at difficulties consumers considering seniors accommodation can experience in determining whether a village operates under the Retirement Villages Act (RV Act).

The setting up of a public register is a proposal being put forward to assist in identifying whether a particular village is covered under the Act.

Commissioner for Consumer Protection Lanie Chopping said having a more easily accessible public database could greatly assist consumers who are conducting their research when choosing a retirement village.

“Currently only a memorial registration process with Landgate is in place where the land is registered as being used as a retirement village, but accessing Landgate records for many people may be cumbersome,” Ms Chopping said.

“Apart from indicating which villages are covered under the RV Act, the database could also include other useful information such as what amenities and services are available. This could assist potential residents in making comparisons between villages that have differing living arrangements, contracts and facilities.”

This consultation also considers some concerns that residents have raised with Consumer Protection about the variety of arrangements within a village and confusion around what this means for the village’s retirement village scheme. 

“Greater clarity in the difference between a retirement village scheme and residence contracts may also make retirement village arrangements easier to understand,” the Commissioner said.

“The consultation paper also poses the question as to how the RV Act should cover rent paying residents in retirement villages, the sub-letting of units in a village and how the Act should apply to multisite villages.

“Another proposal involves clarifying protections for the upfront and deferred payments residents make”.

Future consultation papers will look at:

  • mixed use of village land;
  • improved process for village changes – such as re-development, partial memorial removal and retirement village scheme termination;
  • building defects and insurance;
  • pre-residence fees, including wait list, application, and holding fees;
  • dispute resolution;
  • enforcement and offences; and
  • strata title.

Two more consultation papers will be released for these topics before the end of this year, giving all interested parties an opportunity to comment.

Those interested can view or download the Consultation Regulatory Impact Statement (CRIS 3) from the Consumer Protection website.

Submissions can be emailed to consultations@dmirs.wa.gov.au or sent by post:

Retirement Villages Consultation

Consumer Protection

Locked Bag 100, East Perth WA 6892

Submissions on this paper close on Wednesday, 30 September 2020.


Media Contact: Alan Hynd, (08) 6552 9248 / 0429 078 791 / alan.hynd@dmirs.wa.gov.au


Consumer Protection
Media release
16 Jun 2020

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