Changes to retirement villages laws
Proposed reforms to the retirement village laws in WA are now underway.
Between 2012 and 2016 significant changes were made to retirement villages legislation in WA following the Statutory Review of Retirement Villages Legislation Final Report, November 2010 (Final Report) (stage 1 reforms). Many of these changes were focused on providing the consumer with more information when deciding whether to enter into a retirement village agreement, as well as making changes to residence contracts and budget and financial reporting requirements.
Despite these reforms, some problems have persisted which include consumers continuing to enter into 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 stage one of the reforms.
This current consultation process represents the second stage (stage two) of the reform process regarding the retirement village laws in Western Australia. Information on the reform process and proposals for change will be published on our website as they become available.
As there are a large number of issues to be consulted on, the outstanding matters have been grouped in categories to deal with common issues and themes. A consultation paper is being released for each category for stakeholders to comment on any issues of interest to them.
The first consultation paper (CRIS 1) released in August 2019 focused on improving Western Australian consumers’ understanding of the retirement village product and its price. The second consultation paper (CRIS 2) released in December 2019 focused on operator obligations such as exit entitlements, capital works funding, refurbishment and rules of conduct. The third consultation paper (CRIS 3) released in March 2020 focused on clarifying when the Retirement Villages Act 1992 (WA) applies.
Future consultation papers
Please note that there has been a change in the consultation process on reforms to retirement village legislation.
State Recovery Advisory Group
As you may be aware, the McGowan Government has appointed the State Recovery Advisory Group to support Western Australia’s recovery from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
This advisory group has identified that early resolution of some elements of the current retirement village legislation reform process could have a positive impact on investment in the retirement villages sector in WA.
Consumer Protection formed a working group of members from industry and resident peak bodies. A series of roundtable discussions were held with the working group to identify reforms which might be suitable for fast tracking.
The round table discussions were held from August to October 2020. This means that no further consultation papers will be released until decisions have been made about the reforms to promote investment in the sector.
Consultation on the remaining reforms will resume following the fast track process and a final consultation paper will be released during 2021. Further updates on the consultation will be provided when available.
Have your say
For a copy of the latest consultation paper, or for more information on the reforms, visit the Retirement village law reforms 2019-2020 page
The retirement villages laws include:
- Retirement Villages Act 1992
- Retirement Villages Regulations 1992 (RV Regulations)
- Fair Trading (Retirement Villages Interim Code) Regulations (note: interim codes are replaced every six months)
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