Proposed reforms to the retirement village laws in WA are now underway.
Significant changes were made to retirement villages legislation in WA between 2012 and 2016 following the Statutory Review of Retirement Villages Legislation Final Report, November 2019 (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 will be released for each category for stakeholders to comment on any issues of interest to them.
The third consultation paper (CRIS 3) is now available and focuses on clarifying when the Retirement Villages Act 1992 (WA) applies. 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 aim of reform in this area is to further increase transparency and enable consumers to better understand their rights and obligations before signing up for residency in a retirement village. There will be two more consultation papers released in 2020 that will include:
- village development, sales and marketing;
- village re-development, partial memorial removals, and termination of a scheme;
- strata titled retirement villages;
- co-location of aged care; and
- dispute resolution and enforcement.
Retirement villages laws
The retirement villages laws include: