Retirement Villages Act 2016 – New legislation

The Retirement Villages Act 2016 (Act) and Retirement Villages Regulations 2017 (Regulations) came into operation on 1 January 2018.

This legislation has been introduced on the back of more than three years’ significant consultation and is primarily aimed at protecting the rights of retirement village residents by increasing compliance obligations on retirement village operators.

Amongst other things, the key changes under this legislation include:

  • the introduction of a standard disclosure statement to improve transparency and clarity of residence contracts;
  • the introduction of the mandatory repayment of an exit entitlement to a resident within 18 months of a resident vacating their residence, if it is not re-licensed prior to this time. Whilst this is an improvement on the previous legislation under which there was no such time limit, it is important to note that the transitional provisions of the Act provide that if a resident ceased to reside in a retirement village before the commencement of the Act then the 18 month time limit for repayment of the exit entitlement will only begin on the date of commencement of the Act (i.e. 1 January 2018);
  • an increase in transparency of village funds including breaking down management fees, providing details of expected consultation with residents regarding the village budget and requirements to meet with residents’ committees about finances; and
  • the review and increase of penalty amounts to deter contravention of the Act.

The State Government has indicated that a new booklet and individual information sheets in relation to the new legislation will be made available soon.

In the meantime, a copy of the new Act and Regulations can be found via this link:

https://www.sa.gov.au/topics/housing/aged-care-and-retirement-housing/retirement-housing-information-for-operators

 

For more information and all your retirement village needs, contact Charles Beresford or Patrick Connelly

31 January 2018