All registered retirement villages operate under a legislative framework which includes the Retirement Villages Act 2003, the Retirement Villages Regulations 2006 and the Code of Practice 2008. There are a range of resources available for operators, supervisors, lawyers and specialists in the sector, along with information to be aware of to meet the necessary obligations within the framework.
Act, Regulations & Codes
Every registered retirement village must comply with the Retirement Village Act, which includes provisions for registration of retirement villages, occupation rights between operators and residents, a code of residents’ rights, a complaints and disputes resolution process, and a code of practice.
Information relating to the Act, Regulations and Codes is available here.
Complaints and disputes
There is a detailed process for formally resolving disputes as part of the Retirement Villages Act and the Retirement Villages Regulations. Every operator must have a written complaint policy that complies with the Code of Practice.
For more information, see complaints and disputes.
The Code of Practice requires all operators to report to the Retirement Commissioner every six months in relation to any formal complaints received, including to confirm that no complaints were received. The Retirement Commissioner requires operators to use this online complaint-reporting portal.
New operators can prepare by creating an account ahead of time. An extensive user guide and video tutorial resources are available on the retirement villages portal.
Monitoring and reports
The Retirement Commissioner monitors the effects of the Retirement Villages Act and reports annually on different areas relating to retirement villages. Previous reporting included operator financial assistance to residents, the effectiveness of independent legal advice and the disputes process.
The Commissioner also receives reports from operators of all registered retirement villages about any formal complaints they have received in the preceding six-month period.
More detail on monitoring and reports is available here.
Information for lawyers
With a growing retirement village industry there is plenty of demand for lawyers who can offer specialist expertise to support people making the move to a village.
There is a range of important information relating to how villages can operate during COVID-19 along with guidelines for events and holding meetings.
The Retirement Villages Association (RVA) has also issued guidance to its members and has developed guides for residents and their families about Covid-19 restrictions for retirement villages.
A Practice Note regarding meetings under Covid-19 restrictions has been issued by the Registrar of Retirement Villages and the Retirement Commissioner.