Retirement Village operators should note that Consumer Affairs Victoria (“CAV”) has changed its internal process in relation to assisting and dealing with complaints made by residents about management and resident disputes.
Although residents may still contact CAV for advice, CAV will now refer any dispute or complaint to the Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria. This operates a free service for dispute resolution matters. Although CAV advises that it is not strictly necessary to update your complaints/disputes resolution document in order to comply with the Retirement Villages Act 1986, we recommend that operators do make this clear to residents in their document so that residents are aware of the external process available.
Operators should also note that CAV is currently undertaking inspections of retirement villages in order to ensure their compliance with certain documentation requirements under the Act. As far as we are aware, these inspections have focused on the welcome packs provided to prospective residents and new residents at a village, including items such as the factsheet, disclosure statement, residence contracts, village plans, details of the complaints/disputes resolution document and complaints register, and copies of recent AGM minutes, particularly to ensure that any complaints made during the previous year have been reported on to the residents.
We recommend that operators ensure that your documentation is up to date and easily available in the event that your village is inspected by CAV.
Please contact us if you need any assistance in this regard.
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