The Minister for Consumer Affairs Gaming and Liquor Regulation released the Options Paper on 15 March 2021 in relation to the proposed reforms to the Victorian Retirement Villages Act 1986 (Act).
The Options Paper sets out 19 proposed options for reform for consideration by stakeholders. You can see the Options Paper here.
The release of the Options Paper follows on from the Inquiry into the Retirement Housing Sector Report issued by the Legal and Social Issues Committee in March 2017 and the Issues Paper released by the Minister in October 2019.
The proposed reforms for consideration include a broad range of issues, including:
- expanding the purposes and objectives of the Act and considering further the definition of what comprises a retirement village to be regulated by the Act;
- introducing a code of conduct for retirement village operators and residents;
- accreditation of retirement villages and qualification requirements for village staff;
- increasing the extent of pre contract disclosure by, for example, requiring all fees to be disclosed in advertising materials;
- simplifying retirement village contracts;
- regulating maintenance and repair requirements during occupancy and reinstatement and renovation requirements when a resident departs the village;
- regulating capital gains and capital losses;
- regulating the timing of payment of exit entitlements;
- broadening internal and external dispute resolution processes including introducing mandatory conciliation and creating an industry ombudsman.
It is anticipated that the public consultation process will continue until the end of April, with submissions currently due from stakeholders by 26 April 2021.
It is anticipated that legislation to introduce the proposed reforms is likely to be implemented during early 2022.
We encourage village owners and operators to review the Options Paper and consider making a submission to Consumer Affairs Victoria.
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