Aged Care - Insights - banner 1900 x 500

Review of the Retirement Villages Act 1986

Lee Be and Lillian Graystone

The Minister for Consumer Affairs has recently published an Issues Paper (“Paper”) on the review of the Retirement Villages Act 1986 (“RV Act”). The Paper marks the beginning of the Victorian Government’s public consultation process.

The Paper identifies key issues facing the retirement village sector. Some of these issues are based on recommendations made by the Legislative Council’s Inquiry into the operation and regulation of the retirement housing sector in Victoria in 2017. Responses to the Paper must be submitted by Friday, 6 December 2019.

Key issues identified in the Paper are set out below.

Entering a retirement village

The Paper considers and seeks views on how prospective residents engage with retirement villages, including:

  • the adequacy of current disclosure obligations and what further improvements can be made to improve prospective residents’ understanding of the financial and contractual arrangements of living in a retirement village;
  • the form and complexity of retirement village contracts, and what improvements can be made to make it easier for prospective residents to compare villages, assess their suitability and understand their rights and obligations; and
  • whether retirement village operators should be required to provide more information to prospective residents about deferred management fees and departure entitlements.
Living in a retirement village

The Paper examines and seeks views on the governance of retirement villages, including:

  • whether annual reporting requirements are adequate for residents;
  • whether in mixed tenure retirement villages the obligations to hold resident meetings under both the Owners Corporations Act 2006 and the RV Act are appropriate;
  • who should be liable for maintenance and capital items and to what extent this should be regulated;
  • whether all retirement villages should be required to have a maintenance and capital replacement plan and/or fund; and
  • whether the regulatory framework for providing privately funded care services to retirement village residents provides high enough standards of care to protect the welfare of residents.
Leaving a retirement village

The Paper considers and seeks views on what happens when a resident leaves a village, including:

  • whether the unit sale and re-leasing process adequately balances the interests of the residents and the operator;
  • how reinstatement and refurbishment costs should be dealt with to ensure that an appropriate balance between the interests of the departing resident and the operator is achieved;
  • whether ongoing liability for fees and charges is equitably distributed between the departing resident, the operator and the remaining residents; and
  • what the arrangement should be for sharing capital gains (or losses) and to what extent this should be regulated.
Dispute resolution

The Paper considers and seeks views on:

  • whether the internal dispute resolution procedure works effectively to ensure that complaints are heard and dealt with fairly;
  • whether mediation of a dispute through an external mediation service (such as the Dispute Resolution Centre of Victoria) should be a pre-condition to access to VCAT; and
  • the best process to achieve low cost, timely and binding resolution of disputes.

The Paper examines and seeks views on whether the Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria should be given additional powers and enforcement options to regulate the offence provisions of the RV Act.


For more information

We encourage you to submit a response to the Paper as this is your opportunity to influence the review of the Act. For more information about preparing a response, please get in touch with Russell Kennedy’s retirement living legal team.

If you would like to keep up to date with Alerts, news and events from our team, you can subscribe to our mailing list here.

View related insights

Aged Care Staff 360x240

COVID-19: Impact on residents’ rights to security of tenure in aged care homes

6 Apr 2020

The States are moving to further protect vulnerable residents of aged care facilities by restricting ...


Keypads in aged care homes and the rules on restraints: FAQs

31 Mar 2020

Since the commencement of the new restraint provisions in July last year, there has been an increase ...


Retirement living and the COVID-19 pandemic: 10 legal tips for retirement living operators

23 Mar 2020

Following the World Health Organisation’s declaration that COVID-19 is a global pandemic, the Austra ...