Thursday, October 21, 2021

Have your say on retirement village laws

The Victorian Government has today released an Options Paper for public consultation, as the next steps in the process of reviewing the Retirement Villages Act.

“All Victorians deserve a happy retirement with choice and control over their future, which is why the Government is encouraging anyone with an interest in the Retirement Village sector to have their say on the Options Paper,” the Government said in a statement.

The Options Paper will be available for comment for six weeks and is part of a review of the Act, in response to the Parliamentary Inquiry into the Retirement Housing Sector. 

The inquiry aims to update laws about retirement villages to provide stronger protection for often vulnerable consumers, as well as encourage growth and innovation in the sector.

“We’re ensuring residents of retirement villages and their families have the opportunity to share their important stories and experiences so that we can address key issues and concerns across the sector,” said Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation, Melissa Horne.

“The feedback we receive from residents, their families and other interested parties will be critical to developing the reforms – I encourage anyone interested in the retirement village sector to share their views on the Options Paper.”

It will examine known concerns faced by senior Victorians within the retirement village sector to ensure a fairer experience, including:

  • contractual agreements, including whether contracts are too complex;
  • disclosure of fees and charges;
  • obligations for repairs and maintenance;
  • rights and obligations when selling a village unit.

“The release of the Options Paper is another important step in ensuring residents of retirement villages and their families have the opportunity to share their views on potential solutions to the issues they have raised,” the Minister said.

It follows the release of an Issues Paper and community forums held in Shepparton, Geelong, and Melbourne, that gave interested parties an opportunity to share their views and comments as part of the review.

A total of 151 submissions were received in response to the Issues Paper, with almost 85 per cent of submissions received from retirement village residents and related groups. 

Interested parties can view the Options Paper at engage.vic.gov.au/retirementvillagesact and can register for updates by clicking the ‘follow’ button at the top of the page. 

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