The Retirement Villages Act
The foundation of the legislation for retirement villages is the Retirement Villages Act 1992.
Part 1 of the Act deals with “preliminary” and includes definitions of terms used in the Act. Part 2 of the Act deals with “administration” and gives powers to a “Commissioner” – the Commissioner for Consumer Protection, an executive officer of the Department of Commerce is designated to exercise these powers. Part 3 of the Act sets out “rights and obligations of residents, owners and administering bodies” – including the need for a written residence contract, placing a memorial on the land restricting its use to a retirement village until no part of the land is any longer being used as a retirement village, how a residence contract is terminated and binds any further owner of the land. Part 4 of the Act deals with “resolution of disputes” and includes the powers of the State Administrative Tribunal in regard to retirement villages. [Note: The State Administrative Tribunal has taken over the powers of the former Retirement Villages Tribunal.] Part 5A introduces the concept of a “statutory manager” when necessary to protect the well-being or financial interests of residents. Part 5 contains a number of miscellaneous provisions including those persons who are not to be involved in the administration of retirement villages.
To read the Act, click here
The Retirement Villages Regulations
The Act is supplemented by the Retirement Villages Regulations 1992 which spell out how some of the provisions of the Act are to be carried out.
The Regulations require the owner to provide a prospective resident with an information statement (Form 1 or Form 1A) and a notice of rights under sections 13 and 14 of the Act (Form 2) at least 10 working days before you enter into a residence contract. The Regulations also deal with the disposal of abandoned goods left by a departing resident. 2014 amendments to the Regulations limit the time a resident who has permanently vacated their premises has to continue paying recurrent charges and list some matters in respect of which the administering body may not require payment. New Regulations added in 2015 set out matters which must or must not be included in residential and service contracts. The 2016 Amendments updated Form 1 and introduced a new Form 1A for short term tenure arrangements
To read the Regulations, Click Here
The Retirement Villages Code
The Act is further supplemented by a code of fair practice made under the Fair Trading Act and commonly referred to as “The Code”. Its full title is the Fair Trading (Retirement Villages Code) Regulations 2015.
The Code deals with operational matters in a retirement village and outlines responsibilities of owners and administering bodies and the rights of residents. Its contents include:
- sales promotion of a village and the information that must be disclosed;
- information that must included in a residence contract or any service contract;
- the rights and obligations of the administering body and residents in relation to the management and operation of a retirement village including consultation on the village operating budget, provision of operating income and expenditure statements at least quarterly, the establishment of a residents committee and the holding of residents meetings;
- dispute resolution processes;
- termination of a residence contract; and
- a list of questions that a prospective resident should carefully read and consider before deciding to enter any retirement village.
Of particular note to residents, the 2015 Code provides a much improved set of requirements for financial reporting to residents which will be become mandatory for the financial year beginning 1 July 2016.
To access the Code, click here
Lobbying Members of Parliament
Much of our success in achieving changes to the retirement villages legislation has come from our members lobbying their local members of the WA Parliament.
For a list of the members of the Legislative Council and their addresses click here
For a list of the members of the Legislative Assembly and their addresses click here
For a list of the Ministers/Members of Cabinet and their addresses click here