DISPUTES & COMPLAINTS
Regulation 7A (1) Item 5(b) of the Retirement Villages Regulations 1992 requires that the residence contract must contain a statement of:
"the rights set out in the Code in relation to processes available to the resident for the resolution of disputes in relations to the retirement village"
The Code provides for the right of the resident to have a dispute dealt with—
(i) within the retirement village, as provided for under clause 30 of the Code; and
(ii) by referring any matter in dispute to the Commissioner [for Consumer Protection] for investigation and attempted resolution; and
(iii) by requesting the Commissioner [for Consumer Protection] to refer any matter that remains unresolved to mediation, as provided for under clause 31 of this Code; and
(iv) in some cases, by making an application to the State Administrative Tribunal for a legally binding determination of any matter that remains unresolved.
These provisions exist to help residents resolve matters that are causing them on going concern.
If approaches to another resident or to the village manager have been unsuccessful, then the first step in the process outlined above should be used. It requires a simple letter to be written (clearly identified a "Matter of Dispute"), following which the administering body must take action and convene a meeting to discuss the matter within 20 working days (four weeks). Use of this process requires something to be done and it cannot be brushed off lightly.
WARVRA is concerned that many residents are reluctant to take any action to resolve matters of dispute. Instead the matter is left to fester and become a continuing source of distress and, perhaps, anger. You do not have to suffer, take action!
Here are some resources to help you work through the process of a Dispute or a Complaint:
- WARVRA Information Paper click here
- WARVRA and Consumer Protection Agreed Complaint Handling Procedures click here
If you need further help, contact us.
And do let us know what your experiences are with Disputes and Complaints so that we can all learn from each other!