IMPORTANT advice for retirement villages during COVID-19 (coronavirus) emergency period
A Fact sheet produced by the Australian Government Department of Health is available providing advice for retirement village operators and residents
What is a retirement village?
Retirement villages are a special kind of accommodation regulated by the Retirement Villages Act 2004 (the Act).
A retirement village provides people with independent accommodation and may include shared facilities, such as common meeting rooms, a library or pool. The village may also provide lifestyle services and social activities such as:
- organised outings
- joint meals
- craft activities
- visiting doctors, community nurses and other health professionals.
NOTE: Although staff in some villages have health care backgrounds, services in retirement villages generally do not include health care.
A retirement village is a community where:
- the majority of residents are aged 55 years or over or
- are retired from full-time employment or
- are spouses/partners of such people
- residents are provided with accommodation and services, other than services provided in a residential care or aged care facility and
- at least one of the residents paid an ingoing contribution that was not rent. It does not matter who made the contribution, or whether it was paid as a lump sum or by instalments.
When a community meets the above definition, every resident is protected by the Act.
Are retirement villages different from other retirement accommodation?
They are different from:
- residential care facilities (aged care facilities, nursing homes, hostels)
- residential parks
- rental villages.
We recommend you get independent advice before buying into a retirement village. Schedule 3 of the Act provides a Checklist which highlights what to consider before buying into a retirement village.
Retirement village operator contract requirements
A retirement village operator must provide the following before a person enters into a residence contract:
- a copy of the residence contract
- a copy of the village rules
- a checklist of questions to consider when thinking about entering a retirement village
- a notice of rights under the Retirement Villages Act 2004 and
- a copy of any financial information that is available.
What happens when you leave a retirement village?
If you leave the retirement village, the operator must, within 6 months of you leaving, refund the portion of your ingoing contribution you are entitled to.
Resident and operator disputes
The village rules will detail how disputes are to be resolved. If the parties are unable to resolve a dispute, either party can apply to the Director of Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading to resolve the dispute. The Director has powers under the Act to make certain orders including payment of monies up to $5000. An affected person may appeal to the Magistrates Court of Tasmania against an order of the Director.