Retirement village reforms ease bill shock for residents
The next stage of the NSW Government’s comprehensive retirement village reforms came into effect on 1 July 2021 reducing ‘bill shock’ for residents by requiring village operators to be upfront with the costs of managing assets.
Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation Kevin Anderson said the reforms to the Retirement Villages Act 1999 were introduced to increase accountability and transparency in the retirement village sector by seeking to reduce costs and uncertainty for residents.
“Residents in retirement villages should be protected from unexpected financial burden, and what we’ve seen is residents unexpectedly being billed tens of thousands of dollars for repairs or replacements,” Mr Anderson said.
“Under our new laws, retirement village operators will have to provide the costs of managing assets, including fixtures and fittings, so there will be no hidden surprises.”
From 1 July 2021, village operators are required to:
- prepare and keep up-to-date a 10-year asset management plan for the village’s major items of capital (including items shared with other villages or aged care businesses),
- record certain information in the asset management plan,
- prepare a three-year report for the maintenance of major items of capital (extracted from the asset management plan), and include it in the annual budget process, and
- make the asset management plan available for all current and prospective residents at reasonable times.
These reforms are in addition to the changes introduced earlier this year, including improving access to exit entitlements, creating a new mechanism to support residents moving to aged care, and placing a 42-day cap on the payment of recurrent charges for general services.
“We committed to make retirement village fees fairer, and these reforms will put residents first, making sure the sector is offering safe and affordable options for our parents and grandparents,” Mr Anderson said.
For more information on retirement village reforms visit the NSW Fair Trading website.