Legislative update | WA retirement village law reforms

by | Jun 30, 2020 | Aged Care Blog

The Retirement Villages Act (RV Act) and related subsidiary legislation underwent significant change between 2012 and 2016, which largely focused on providing consumers with adequate information to allow them to determine whether entry into a retirement village was in their best interest.

Although implementation of these ‘Stage 1’ reforms may have been beneficial overall for residents and prospective residents, perceived problems have persisted. Against this backdrop, public consultation for ‘Stage 2’ reforms is underway.

A total of five Consultation Regulatory Impact Statements (“CRIS”) will be released, outlining options for potential reform and inviting feedback.


Recap: CRIS 1 and 2

In August 2019, the first paper (CRIS 1) was released, focusing on why prospective consumers misunderstand the purchase and price of retirement villages. Specifically, it discussed the concept and definition of the retirement village product, advertising and promotion, and how the price of the product should be communicated to consumers. This ‘back to basics’ approach was targeted at increasing the level of transparency between consumers and retirement villages, allowing for better understanding of rights and obligations.

Released in December 2019, CRIS 2 concentrated on current and former residents and their understanding of operator obligations at both an individual and village community level. Submission topics included exit entitlements, capital works funding, refurbishment and rules of conduct.


CRIS 3 – open for comment

Consumer Protection is now seeking submissions in response to CRIS 3, aiming to clarify when the RV Act applies. Specifically, CRIS 3 covers matters such as:

  1. The definition of the terms ‘retirement village scheme’ and ‘residence contract’;
  2. A proposal to establish a public database to identify regulated retirement villages;
  3. How the Act should apply to rent-paying residents and sub-letting units; and
  4. How the Act should apply to multi-site villages.

Submissions on the current paper can be made until Wednesday 30 September 2020.


What’s next?

Two further consultation papers are proposed to be released by the end of 2020, which will include:

  1. Village development, sales and marketing – including lease agreements and pre-contract disclosure;
  2. Village re-development, partial memorial removals, and termination of a scheme – including resident minimum consultation and rights;
  3. Strata titled retirement villages;
  4. Co-location of aged care; and
  5. Dispute resolution and enforcement – including creation of new offences and State Administrative powers.

For full details of the retirement village law reforms, visit Consumer Protection’s website.


If you seek assistance with making a submission or have questions about how any of the proposals for reform may affect you, we would be pleased to hear from you.

Authors: David McMullen (Special Counsel) and Morgan Barnsby (Law Clerk).

David McMullen

David McMullen