Insights / September 12th, 2023

Retirement Village Operators in NSW - Do You Know Your Disclosure Obligations When Onboarding Prospective Residents?

Retirement Village operators in New South Wales (NSW) have disclosure obligations when a prospective resident requests or expresses interest in a retirement living arrangement. In NSW, retirement villages are governed by the Retirement Villages Act 1999 (NSW) (‘Act’) and the Retirement Villages Regulations 2017 (NSW) (‘Regulations’).

Providers must provide the following documents to a prospective resident within 14 days of receiving a request or an expression of interest from the prospective resident:

  • a standard form village contract;

  • general enquiry document;

  • disclosure statement; and

  • condition report.

The above documents must be in the standard form as prescribed by the Regulations.

Section 20(1) of the Act further sets out a list of documents that operators must have available at the village or at a place of business, for inspection at all reasonable times, by a resident, prospective resident or a person acting on their behalf, being:

  • a site plan of the village;

  • plans showing the location, floor plan and significant dimensions of residential premises available in the village;

  • the proposed annual budgets (if any) and the approved annual budgets for:

(a) each of the last 3 financial years of the village, and

(b) the current financial year, and

(c) the next financial year (if budgets in respect of that year are available);

  • the accounts for the village, for the last 3 financial years (excluding, during the first 4 months of a financial year, the immediately preceding financial year if the accounts for that year are not available);

  • examples of all village contracts that an incoming resident may be required to enter into;

  • the trust deed for any trust fund into which money paid by the residents is deposited;

  • the village rules;

  • the asset management plan for the village;

  • the terms of the development consent, if any, for the village, but only if:

(a) construction of the village is not complete, or

(b) it is a condition of the development consent that a particular service or facility be provided for the life of the village;

  • if there is a capital works fund established for the village:

(a) statements of the balance in the fund as at the end of each of the last 3 financial years of the village, and

(b) if the operator is required to provide the residents with quarterly accounts - the most recent quarterly accounts of the income and expenditure of the village.

Operators that fail to provide residents or prospective residents with the required documentation within the statutory timeframe or fail to make available the above information (as applicable), or who otherwise provide false or misleading information, risk hefty penalties as set out in the Act.

Providers are reminded that following recent amendments to the Act, they have reporting obligations to the Secretary of the Department of Customer Service (‘Department’). The Department publishes some of the data provided that is relevant to current or prospective residents, in the retirement villages digital portal. For further information about the retirement villages portal, refer to this guide.

To learn OR find out more about your reporting or disclosure obligations as a provider, or rights as a resident, please contact our Aged Care, Retirement Living and Health team.

This is the second insights in our Retirement Living series, for our first insights on the disclosure obligation of SA providers, see this post. Keep an eye out for our next insights, covering the disclosure obligations of providers in Western Australia.

This publication has been prepared for general guidance on matters of interest only and does not constitute professional legal advice.  You should not act upon the information contained in this publication without obtaining specific professional legal advice.  No representation or warranty (express or implied) is given as to the accuracy or completeness of the information contained in this publication and to the extent permitted by law, Cowell Clarke does not accept or assume any liability, responsibility or duty of care for any consequences of you or anyone else acting or refraining to act in relation on the information contained in this publication or for any decision based on it.