Insights / September 21st, 2023

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

This is the third in our continuing insights series on Retirement Living, covering the disclosure obligations of retirement village operators in Western Australia.

To review our recent insights regarding the disclosure obligations of retirement village operators in South Australia and for New South Wales.

In Western Australia (WA), retirement villages are governed by the Retirement Villages Act 1992 (‘Act’) and the Retirement Villages Regulations 1992 (‘Regulations’).

The owner of the retirement village must, at least 10 business days, prior to the prospective resident entering into a residence contract, provide the prospective resident with the following documentation1 :

  • a residence contract and any other contract the prospective resident would be required to enter into (such as a service contract);

  • a pre contractual statement that provides accurate information about a range of matters including fees and charges in the prescribed form completed and signed by the owner containing the information set out in the Regulations;

  • a notice that informs you about your rights, including the necessity for residence contracts to be in writing, documents you must be given and the cooling off period that applies after signing your contract;

  • a copy of the residence rules of the village, which may include limitations on visitors, pets, use of common areas an amenities, parking or gardening;

  • a copy of the Code of Practice for Retirement Villages; and

  • any other prescribed documents.

For retirement villages that are in operation, copies of the following must also be provided:

  • the village’s audited financial statements for the previous financial year (or a copy of the unaudited statements if the audit has not yet been completed);

  • the village’s operating budget for the current financial year; and

  • the village’s reserve fund budget for the current financial year.2

If the residence contract relates to a retirement village that is not yet operating, the following must be provided:

  • the proposed operating budget for the first year of operation of the village; and

  • if the village is to have a reserve fund that will receive income from recurrent charges in the first year of operation, a copy of the proposed reserve fund budget for the first year of operation.3

Depending on the structure of the retirement village, additional documentation may need to be provided under the Regulations.

Operators who fail to provide prospective residents with the above documentations within the specified timeframe, or who provide false or misleading information to prospective residents, risk penalties being imposed under the Act.

Operators must be aware of their obligations to provide potential residents other documentation both during and at the end of a residence contract. For more information about your rights and obligations as either an operator or resident/ prospective resident, please contact our Aged Care, Retirement Living and Health team.

Please keep an eye out for our next retirement village insights, covering the disclosure obligations of operators in Queensland.

1 These documents must be provided in accordance with s 13 of the Act.

2 Section 6(1)(b) of the Regulations.

3 Section 6(1)(c) of the Regulations.

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.