This is our fourth blog post in our Retirement Living series on the disclosure obligations of providers in Queensland. View our previous blog posts on the disclosure obligations of operators in South Australia here, New South Wales here, and Western Australia here.
In Queensland, retirement villages are governed by the Retirement Villages Act 1999 (Qld) (Act) and the Retirement Villages Regulations 2018 (Qld) (Regulations). Operators are reminded they have disclosure obligations under the Act and Regulations and must allow sufficient time for prospective residents to review and seek advice about a residence contract and supporting documentation before entering into a residence contract.
An operator must not enter into a residence contract with a person unless the person is provided with copies of the following documents, at least 21 days before entering into a residence contract:
the residence contract;
the village comparison document (VCD) (note the 7-day timeframe to provide VCD below);
a prospective costs document (PCD) (note the 7-day timeframe to provide PCD below);
the village by-laws (also known as residence rules); and
any other required documents.
Note that a resident may choose to waive their disclosure time (21 days) by filling out a pre-contractual disclosure waiver. A prospective resident can only waive the pre-contractual period if they have received advice from a Queensland lawyer.
If a prospective resident separately requests a VCD from an operator, it must be provided to a prospective resident within 7 days of their request. The VCD includes information about the retirement village accommodation and costs such as services, access and design, accommodation types, costs and financial management and operator and management details, in addition to other required information.
The PCD includes information such as the name and address of the operator, the type of unit and tenure of the unit, the ongoing costs, and exit entitlements, in addition to other required information. Similarly to the VCD, the PCD must be provided to a resident within 7 days from when they request information about a specific unit in the retirement village.
Operators that fail to provide prospective residents with the disclosure documents within the specified timeframe, or who provide false or misleading information to prospective residents, risk hefty penalties under the Act.
Operators should note that there are other times, both during and at the end of a residence contract, when additional documentation must be provided to residents. For more information about your rights and obligations as either a provider or resident, contact our Aged Care, Retirement Living and Health team.
Our next and final blog post in the disclosure series will discuss the disclosure obligations of operators in Victoria.
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.