This is our final blog post in the retirement village disclosure series. View our previous blogs on the disclosure obligations of retirement village operators in SA here, NSW here, WA here, and QLD here.
Retirement Village operators in Victoria are reminded of their disclosure obligations when onboarding prospective residents. In Victoria, retirement villages are governed by the Retirement Villages Act 1986 (VIC) (‘Act’), the Retirement Villages Amendment (Records and Notices) Regulations 2013 (‘Records and Notices Regulations’) and the Retirement Villages Amendment (Contractual Arrangements) Regulations 2013 (‘Contractual Arrangements Regulations’).
Victorian operators are reminded that they must not enter into a residence contract with a prospective resident, unless they have provided a prospective resident with copies of the following documents, within 21 days before entering into a contract:
the residence contract;
a copy of the management contract and any other agreement about payment of any ingoing contribution or a recurring charge for goods and services;
the disclosure statement;
the by-laws of the village;
provide an expanded pre-contract disclosure statement (in the approved form) to those intending to sign a contract, to help them understand the costs of moving into, living in, and leaving their unit;
provide an information factsheet (in the approved form) to prospective residents enquiring about the village to help them compare villages; and
all other documents referred to in the definition of residence documents.1
Operators must use standard content and layout in retirement village contracts to make them easier to understand and compare. Content will have to include a basic set of mandatory rights and responsibilities of residents, managers and owners.
The Records and Notices Regulations further prescribe a list of records that may be requested for inspection by a retired person or their representative that operators must make available, not later than 7 days after the request is made. Such records include the site plan of the village.
In some circumstances, Victorian operators may be exempt from providing some records. For example, the factsheet, if it has previously been provided and it has not changed in a material way.
Operators that fail to provide prospective residents with the above documentation within the specified timeframe, or who provide false or misleading information, risk hefty penalties under the Act.
Operators must be aware of their disclosure obligations at other stages of a residence contract, such as during the residence contract and its termination. For more information about your rights and obligations as either a provider or resident, please contact our Aged Care, Retirement Living and Health team.
1Sections 19(1)-(2) of the Act.
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.