Retirement Villages - legislative update.  WASC 219. 31 May 2013 Supreme Court decision. C larifies that the memorial and the statutory charge operate independently of the termination of a retirement village scheme.
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Retirement Villages - legislative update
 WASC 219
31 May 2013 Supreme Court decision.
Clarifies that the memorial and the statutory charge operate independently of the termination of a retirement village scheme.
Available on the Supreme Court website at http://www.supremecourt.wa.gov.au/
RETIREMENT CARE AUSTRALIA (HOLLYWOOD) PTY LTD -v- COMMISSIONER FOR CONSUMER PROTECTION _ WASC 219
Review of retirement villages legislation
The Final Report of the statutory review of retirement villages legislation:
tabled in the Parliament in November 2010;
available on the Department of Commerce’s website http://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/ConsumerProtection/PDF/reports.html
Changes to the Act
Two Bills to amend the Retirement Villages Act 1992 were announced in August 2011.
The first of these, the Retirement Villages Amendment Act 2012, passed through the Parliament in late 2012 and is now intended to commence in early 2014.
The Amendment Act requires regulations to be made, before many of its provisions can commence.
Contents of the Amendment Act 2012
The Amendment Act 2012 is available on the Parliament’s website at http://www.parliament.wa.gov.au/Parliament/bills.nsf
Do an “All Bills” search, as the amendments have already passed through the Parliament.
Three key reforms of the Amendment Act 2012
Caps former non-owner residents’ liability for recurrent charges.
Provides that regulations may be drafted as to contract requirements.
Provides that regulations may be drafted as to costs that must not be recouped from residents.
Section 23 - caps on non-owner residents’ liability for recurrent charges after permanent vacation
New cap on former non-owner residents’ liability for recurrent charges after they “permanently vacate” their residence.
Probate delays are intended to be addressed.
Refurbishment delays will not be addressed.
Timeframes to be set by regulation:
6 months for non-owner residents on existing contracts;
3 months for new contracts.
Section 14A - contract requirements
New section 14A allows regulations to prescribe matters or clauses that must, or must not, be contained in residence contracts, or contracts of a specified kind.
Some of these contract requirements are currently found in the Code – these will be moved to the Regs.
Some requirements will apply only to contracts signed after the regulation commences, and others will apply to all contracts irrespective of when they were signed.
Both parties to the contract may appeal to the SAT about whether the contract complies with these Regs.
Section 25 - prohibited charges
New prohibition on certain costs being passed on to residents.
Intended to prohibit those costs unrelated to the operation of the village.
For example, where a court has imposed a penalty or awarded costs against an operator.
Some contentious issues.
Code review and amendments
A Discussion Paper was released on 13 June 2013. Submissions closed 26 July.
A revised Code is now intended to be gazetted before 31 March 2014.
Broad agreement on proposals – some adjustments required.
Intended to commence as a package of reforms, with the Amendment Act and its regulations, by April 2014.
Any queries or comments?
Please direct them in the first instance to
Irena Dillon, Senior Policy Officer,
Department of Commerce (Consumer Protection)
Ph 9282 0908 or firstname.lastname@example.org