Retirement Village Reforms A High Priority For NSW Government

02 Jul 2021 cost_of_living

The next stage of the NSW Government’s comprehensive retirement village reforms have now come into effect, reducing “bill shock” for residents by requiring village operators to be upfront with the costs of managing assets.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast and Member for Terrigal Adam Crouch said the reforms to the Retirement Villages Act 1999 were introduced to increase accountability and transparency, and decrease costs and uncertainty.

“The Central Coast is one of the fastest growing regions in NSW and we’re witnessing many people – including senior citizens – leave Sydney to make our community home,” Mr Crouch said.

“The reforms which came into place on 1 July will protect the growing number of local retirement village residents, with village operators now accountable for the costs of managing assets, including fixtures and fittings. This means there are no hidden surprises.”

From 1 July 2021, village operators are required to:

  • Prepare and keep up-to-date a 10-year asset management plan for the village’s major items of capital (including items shared with other villages or aged care businesses),
  • Record certain information in the asset management plan,
  • Prepare a three-year report for the maintenance of major items of capital (extracted from the asset management plan), and include it in the annual budget process, and
  • Make the asset management plan available for all current and prospective residents at reasonable times.

Mr Crouch said a number of common-sense reforms were still required.

“In April 2021 in response to my representations, the Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation visited the Forresters Beach Retirement Village and also met with residents’ associations from across the Coast,” Mr Crouch said.

“I have secured a commitment from the Minister to collect data about sale times for units at Central Coast retirement villages, which will inform future decision-making about the existing 12 month ‘exit entitlement’.”

Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation Kevin Anderson said the NSW Government had always engaged in extensive consultation with both retirement village residents and operators, and will continue to do so.

“When we embarked on our reforms no data existed that gave us an accurate picture of the sale times of retirement village units across NSW,” Mr Anderson said

“Mr Crouch made a compelling case for the Department of Customer Service to record sales data for units on the Central Coast when the reforms commence, and once we have collected 12 months of sales data, I have committed to review the classification of the Central Coast.”