Retirement amendment fits the bill

The RVA has successfully lobbied to achieve “fair and equitable” amendments to NSW village law.

The Retirement Village Association (RVA) is claiming a lobbying victory that it says will provide fair and equitable outcomes for residents and operators.  

After almost four years of negotiations, the RVA said it is satisfied with the proposed amendment to the state’s Retirement Villages Act that was tabled in parliament this week.

Originally introduced in 2004, the bill was delayed on a number of occasions as successive Ministers consulted with stakeholders.

In that time, the RVA submitted a submission about the bill and initiated several meetings with the Minister for Fair Trading, Linda Burney and her predecessors.

The proposed changes would now see the cost of capital maintenance and replacement shared between operators and residents, whose contribution would be limited to half the cost.

Residents would also be required to pay towards the maintenance and replacement of items in their own homes.

The amendment would also simplify the Act to reflect the terms that residents and operators actually use.

Although the RVA held considerable concerns about the draft consultation bill, the association’s CEO, Janet Holdsworth says the latest version is a marked improvement.

“The NSW members we have spoken to are excited with the changes and think that they are fair and reasonable,” she said.

“At the end of the day it was about common sense and good business practice. Our concerns were taken into consideration by the government and we are very happy about that.”

Ms Holdsworth said the changes gave operators greater flexibility while recognising the rights of residents.

“When you are running a business you have got to be flexible and I think that’s the key,” she said.

“At the same time, residents are the customers of our residents so they look after them – and the amendment took into consideration the needs of both residents and operators.”

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