Vic Government wants clearer RV contracts

Consumer Affairs Victoria has indicated that it wants retirement villages to explain their contracts to prospective residents more clearly, and wants operators’ views on regulatory reform.

Above: Victorian Consumer Affairs Minister, Michael O’Brien.

The Victorian Government has signaled to the state’s retirement village operators that they could soon face stiffer regulations, forcing them to disclose more information to prospective residents at the pre-contract stage.

Yesterday, Victorian Consumer Affairs Minister Michael O’Brien released a discussion paper on retirement village contracts at Forest Hills Village in the Melbourne suburb of Nunawading.

It’s aim, he said, was to reform retirement village regulations to “create greater consistency and transparency around residents’ rights”.

“The paper seeks feedback on issues including what information should be provided to prospective residents, contract content and condition reports,” Mr O’Brien said. Operators have until 19 December to join the discussion.

“The Coalition Government is delivering on its commitment to actively promote better understanding of the rights and obligations of residents of Victorian retirement villages,” Mr O’Brien said.

“Helping prospective and incoming retirement village residents to be better informed will help avoid conflict with management.”

Mr O’Brien said most retirement village disputes reported to Consumer Affairs Victoria were about conflicts involving management and contractual issues.

“While retirement villages have their own dispute resolution process, residents contact Consumer Affairs Victoria to help negotiate a resolution when matters can’t be resolved,” he added.

“Most of these matters could have been avoided had the resident better understood the contract they were signing and the contract was in plain English. It is absolutely vital seniors receive the information they need up front, in an easy-to-understand format.”

The Minister said the government was intent on making sure seniors were better informed before moving into a retirement village.

As at 30 June 2011, there were 397 retirement villages on the retirement village register administered by Consumer Affairs Victoria.

Submissions close on Monday 19 December 2011; click here to view or download the discussion paper. A stakeholder forum will be held in early February 2012.

Tags: consumer-affairs, michael-obrien, regulation, resident-rights, retirement-community, retirement-living, retirement-village, retirment-village-contracts, victoria,

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