Making retirement village fees fairer for residents

The NSW Government is taking the next steps to deliver an election commitment to reform exit fee rules and charges for retirement village residents, their families and operators, with the release of the discussion paper for public consultation today.

Minister for Better Regulation Kevin Anderson said it’s important that the public and sector have clarity around allowable charges when exiting a retirement village for greater peace of mind and smoother transitions.

“Reforms to the retirement village sector aim to better protect residents and their families by providing transparency and accountability around fees and charges,” Mr Anderson said.

“One of the key recommendations from the independent 2017 Greiner inquiry into the retirement village sector was reforming the way exit entitlements are paid and recurrent fees for general services are charged.

“It’s about giving families certainty when entering into or exiting a contract with a retirement village and having the peace of mind that they won’t incur unfair costs.”

The government aims to introduce a 42-day limit on the length of time villages can charge for general services after the departure of a resident. We will also mandate that exit entitlements be repaid within six months of a resident moving out of a retirement village in metropolitan areas and 12 months for regional areas.

The feedback from the community and the retirement villages sector will help shape the reforms and how they’re implemented and ensure that they reflect the needs of residents and village operators.

The changes are part of the NSW Government’s wider four-point plan to improve retirement village living and ensure a fairer system in NSW.

“We aim to put residents of retirement villages first so that they know exactly where they stand when they sign a contract,” Mr Anderson said.

The consultation period is open until 16 August 2019. For more information visit the Fair Trading website

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