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Rights and obligations 

Information for retirement village operators

Village operators’ rights and obligations are set out in the Retirement Villages Act 1999 and Retirement Villages Regulation 2017.

A retirement village operator is defined in section 3 of the Act as a person who owns, manages or controls the village. This does not include the owners corporation in a strata scheme village or the community association in a community scheme village. It also does not include a strata or community managing agent.

A village operator has the right to:

  • sell or transfer ownership of the village or its management rights (the new operator is bound by the residents’ contracts)
  • decide who is employed in the village, subject to the amount for salaries and wages in the annual budget
  • propose an amendment to the village rules or a variation to the services and facilities provided
  • apply to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal to settle disputes.

Among other things, a village operator is obliged to:

  • enter into written contracts with residents
  • ensure the village is reasonably secure and safe, including
    • ensuring locks and security devices are in working order
    • preparing written safety and emergency procedures
    • ensuring residents and staff are familiar with the procedures
    • undertaking an annual safety inspection
    • making a report on the findings of the inspection available to the Residents Committee and placing a copy on the village notice board
  • hold annual management meetings with residents
  • ensure there is vehicle access at all times for emergency and home care services
  • use their best efforts to ensure residents, visitors and employees comply with the village rules
  • insure the village for full replacement value and have public liability insurance
  • arrange for maintenance and repair or replacement of village property as necessary
  • prepare an itemised annual budget and seek residents’ consent (if required)
  • provide receipts for recurrent charges
  • ensure the village’s annual accounts are audited (where required) and provide copies to residents within 4 months, and
  • provide quarterly accounts where required.

Accounting exemptions for smaller villages

The Act includes some exceptions for very small villages from some of the accounting requirements.

If a village’s total annual recurrent charges are $50,000 or less, the residents can give their written consent that:

  • the annual accounts do not have to be audited, and/or
  • quarterly accounts do not have to be given to the residents.

If the total amount of recurrent charges to be collected in a financial year is $50,000 or less, the residents can also consent to not receive a copy of the proposed budget.

If the annual accounts are not required to be audited, the operator must instead prepare a statement as to whether or not the operator will be able to meet all liabilities relating to the village for the current and following year.

If the recurrent charges collected for the year exceed $50,000 or the residents revoke their consent, the exemptions cease to apply.

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