Retirement village exit entitlements and recurring charges cap

Submission cover sheet

  • Name of organisation or individual making this submission

    Brian Reynolds

  • Authorised delegate/contact person

    Brian Reynolds

  • Position

  • Organisation

Questions on possible options

  1. Is the description of the ‘Sydney Metropolitan Area’ appropriate? If not, why not, and what areas should be included or excluded?

    NSW regulation does not generally differentiate on the application of such regulation on the basis of geographical location. Given that it is accepted that the often protracted time taken for residents to receive their exit entitlements is an issue requiring regulatory intervention, I can see no justification for having differing criteria applying based on the location of said residents. For example why should a resident located in NSWs second largest city, Newcastle, be treated differently to that of a resident located in a semi rural area to the west of Sydney.

  2. Are the proposals for appointing a valuer, to determine the value of the property, necessary and appropriate?

    Yes, provided that there is adequate provision for the appointment of an independent valuer where the resident and operator are unable to agree on the selling price.

  3. Where residents wish to sell their residence on their own terms, under what circumstances should they be able to opt in or opt out of the exit entitlement provision?

    Residents should only be able to opt out of the exit entitlement provisions when all efforts to agree the selling price, including the use of an independent valuer, have been exhausted. Having made a fully informed decision to opt out now provision should be made to allow subsequent opting in.

  4. What issues should the Tribunal take into account when considering whether or not the operator has done everything in their power to enable the sale of a premises?

    The Tribunal should be able to be satisfied that all premises regardless of occupation status, new build or pre-owned have received the same degree of selling and marketing effort.

  5. Are there any additional circumstances the Tribunal should be able to take into account when considering a hardship application from an operator?

    No

  6. Are there any other factors that could affect the setting of a ‘trigger point’?

    No

  7. Would any of the current provisions in Victoria and South Australia as set out in Appendix A (in the discussion paper), be of benefit to NSW residents of retirement villages?

    When a resident needs to transition to an aged care facility that need is usually immediate in nature. The provisions of the Victoria and South Australia legislation should apply in NSW. This particularly important in respect of co-located aged care facilities, an increasing trend within the industry.

  8. Can you think of any other benefits or costs of this proposal? What are they?

    No

  9. As with residents with a non-registered interest, should the ‘trigger’ to commence the 42-day period begin when the resident permanently vacates the premises?

    Yes

  10. Should one or both of the proposals be ‘grandfathered’? If not, please provide your reasons.

    The proposed reforms regarding a limit on the length of time retirement villages can charge for general services (ongoing fees) and to mandate the timeframe that exit entitlements must be paid were a recommendation of the Greiner Inquiry into the Retirement Village Sector. Prior to the State Election last March, the Government undertook to implement the reforms. These reforms are intended to address proven poor behavior on the part of some village operators and related mistreatment of their residents. The suggestions within the Discussion Paper that these much needed reforms maybe "grandfathered" is highly disturbing. If the reforms were made applicable only to residents entering into contracts after the reforms come into effect this would result in existing residents, the ones suffering the proven poor operator behaviour necessitating the reforms, receiving no benefit or relief. This is clearly inequitable and must be removed from consideration.

  11. Please provide any further comments on the reforms.

At our discretion we may remove parts of submissions because of length, content, appropriateness or confidentiality (privacy) reasons.

Website https://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au

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