This page explains the different meetings and committees that owners and residents can attend or form to make decisions about their village.
Annual management meetings
The village operator must hold an annual management meeting with the residents within 4 months after the end of each financial year.
Residents must be notified of the meeting at least 14 days in advance and be given a copy of the meeting agenda.
A resident can lodge written questions with the operator at least 7 days before the meeting or ask questions at the meeting.
Items that must be on the agenda:
- a report on any major variations between items in the previous year’s budget expenditure
- any changes to the proposed annual budget that do not require the residents’ consent
- any proposals to undertake capital works that were not in the annual budget
- future plans for the village, including any proposed improvements or maintenance
- management of the village, including any proposed change to management arrangements
- any safety issues
- any proposed changes to services provided to residents, and
- time for residents’ questions.
The operator doesn’t have to answer questions about:
- their personal affairs, or those of their employees or contractors
- a matter that is not related to the operation of the village
- matters relating to individual sales or contracts unless they are already public information.
Annual contract 'check up' meetings
Residents have the right to meet with their village operator once a year to discuss their contract and get a better understanding of the process involved when leaving the village, including any fees and charges payable.
Family, friends or advisors may attend the meeting with the resident to give them support or assistance. Residents may also nominate one or more people to represent them at the meeting if they cannot attend.
At the meeting, operators need to provide a verbal and written summary of all costs incurred if the resident were to leave the village, based on the terms and conditions of the resident’s contract. This tailored information will help residents better understand what’s involved when exiting the village and allow any concerns or questions to be addressed.
The following information must be provided at the meeting:
- a resident’s rights and obligations in relation to leaving the village
- estimated departure fee (if applicable)
- estimated fees and charges involved with selling the unit
- estimated sale price or estimated ingoing contribution of the next resident, as applicable to the resident’s contract
- estimates of any other fees or charges that apply when leaving the village (including an estimate of any capital gain shared with the operator)
- how long recurrent charges may be payable after leaving the village
- estimate of the final monies a resident would receive upon leaving the village, after they have paid all fees and charges.
Any cost and other estimates provided by the operator at the meeting must be reasonable. They must take into consideration factors that may influence the estimate, such as the features and characteristics of the resident’s unit. A reasonable estimate will ultimately depend on the circumstances of each resident.
Significant penalties can apply for operators who provide unreasonable estimates.
Further information can be found in the village contract information meetings guideline.
You have the right to arrange and attend meetings to discuss the operation and management of your village, other topics of interest or vote on matters where resident consent is required.
If the village has a residents committee, it can arrange a residents’ meeting. If your village does not have a residents committee you can ask the operator to arrange a meeting.
Generally, the only people that can attend meetings are:
- residents under a village contract, or their appointed proxy
- a person with power of attorney or who is officially appointed as guardian or trustee for a resident
- any other people that the residents have consented to attending (eg. tenants, friends or relatives)
Attendance is not compulsory so if you do not want to attend a meeting you do not have to.
If the operator is attending, they must leave when residents are voting.
There are two types of consent:
1. General consent
This is where more than 50 percent of the residents who vote either in person or by proxy agree to the proposal being voted on.
The vote can be by show of hands, proxy or ballot vote.
Some matters that require ‘general consent’ from residents include:
- establishing a residents committee
- allowing people other than residents (eg family / friends) to attend residents' meetings
- changes to the recurrent charges (other than by a fixed formula and the change exceeds the Consumer Price Index change)
- approving the proposed annual budget, or amending one (in some cases consent is not required)
- consenting to not being supplied with a proposed annual budget, or having accounts audited or receiving quarterly accounts (in small villages)
- the appointment of a new auditor (if the audit fees are to be paid by the residents)
- dealing with a surplus in the annual accounts.
A resident can appoint a proxy to represent them at a meeting if they use a prescribed proxy appointment form (talk to your operator to get one). No more than two proxies can be held by any one person.
A resident who appoints a proxy can revoke the appointment by giving the person written notice. Otherwise, a proxy automatically expires after the first meeting at which it is used or, if not used, after six months of being given. The same person may then be reappointed as proxy.
The village operator cannot be appointed as a proxy.
2. Special resolution
A special resolution must be done by written ballot. Residents must be given at least 21 days written notice of the meeting. The notice must:
- set out the resolution
- specify that the matter requires a special resolution
- specify that the residents may submit their vote in writing before the meeting (and explain how to do so), and
- be accompanied by a ballot paper initialed by the returning officer.
The returning officer is a resident (who is not a member of the residents committee or standing for election to the residents committee) selected by a show of hands at a residents meeting.
For a special resolution to be carried, at least 75 percent of the residents who vote (in person or by proxy or postal vote) must agree on the proposal.
Matters that require consent by special resolution by residents are:
A residents committee is a group of residents, elected by their fellow residents, to represent their interests and carry out certain functions.
- calling meetings of residents to vote on matters requiring residents’ consent or to discuss the management and operation of the village
- reporting residents’ decisions to the operator regarding matters that need residents’ consent
- applying to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (the Tribunal) on behalf of some or all residents
- requesting information from the operator about proposed changes to recurrent charges
- receiving certain financial accounts from the operator
- forming sub-committees
- proposing changes to the village rules or the village services and facilities
- acting as a contact point for prospective residents and meeting with the operator when required
- receiving a copy of the annual safety inspection report from the operator
- putting forward a proposal for a surplus in the annual accounts or excess money in the capital works fund to be distributed to residents.
Residents committees cannot make decisions on behalf of residents on matters that require residents’ consent.
Forming a residents committee
A residents committee can be established with the consent of the residents of the retirement village.
For residents to consent:
- a general meeting to where all residents are invited needs to be held, and
- more than 50 percent of the residents who vote (in person or by proxy or postal vote) must give consent.
Residents should then discuss and agree on how many members the committee should have and how often it should meet.
Nominations for members should be called and an election held.
All the above steps can be taken at the same meeting, or at a later meeting.
Any resident can stand for election to a residents committee. Non-residents cannot be members.
There is no restriction on the number of committee members.
Unless otherwise invited, only committee members should attend a residents committee meeting.
There are procedures set out in the retirement village laws relating to general residents’ meetings and consent of residents. Residents committee members need to be familiar with these.
A residents committee doesn’t need to have a formal constitution or written rules, but these may help. We have developed a set of model rules that residents committees can use if they wish. The model rules can be used as they are or changed to suit the committee’s needs.
A residents committee can form sub-committees and decide their procedures.
There is no requirement to appoint office holders but it’s a good idea to choose a member to keep records or to chair meetings. Many villages choose to appoint residents to act as chairperson, secretary or treasurer.
If office holders are appointed, a person can hold the same position for more than three years where there are no other people standing for election or residents agree by special resolution.
However, office holder positions should be shared amongst the residents where possible.
Where a residents wishes to continue serving on the committee, they may wish to do so by taking up another position. For example, after 3 years the resident could be nominated for another role, such as chairperson.
The operator should provide administrative assistance to the committee.
The operator is not allowed to obstruct a committee from exercising its functions, and should meet with the residents committee, or a representative of the committee on request.
The operator can also request a meeting with the committee.
Strata and community scheme village meetings
Owners' meetings and village meetings can be held on separate days or one after the other, but not at the same time.
If you’re an owner in a strata or community scheme retirement village, you’ll be invited to the owners corporation or community association meetings.
As a minimum, at least once a year the owners corporation must hold an annual general meeting. At this meeting, owners vote on:
- the annual administrative and capital works budgets
- election of the executive committee
- appointment of a managing agent or building manager
- changes to by-laws
- any other matters relating to management of the strata or community scheme.
In these meetings, there is one vote for each lot. Non-residents can vote if they own a lot or are nominated by the owner, or if they hold a proxy for an owner. In certain cases a vote's value is based on the lot's unit entitlement.