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Retirement Villages legislation passed

Retirement Villages legislation passed

New laws covering retirement villages were passed by Parliament this afternoon.

The Retirement Villages Act is designed to provide improved protection for people who buy into retirement villages, Associate Justice Minister Lianne Dalziel said.

“This law will address a legislative mismatch that exposed many older people and their families to unnecessary distress. Existing legislation such as securities laws were not designed with retirement villages in mind.

“At its best retirement village living can provide a wonderful lifestyle but at its worst a decision to buy into a retirement village can result in people feeling trapped.

“One of the key elements of the Act is the requirement for intending residents to be informed of all entry, occupancy and exit costs. This will ensure people will be able to make informed choices before investing their money in a retirement village complex.

“Most operators in this industry are good operators, but there are cowboys out there and it is because they exist that we need to protect the interests of those who would otherwise become their victims.

“To this end, the new Act will compel compliance with an industry wide Code of Practice and the Retirement Villages Association is already working on its contribution in anticipation of the passage of this legislation.

The matters the Code of Practice must cover are prescribed, but the specific clauses in the first instance be generated by the industry and other stakeholders.

“The Act strikes an optimally effective three way balance of promoting the individual rights and interests of residents, protecting the collective interests of residents and recognising the interests of the retirement village industry,” Lianne Dalziel said.

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