More changes to the Retirement Villages Act 1999 (Queensland)
By Helen Kay19 Nov 2018
A new Bill has been introduced into the Queensland parliament proposing additional changes to the Retirement Villages Act 1999 (the Act). The proposed amendments aim to deliver consistent protections for all residents across Queensland’s retirement village sector. The suite of changes, including those changes we have previously provided commentary on, continues the Government’s extensive reform into the legislation governing the sector. You can see our previous article here.
The Health and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2018 (the Bill) was introduced on 13 November 2018 highlighting yet more amendments to the Act.
The Bill will amend the Act to ensure that residents with an interest in a freehold tenured village will also get the benefit of the compulsory buyback provisions that were implemented in previous changes to the Act for residents who lease or licence their units.
These proposed amendments bring consistency across all tenure types and require the scheme operator to “buy back” the unsold unit from the outgoing resident after 18 months by entering into a contract with the resident to purchase the unit. The provisions are intended to provide certainty for residents and improve financial security to enable them to fund their move to their next accommodation.
The changes are intended to apply to existing contracts in a retirement village to create the same protections for new and existing residents.
Operators of villages containing freehold tenures will need to consider changes to their suite of documents to ensure compliance with the proposed amendments.
Reasonable legal expenses incurred by a scheme operator in relation to the purchase may be able to be passed on from the operator to the former resident, but the operator is prohibited from charging the former resident a sales commission on the mandatory buyback.
As the Bill compels the mandatory purchase of a property by the scheme operator and transfer duty may apply to the transaction, the Bill amends the Duties Act 2001 to provide a transfer duty exemption.
As a leading legal services provider to the retirement village sector, Hynes Legal is well placed to assist operators with review and redrafting of their scheme documents to ensure compliance with the new legislation.
The content of this report is not intended to be a substitute for legal advice. If you are interested in obtaining further advice in relation to the upcoming changes to the retirement village legislation or require changes to your documents to ensure they are compliant, please contact Helen Kay, Associate Director – Aged Care and Retirement Living, Hynes Legal.