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Update - changes to the Retirement Village legislation (Queensland) to commence from 1 February 2019

09 Nov 2018

As noted in our previous articles, the majority of the changes to the Retirement Villages Act 1999 (Qld) (RV Act) made by the Housing Legislation (Building Better Futures) Amendment Bill 2017 have not yet commenced. In May this year we provided an update regarding the Queensland Government’s proposed timetable for the roll out of the reforms, including both consultation and implementation phases. 

The government has now announced the date for the commencement of the next stage of the amendments to the RV Act has been proclaimed to be  in effect from 1 February 2019 with the remaining amendments to commence on 19 October 2019 (if they are not proclaimed to commence earlier).

The changes that will commence on 1 February 2019 include:

  1. New Pre-Contractual Disclosure Documents: Village Comparison Document and Prospective Costs Document to replace the current Public Information Document (PID).
  2. Additional required content of the residence contract - for example, requiring the capital replacement fund and maintenance reserve fund provisions to be included in the residence contract.
  3. New Unit Entry and Exit Condition Reports to be completed at commencement and termination of residence contracts within strict guidelines. 
  4. Requirement for operators to maintain a website on which they must publish the village comparison document.
  5. New provisions relating to misleading or deceptive conduct by operators including false or misleading documents.
  6. Amended definition of 'maintenance reserve fund contribution' to remove it from being part of the general services charges.
  7. New narrower definition of 'reinstatement work' that establishes the "same condition" test.
    If the resident does not leave the unit in the same condition as when they entered the unit (except for fair wear and tear and agreed renovations), the operator may carry out reinstatement work and claim the cost from the resident.  
  8. New renovation work rules to be introduced:
    "Renovation work" is replacement and repairs other than reinstatement work.
    The operator and former resident must agree on the date when renovation work to the unit will be completed. The cost of the work is paid by the parties in the same proportion they share in any capital gain on the sale of the unit. 
    If the operator fails to complete the renovation work by the agreed date, the former resident may obtain a QCAT order that the operator pay the exit entitlement. The former resident must show they were materially prejudiced by the failure.
  9. Changing the requirement for the resale value agreed between a scheme operator and a resident with respect to former resident’s right to reside to be updated every three (3) months (rather than every six (6) months)
  10. New unit valuation requirements including where the operator and resident can now make submissions (and respond to each other’s submissions) about the valuation of the resale value of the unit to the valuer.

Operators should begin preparations now to ensure compliance with the new provisions by 1 February 2019.

Questions?

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 in Queensland please contact Helen Kay, Associate Director – Aged Care and Retirement Living, Hynes Legal. 

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