Inquiry into the Retirement Housing Sector – Parliament of Victoria. Legal and Social Issues Committee

Extract

Victoria’s population is ageing and causing significant growth in demand for retirement housing. At the same time, residents have heightened expectations about the services that will be delivered. This creates a range of challenges for government and industry, and also prompted significant public interest in this Inquiry. It’s important for the Victorian Government to ensure that legislation keeps pace with change, and in a way that protects consumers and provides the sector with the certainty it needs to grow. A variety of issues and problems were raised in evidence or through submissions. Contracts are complicated and are not always well understood by all parties. Reliable legal access may be hard to access. There are significant cost of living pressures for those on fixed incomes. Relationships between residents and management are sometimes fractious and existing options to resolve disputes are poorly regarded by many residents.

  • Chapter 1 The first three chapters of the Inquiry into the retirement housing sector include background information needed to understand the key issues discussed in the Report. Chapter 1 provides an overview of the Inquiry methodology and introduces the main topics the Committee focused on throughout the Inquiry.
  • Chapter 2 focuses on the factors that influence retirement housing supply and demand.
  • Chapter 3 examines retirement housing legislation and introduces related issues addressed in detail throughout the remainder of the Report.
  • Chapter 4 Retirees entering a form of retirement housing are usually required to sign a contract. These documents can be long – sometimes over 100 pages – and technical, making rights and obligations even more difficult to understand.
  • Chapter 5 Buying a ‘right to reside’ in a retirement village, as opposed to a freehold land acquisition, is different to a ‘normal’ property purchase because of the costs involved and the security of tenure. The costs fall into three groups: ingoing; ongoing; and outgoing … and, finishes with an examination of the Aged Care Rule in Victoria, which requires retirement villages to pay the entry fees of residents entering aged care.
  • Chapter 6 examines evidence about management standards in the retirement housing sector and related issues such as a perceived power imbalance in favour of management and security of tenure.
  • Chapter 7 addresses the retirement housing dispute resolution model in Victoria.

SOURCE: Parliament of Victoria. Legal and Social Issues Committee. “Inquiry into the Retirement Housing Sector.” Parliament of Victoria, March 2017

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