What is a retirement village?

Retirement villages are a form of independent living accommodation. They are mostly for retired people over the age of 55. They provide a community setting with access to a range of services. In Victoria, 467 retirement villages provide homes to about 36,000 people.

Retirement village homes are not a conventional property purchase or investment. They may offer prospective residents different types of tenure, contracts and payment arrangements.

Laws that apply to retirement villages

The Retirement Villages Act 1986 (RV Act) and its regulations apply to retirement villages in Victoria.

These laws aim to protect people who live in retirement villages and help them make the right decisions before they enter a village. The laws also put requirements and limits on village operators. For example, they must give prospective residents certain information before entering into a contract.

The RV Act also:

  • seeks to protect residents’ payment of an ‘ingoing contribution’
  • limits what operators can include in a contract
  • specifies cooling-off rights
  • limits increases on certain charges and levies
  • limits the operator’s right to end a contract, and
  • imposes some annual financial reporting requirements on operators.

We would like your views on the application and scope of the RV Act.

Questions for consideration

  1. Should the payment of an ingoing contribution be the defining factor in determining whether the RV Act applies to a retirement village? If not, what other considerations would be appropriate?
  2. Is the definition of ‘retirement village’ under the RV Act otherwise appropriate? If not, what changes would you recommend?

Current purpose of the RV Act

The stated purpose of the RV Act is to clarify and protect the rights of people who live in, or want to live in, retirement villages.

We would like your views on the current purpose of the RV Act.

Questions for consideration

  1. Is the current purpose of the RV Act still appropriate? If not, what do you think the legislative purpose of the RV Act should be?

Registration of a retirement village

Consumer Affairs Victoria maintains a public register of retirement villages. To keep the register current, village operators must provide and update:

  • the name and address of the village
  • details of any exemption order, and
  • the name and address of the village manager.

We would like your views on the purpose and use of the current register of retirement villages.

Questions for consideration

  1. What improvements could be made to the register of retirement villages?
  2. What other information should operators be required to include in the register?