As of 1 July 2019, NSW Retirement Village Scheme Operators need to comply with new Rules of Conduct for Operators.
These Rules are part of reforms arising from the Inquiry into the NSW Retirement Village Sector which also contributed to the Retirement Villages Amendment Bill 2018 passed in the NSW Parliament in November last year.
The Rules of Conduct aim to help establish suitable standards of conduct and behaviour for all NSW operators in relation to the management of a retirement village, and include:
- mandating higher standards of customer service to ensure residents and prospective residents are treated with respect, dignity and fairness.
- promoting fair, honest, transparent and ethical practices for the marketing, promotion and transfer of residential premises in retirement villages.
- creating a framework for the avoidance, disclosure and management of conflicts of interest.
- establishing minimum standards for resolution of disputes and handling of complaints in a retirement village and escalation pathways for both residents and operators.
In addition to the above, new minimum training and competency standards for all retirement village operators and members of staff are required from the 1 July commencement date.
The new Rules of Conduct include provisions requiring each person involved in the management of NSW retirement village to have a comprehensive understanding of the Act and various other legislation relevant to the operation of an RV, such as knowledge of:
- the Retirement Villages Act 1999 and Regulation;
- strata laws; and
- other laws affecting the operation of a retirement village.
These rules are enforceable and penalties may apply for not following them.
Operators will need to take swift action and positive steps to ensure they are compliant.
Property and Legal have been assisting NSW Operators with their statutory obligations for training of management and staff. If we can assist you, please contact our RV team through the website.
For more detail on the proposed Rules, contact the Department of Fair Trading NSW.