The Queensland Government seems to have done an about-turn on previous indications that they would adopt standardised Retirement Village contracts similar to those used in NSW.
We have recently been advised by the Department of Housing and Public Works that they won’t be proceeding with the standard form contract in Queensland and are still involved in consultation as to what the standard and prohibited terms for resident contracts will be, in an approach more similar to the ACT model, and to a lesser extent Victoria.
In our INSIGHT from November 2017 Retirement Village Documentation – Will Queensland Get It Right? we commented that “whilst the NSW law requires a standardised form of document… a scheme operator is permitted to include … any number of additional provisions. What residents and lawyers alike find confusing is following a clause in a residence contract where half the intention is set out in the standard terms, and the balance of the clause is set out within additional provisions in an entirely different section of the contract. These additional terms are often important and/or provide benefits above those legislated to residents.”
The Queensland Government at least recognises that having a standard form contract does not achieve a universally recognised contract with so many different offerings, additional clauses, addendums, and so on. Which in effect undoes the one-fits-all objective and would likely create more, not less confusion.
We welcome this revised approach and look forward to seeing the finalised requirements. We do acknowledge however the frustration for those new operators who have been anticipating the changes scheduled this year, and are still waiting in the wings to finalise drafting their contracts, as well as existing operators who will also need to amend theirs to suit.