This article is the first in a series that looks at Retirement Village regulations in Queensland. With many variations between all Australian states, we examine the Retirement Villages Act 1999 and its more recent updates to outline the requirements for all Queensland operators.
Under the Retirement Villages Act 1999, all retirement village operators in Queensland must register their schemes. This is different to other states and territories in Australia. It is an offence under the Act to purport to run a scheme or even undertake various steps prior to it being registered.
You cannot operate a retirement village scheme in Queensland if you:
- are insolvent under administration;
- have a conviction for fraud or dishonesty punishable by at least 3 months imprisonment, or for an offence of physical violence.
The process appears quite simple in that all you need to do to register a retirement village scheme:
- Complete a Retirement Villages – Application for registration as a retirement village scheme (Form 2) (PDF, 393KB)
- Pay the registration fee – which is currently – $2,387.60 (new scheme) and the criminal history check fee of $39.75 (inc. GST)
- Complete your Retirement Villages – Village comparison document (VCD) (Form 3) (DOC, 262KB)
- Provide originals or certified copies of your birth certificate, birth extract, passport, Australian Citizenship Certificate or drivers licence
- Lodge the entire application (with associated materials)
What you will need
In order to complete and lodge your Form 2 application to register a retirement village, you will need to provide an overview of contractual relationships, including:
- a copy of all residence contracts and lease documents;
- a copy of any ancillary contracts or service agreements including for provision of personal or care services by the scheme operator or an associated entity;
- a copy of the application to reside (if any); and
- the village comparison document for the scheme.
You will also need to provide details about the financial budgets and charges for the village, including:
- a copy of the first capital replacement fund budget;
- a copy of the first maintenance reserve fund budget;
- a copy of the first general services charges budget;
- details of how the general services charge and maintenance reserve fund contribution are calculated;
- details of the scheme’s quantity surveyor and a copy of the quantity surveyor report; and
- details of any fees and charges that the resident may be required to pay that are not included in the village comparison document for the scheme.
Essentially this means you will need to have all your scheme documents (for example Village Comparison Document, leases, etc.) in place at an early stage.
The time it takes upon which to be registered depends largely on the completeness of your application and to a certain extent the complexity.
As there are penalties for running an unregistered scheme and indeed taking steps before registration, the sooner you commence your application process the better. The chief executive must decide whether to register or refuse to register a retirement village scheme within 60 days of receipt of a complete application for registration.
In some cases you may be asked to provide additional information, in this instance, the 60 days would start from the day you provide the information.
After your application is processed
If your application is approved, your scheme’s name and details are placed on a list that the public can search to confirm you are registered. If your application is not approved, you will be notified in writing, with reasons you were declined provided, at this point you are able to appeal the decision or attend to the reasons stated and reapply. Appealing a decision If you receive a notice that your application has been declined, you may apply under the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009 for a review of the decision by the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT).