COTA SA welcomes State Government’s new Retirement Villages Bill

Media Release 14th April 2016

COTA SA has welcomed Minister Zoe Bettison's announcement that will see a new Retirement Villages Bill introduced into Parliament next week.

COTA SA Chief Executive Jane Mussared said while the much-awaited Bill did not address everything COTA SA had asked for, it is a significant improvement on the current Act which dates back to 1987.

"The Minister has advised that the Bill (which COTA SA will not see until it is introduced) will propose the introduction of an 18 month statutory repayment provision so that residents leaving a village must be paid out for their unit, whether or not it has been relicensed," Ms Mussared said.

"This has been a major sticking point for residents. Only last week, one of our members in her 90s wrote to us to say that even though she and her husband had vacated their unit over two years ago, they had not been able to access their investment in it because it had not been relicensed. This provides no certainty for people."

Ms Mussared said the new provision is an important line in the sand for retirement village residents, despite the timeframe not being the 12 months initially proposed.

"We are also very happy to hear that the Bill will enable residents to continue to occupy their unit while it is being relicensed. At the moment residents are required to move out even though the unit may be vacant, which is often highly disruptive and stressful."

Ms Mussared said that consideration of the Bill required the Minister to find a balance that was fair between the interests of the resident and those of the operator.

"It has also been important in terms of modernising retirement villages' protections so that they stay a viable and attractive option for some older people," Ms Mussared said.

"Without such consumer protections, many older people were not prepared to consider retirement villages as a housing option."

Download a copy of the 2016 Retirement Villages Bill

Further media information contact:
Amber Fromm - amber@communikate.net.au | 0400 324 220
Bec Tape - rtape@communikate.net.au | 0438 806 983

Download a copy of the media release