Retirement Living Alert: Retirement living legislation changes from 1 July 2019

27 June 2019


There are a number of retirement living legislation changes coming into effect from 1 July 2019 in NSW. Set out below is some information in relation to those changes – please let us know if you have any questions or would like help to comply with these new requirements.

Changes to the Retirement Villages Act 1999 (NSW) (RV Act) from 1 July

Our update on 28 February 2019 outlined the changes to the RV Act that will commence from 1 July 2019. They include:

  1. emergency plans for the village;
  2. annual emergency evacuation exercises and key safety information;
  3. meetings to explain village contract information to residents;
  4. consent for appointment of auditors;
  5. Fair Trading guidelines;
  6. new penalty notice offences.

Our alert from the 28th of February can be found here.

Average resident comparison figure (ARCF) calculations 

Following the latest ABS data release for the March 2019 quarter, the formula for your calculations of the ARCF needs to be updated to include the updated percentage of the average annual growth in property value, as applicable to your village depending on its location (Sydney or the rest of NSW) and type of dwellings (established house or attached dwelling). The updated percentages are:

  1. Median Price of Established House Transfers (unstratified); Sydney index – 7.09%;
  2. Median Price of Established House Transfers (unstratified); Rest of NSW index – 4.48%
  3. Median Price of Attached Dwelling Transfers (unstratified); Sydney index – 6.22%; or
  4. Median Price of Attached Dwelling Transfers (unstratified); Rest of NSW index – 4.09%.

If you use our Excel spreadsheet to calculate the ARCF for your village, you should update it to note the new applicable percentage. If you do not have that spreadsheet, please let us know and we can prepare one for you.

Rules of Conduct

The Rules of Conduct for Operators of Retirement Villages (the Rules) are intended to commence from 1 July 2019. At this stage, they are available only in a draft form released for public consultation and are being finalised by Department of Fair Trading following feedback from the public and market participants.  It is possible that the commencement of the Rules will be delayed to accommodate this feedback but we cannot confirm that at this stage.

Once the final Rules are available, we will circulate a further client alert.

Fair Trading Guidelines

Under section new section 189B of the RV Act (coming into effect from 1 July), Fair Trading may issue guidelines to assist operators of retirement villages in complying with their obligations under certain provisions commencing from 1 July 2019. We expect these Guidelines will soon be released to cover the following maters:

  • Village Contract Information Meetings;
  • Annual Auditing of Accounts;
  • Emergency Plans and Annual Evacuations.

We will provide more details in our client alert once the Guidelines are published.

For more information, please contact:

Arthur Koumoukelis | Partner | +61 2 8248 3437 |

Lucinda Smith | Partner | +61 2 9020 5748 |

Maryna Roganova | Senior Associate | +61 2 8248 5881 |