For first time in “many years” NSW Fair Trading to audit retirement villages

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NSW Fair Trading is to audit retirement villages in the coming months over its Asset Management Plan, resales process and the speed of operator’s response to residents’ enquiries.

The news shocked operators, with some expressing surprise as there had been no inspections for “many years” and believed the department had bowed to pressure from residents.

The Asset Management Plan (AMP) has been highly contentious with both operators and residents. It requires operators to document the costs of purchase, and ongoing maintenance, repairs and replacement of a retirement village’s major items of capital, including shared major items of capital.

The SOURCE reported in April that NSW Fair Trading, which had extended the AMP deadline to 1 July, stated the department will not actively look to penalise operators who may have failed to prepare AMPs by the set deadlines for the first 12 months, provided the operator could show adequate evidence of attempting to prepare the data well before the deadline.

Operators complained that residents, fearful of catching COVID-19, did not want their homes entered to check on assets.

Craig Bennett, Retirement Villages Residents Association NSW President, said the department was “doing their job” after agreeing the AMP had dominated his life for the past 12 months.

NSW Fair Trading was asked for comment last Friday. It has not responded at the time of publication.