Rolling off the back of the Fairfax/Four Corners exposé on the village sector, the WA Consumer Protection Unit has launched a special investigation unit to look into retirement village complaints, particularly the contracts being offered by the state’s operators.
WA’s Seniors’ Housing Advisory Centre received more than 500 enquiries relating to retirement villages and Consumer Protection in FY2016/17.
Just 33 of these complaints were investigated, with most regarding contract disputes and the fees being charged by operators.
Acting Commissioner for Consumer Protection David Hillyard says a key focus of the unit will be the Deferred Management Fee (DMF).
“They will look at how clearly these exit fees are outlined in the residents’ pre-contract documents and whether these clauses in the contracts pass the fairness test under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL),” he said.