NSW Fair Trading releases new retirement village fee calculator – and inquiry dates for community consultations

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Launched last Tuesday, the calculator was developed over two years with KPMG and offers two options – basic and detailed – for prospective village residents to estimate their costs.

The basic calculator takes two minutes and is designed for people who may not have visited a village, while the detailed option takes 15 minutes and requires the disclosure statement from the village.

The Department also announced it will begin canvasing current and former residents, their families and advisers from October 3 as part of its inquiry into the sector led by Kathryn Greiner AO.

This will take place through a series of community forums being held in Sydney, Hornsby, Ballina, Port Macquarie, Newcastle, Wollongong, and Wagga Wagga. Residents, operators and managers can also make a submission to the inquiry using an online form or in writing.

The inquiry will be looking at a range of issues including:

  • Transparency and honesty of marketing activities
  • Clarity of fees and contractual rights and obligations for prospective residents and their families;
  • Suitability and fairness of village maintenance and operational practices to maintain resident safety;
  • Availability and cost-effectiveness of dispute resolution mechanisms; and
  • Fairness of arrangements to levy maintenance fees to maintain the village and address building defects.

At the Property Council’s Annual NSW Retirement Forum last week, Acting Commissioner Angelo Gavrielatos also said there would be two industry roundtables – one on 21 September for residents and another on 5 October for operators – but no word on how these will be taking place.

He did confirm however that the Department is “about halfway” through the contracts it sought from about 50 village operators several weeks ago, which we covered here.

With submissions for the inquiry set to close 31 October and a report expected by 15 December, we think they will be cutting it fine.

Find out more about the inquiry here.

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