NSW Government’s new buyback rules for retirement villages pass Parliament

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Two years after they were first touted, the NSW Government has forced through changes to the Retirement Village Act 1999 that introduce six-month buybacks for villages in metropolitan areas and 12 months in regional areas.

As we covered here in June, Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation, Kevin Anderson (pictured above), said the changes would enter Parliament later this year.

Under the reforms, operators are now required to pay exit entitlements to residents if a unit remains unsold after six months in metropolitan areas or 12 months in the regions, residents will be eligible to receive their exit entitlements if they have not taken reasonable steps to facilitate a sale.

Operators will also have to cover a portion of the estimated sale price for residents entering residential care directly to their aged care provider so residents who can’t sell their home quickly can still pay a DAP, with a 42-day cap also placed on the payment of recurrent charges for general services.

The changes were recommended following Kathryn Greiner AO’s independent report into NSW retirement villages conducted in 2017 after the Four Corners investigation of the sector.

Mr Anderson says the reforms will increase accountability and transparency in villages.

“These new laws are putting power back into the hands of residents and making sure they are not taken advantage of,” he said.