NSW retirement village operators exempt from non-compliance with Retirement Villages Act during COVID-19 – until end of September

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The NSW Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation, Kevin Anderson (pictured above), has amended the Act temporarily to prevent operators being found non-compliant with certain provisions while following Public Health Orders during the pandemic.

A number of village and LLC operators have had complaints from residents about being cut off from community facilities while still being charged their regular fees – with some threatening to go to the tribunal in one case.

The exemptions – which are subject to a number of conditions and will apply from 29 May until 26 September 2020 – include:

  • Authorising the village operator to vary or withdraw access to services and facilities without the consent of the residents, for example, a library, swimming pool or other common area.
  • Suspending the need for the operator to convene meetings with or between the residents where meetings that would exceed the number of people permitted to gather in one place.
  • Authorising the operator to create new village rules or amend existing village rules, without the need for a special resolution of the residents, for example, where the operator needs to make a temporary rule regarding access to facilities (pool, gym or other common area) within the village.
  • Authorising the operator to temporarily adjust the financial management of a village, without the need for a vote or special resolution of the residents. For example, when a meeting of the residents which may not be possible because of social distancing requirements.
  • Authorising an operator to introduce control measures that temporarily limit or restrict access to villages or parts of a village during the COVID-19 pandemic, notwithstanding it may interfere with a resident’s right to sell, let or sublet his or her home.
  • Authorising the residents of a village to provide consent via alternative voting methods not recognised under the Act during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read the full orders here or a summary here.