Caxton Legal Centre has provided a submission to the independent review of timeframes for exit payments in Queensland retirement villages.
The independent review is currently assessing the impacts of the 18-month mandatory buy-back period under the Retirement Villages Act 1999 (Qld), and will inform future legislative intervention in this area.
Our submission supports retaining the existing 18-month mandatory buy-back period in both leasehold and freehold retirement villages in Queensland.
In particular, Caxton Legal Centre’s Queensland Retirement Village and Park Advisory Service team have observed significant reductions in the number of retirement village residents (and former residents) seeking advice about the selling and moving-out process since the 18-month mandatory buy-back laws were introduced. This suggests that the new laws have reduced the number of disputes between residents and village operators.
We have also seen less residents/former residents presenting with concerns about financial hardship, because the new laws have given them greater certainty about when they will be able to access their exit entitlement payment.
While Caxton Legal Centre acknowledges concerns about financial viability have been raised by certain operators (including some resident-operated villages), in our view, the 18-month mandatory buy-back laws have helped level the playing field by appropriately re-distributing financial risk between village operators and outgoing residents.