Caxton Legal Centre has provided a submission to the Property Council of Australia in response to their draft Australian Retirement Village Accreditation Scheme standards.
The goal of the Accreditation Scheme is “to reflect the modern expectations of retirement village residents, and the evolution of the sector beyond purely a property and facilities-based offering.”
Caxton is concerned that the proposed standards do not establish meaningful obligations for operators beyond the existing laws that already regulate the industry. If accreditation is to be used as a way of establishing the “best practice” standards for retirement communities, there is a need to focus on improving resident satisfaction and quality of life, rather than prioritising business achievements of village operators.
In particular, the over-emphasis on compliance and policy paperwork does little to assure residents that their individual rights will be respected. There is a real need for the standards to adopt resident-centric language, as part of a broader move towards improving service quality and developing a rights-focused culture amongst the industry.
In addition, the proposed standards could better articulate the level of compliance required for different scheme operators with differing operating requirements, according to their size, financial resources and levels of experience.
The submission further proposes that sales representatives for retirement villages should be bound to a higher degree of transparency, particularly when it comes to re-selling retirement village units.
The submission was prepared by Caxton’s Queensland Retirement Village and Parks Advisory Service, the only community legal centre program tasked with increasing the capacity of residents to present their interests to operators in Queensland.
The complete Caxton Legal Centre submission can be found here.
Further comment is available by contacting Brittan Smeed, Lawyer, at Caxton Legal Centre on (07) 3214 6333.