‘Buy-back’ obligations to extend to freehold retirement village units
The Health and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2018 (Bill) was introduced in the Legislative Assembly of Queensland last month.
The Bill seeks to amend the Retirement Villages Act 1999 (RV Act) to clarify the intention of certain provisions in the Housing Legislation (Building Better Futures) Amendment Act 2017 (HLA Act). Readers will recall that one of the changes made by the HLA Act included an obligation on a scheme operator to pay a former resident’s exit entitlement within 18 months after the termination date, regardless of whether the former resident’s right to reside was resold. The Bill seeks to clarify that the mandatory ‘buy-back’ provisions also extend to freehold retirement village units.
In particular, the amendments to the RV Act proposed by the Bill include:
A scheme operator may be exposed to a monetary penalty if it fails to comply with the mandatory ‘buy-back’ provisions. However, there is scope for a scheme operator to be excused from strict compliance with the new provisions in certain circumstances.
Scheme operators of freehold retirement villages should familiarise themselves with the new provisions as it is intended that the amendments will apply retrospectively from 10 November 2017. This means the first 18 month period could potentially expire in May 2019.