Consumer Ministers to consider retirement villages

Retirement villages and recent allegations of unfair practises will be discussed at a meeting of Federal, State and Territory Consumer Affairs Ministers.


Federal Small Business Minister Michael McCormack, responsible for consumer affairs said, “Recent reports include overly complex [retirement village] contracts, excessive fees and charges, high-pressure sales tactics, high exit fees and exorbitant refurbishment costs – which can impact on older Australians, their families and carers.”


Mr McCormack said although retirement villages are regulated by State legislation, retirement village contracts are also subject to the Australian Consumer Law, which prohibits unfair contract terms.


“It is important that when older Australians make the life-changing decision to enter a retirement village, they can be confident they have made the right decision and are supported by strong consumer protections.”


“I was concerned about recent media reports drawing attention to alleged unfair practises being imposed on residents of retirement villages,” Mr McCormack said.


“So I am going to work with my State and Territory counterparts to discuss this important issue.”


Mr McCormack will raise the issue of retirement villages at an upcoming meeting of Consumer Affairs Ministers in Melbourne on 31 August 2017.


The Ministers will consider the effectiveness of current legislation and enforcement arrangements covering the retirement village industry.


26 July 2017.