NSW retirement village operators must provide data to government

NSW retirement village operators have been told it is now necessary to provide the state government with data to overcome a ‘lack of transparency’.

Operators have until September 30 to provide the data after the NSW government passed the Amendment to the Retirement Villages (Operator Obligations) Regulations 2022.

“These regulations are part of the New South Wales Government’s response to the 2017 Greiner Inquiry into the New South Wales retirement village sector and addresses concerns about the lack of transparency of critical data on the retirement villages necessary for the regulator and consumers to make decisions”, said NSW Fair Trading.

Operators are required to provide data on the following categories to the Secretary of the Customer Service Department:

  • Name, address and contact details of retirement village and operator
  • Residents’ committee information (if applicable)
  • Number of units
  • Type of residence
  • Information on complaints handled internally by the operator
  • Village contracts or pricing
  • Resident and staff demographic information
  • Other management and operational details

The operators are also required to submit annual data within one month of the end of the village’s fiscal year. If any of the information changes, they are required to provide updated data within 21 days of becoming aware of the change.

The NSW Government will release some of the data it deems relevant to consumers in a publicly accessible digital portal next year.

“As CEO of Warrigal with 10 villages across NSW and several more in development planning, we welcome the amendments to the NSW RVA being implemented this week,” said Mark Sewell (pictured), Director of the Foundation on the ACCPA Board of Directors.

“The type of reforms underway now are, in our view, minimum public reporting requirements for good operators. We see ourselves as more than home builders. We create places where communities of seniors can thrive. It needs psychological security and trust to be reciprocated. Older people often invest large sums, even their life savings, in an older people’s village assuming they have a trusted operator who can ensure they are safe now, engaged regularly and have support. if they need it in the future. If all operators do this, we build trust in our industry and we all win.

“This is an annual requirement so should not be onerous for operators unless the government provides a simple and user-friendly portal. It’s the least they should do. Added Mark, who in August announced he would retire in October 2022.

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