Current & Recent Activities

Membership Renewals

If you haven’t already done so, please renew your membership for 2018/19. The simplest way is to go to our Membership Application Page and select ‘Renewal’ under ‘Type Of Membership’. Thanks to all those members who have already renewed.


CAV Commences Criminal Proceedings Against Retirement Village Operator!

Consumer Affairs Victoria has commenced criminal proceedings against Stephen Snowden, who allegedly operated the Berkeley Village retirement village in Patterson Lakes between July and September of 2017, when he was not permitted to do so. CAV is seeking a financial penalty against Mr Snowden. The matter will be heard at the Frankston Magistrates’ Court.


Retirement Living Council Code of Conduct

Retirement village residents are invited to provide their feedback on the draft version of a new national Retirement Living Code of Conduct, which all retirement community owners and operators will be encouraged to sign up for to demonstrate their commitment to residents.

The Code is supported by the three peak bodies representing retirement living owners and operators; the Property Council of Australia, Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) and Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA).

Before the Code is officially introduced, members of the industry and the general public are invited to provide comment on the draft, which can be viewed at www.retirementliving.org.au/codeofconduct. Your local retirement village resident association can also provide you with a copy too.

Feedback can be submitted via email to alowcock@propertycouncil.com.au. You can also write to Mr Andrew Lowcock, Property Council of Australia, Level 7, 136 Exhibition St, Melbourne VIC 3000.

The consultation period on the Code of Conduct has been extended to Monday, 31 August 2018, with the final Code to be launched later in the year.

RRVV has already made a submission jointly with the Consumer Action Law Centre (CALC), Council On The Ageing (COTA Victoria) and Housing for the Aged Action Group (HAAG). Click Here for a copy of our submission which refers to a previous submission made earlier this year.


 Part-time Office Assistant Vacancy

RRVV is looking for an Office Assistant who will staff the office for a few hours a day for three to four days a week to perform a variety of clerical tasks and answer telephone calls, thus freeing up committee members for more member support and lobbying work.

The primary challenge is to support the committee member responsible for membership in a drive to enrol new members. The office assistant will also support the treasurer, particularly at membership renewal time, to deal with members’ enquiries and carry out a number of clerical tasks.

The position calls for:

  • An appreciation of the needs and expectations of retired people
  • A pleasant and sympathetic telephone manner
  • Experience of office procedures and practices
  • A reasonable level of computer literacy – in particular, experience of email, Microsoft Word and Excel (some training can be provided).

The working hours are flexible and can be arranged to fit in with other commitments. The RRVV office is located in Caulfield junction.

Applications should be emailed to admin@rrvv.org.au


Service Fee Increases for 2018/19

The extent to which operators of retirement villages can increase their service fees or “maintenance charge” without reference to residents is limited to 2.19% for the current financial year (1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019).  Read More


Help for Retirement Village Disputes Now Available in One Place

Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) now refers relationship disputes between retirement village residents or management to the Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria (DSCV) for support.

DSCV provides a free and confidential range of dispute resolution services, including advice and conflict coaching to people to help resolve their own disputes.

Previously, Consumer Affairs Victoria provided a conciliation service for disputes between a resident and a manager, while disputes between residents could be taken to DSCV.

Consumer Affairs Victoria will continue to educate retirement village operators and managers about their legal obligations, and address any breaches of the law. Residents and managers can still contact Consumer Affairs Victoria for information on their rights and responsibilities, including the steps they can take if there is a dispute.

Consumer Affairs Victoria recommends that residents and managers should first try to resolve any complaint or dispute through the village’s internal dispute resolution scheme.

For information about retirement villages, visit

www.consumer.vic.gov.au/retirementvillages

For information about the range of dispute resolution services provided by DSCV, visit:         www.disputes.vic.gov.au


An Agenda for Ageing in Victoria

RRVV has joined 17 other organisations in an alliance to press for practical and timely action to improve the quality of life for all Victorians as we age. The campaign is headed by COTA (Council of the Aged Victoria) and is calling for a comprehensive statewide action plan that sets out the challenges, opportunities and actions across all government departments.  Read More


Making a Complaint to Consumer Affairs Victoria

If you think that your retirement village manager has done something wrong, you can lodge a complaint with Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV). Click Here for a few tips on how to make a complaint.

A copy of CAV’s recently introduced complaint form is available Here.


Electricity Supplies in Retirement Villages

Thank you to those members who told us about their views and experiences of their electricity suppliers, in response to RRVV’s request. This information was sought to provide input to a number of consultation meetings held with the Essential Services Commission during the past six months, regarding the regulation of electricity sellers in embedded networks in retirement villages, apartment buildings, caravan parks, etc. Members’ responses indicate that about half the retirement village residents in Victoria are supplied with electricity by village operators.

The commission has released a draft decision designed to ensure that village residents and other customers supplied via embedded networks have similar protections to other energy consumers. The proposed rules require village operators who sell electricity to residents to:

  • make sure they get a resident’s consent to an electricity selling arrangement
  • provide a separate bill with specific details to each resident
  • ensure that information provided to residents is clear
  • offer assistance to residents who have difficulty paying electricity bills
  • follow rules for disconnecting residents including those with life support equipment.

The commission has announced its intention to release its final decision in September so that the new regulations can take effect from 1 January 2019.

Read More


It’s time for an ombudsman into retirement housing! 

Ellen Sandell, State MP for Melbourne, has organised an online petition which, we understand, will be given personally to the Minister for Consumer Affairs. The petition calls upon the government  to establish an Ombudsman into retirement housing as a step towards providing people with an accessible, free, and quick service to solve retirement living issues.

If you would like to support this campaign, Click Here.


Victoria Votes 2018

Together with our friends at COTA Victoria, HAAG and Consumer Action, RRVV has produced a pamphlet which identifies four urgent reforms for the Victorian government to undertake: access to justice through fast, free and fair dispute resolution, prohibiting excessive fees, making management training and accreditation mandatory and putting a stop to complex contracts.

For a copy of the pamphlet, Click Here

The group has also produced an advocacy kit for residents and families

– available Here


Inquiry into the Retirement Housing Sector

A copy of the report of the Government inquiry into retirement housing is available by clicking the following button.

Final Report

The Committee received 766 submissions including many from our members, as well as a submission from the RRVV. Click on the blue button to read these submissions:

Read Submissions

Of the 15 recommendations made, RRVV is targetting four:

  1. A free and expert dispute resolution service with the power to make binding determinations that owners and operators cannot appeal – an ombudsman or similar (Recommendation 15)
  2. Mandatory village accreditation with minimum standards (Recommendation 11)
  3. A comprehensive review of the Retirement Villages Act – not just a patch
    up (Recommendation 2)
  4. Independent formal training of village managers and key staff at a level commensurate with responsibility (Recommendation 12)

Council Rates

Property Council Rates PostcardThe Property Council – the peak body for operators of retirement villages – is conducting a campaign to persuade local councils to introduce differential rates for retirement villages. If you are asked to fill in one of these postcards (on left), please do so, and make sure they are sent to as many councillors as possible. In this way, the RRVV and its members can keep this important issue alive and hopefully bring it o a successful conclusion.

The RRVV supports the Property Council in its endeavours to achieve a rate reduction for all retirement village residents.

 


Free Publicity for your Village Events

If you would like to publicise events or activities in your village to a wider audience, please send us the details via email to rrvv.vic.newsletters@gmail.com and we will put them on our Events page on this website.


Join our Email List!

If you would like to receive emails from RRVV, please click on the green button:

Click Here to Join RRVV Email List