Q. What do I need to know when considering whether to move into a Retirement Village?
A. Have a look at the RRVV’s Information for Prospective Retirement Village Residents. Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) also has a good introduction to retirement village matters on its website; click here.
Q. What is the difference between a Retirement Village and a Residential Aged Care Facility?
A. Retirement villages provide independent living units for people aged 55 and over; the operator/manager is not obliged to provide any assistance with personal care. On the other hand, a residential aged care facility provides personal assistance on a daily basis, including cleaning, meals and medication, and entry is subject to assessment. Some aged care facilities can be found adjacent to, or on the same site as, a retirement village.
Q. What rights do I have as a resident of a retirement village?
A. The Retirement Villages Act is intended to “protect the rights of persons who live in ….. retirement villages”; parts 6 & 6A provide some useful information on resident participation in the management of villages and how retirement villages are supposed to be run, including procedures for dealing with complaints and disputes. However, the Act is not comprehensive and is not clear on many practical issues facing residents.
Q. How do we arrange to have a secret ballot instead of a show of hands at our AGM and other formal meetings of residents?
A. At least two weeks before the meeting, ask the chairman of your Residents Committee (or Owners Corporation Committee, if applicable) to arrange a secret ballot for each relevant resolution – such as the election of the committee. If your request is refused, tell the chairman you will put a resolution at the meeting that the voting be conducted by means of a secret ballot, and make sure your resolution is included in the meeting agenda. Do this at the start of the meeting to allow time for the voting slips and a ballot box to be organised.
If your village is strata-titled and has an Owners Corporation, have a look at the relevant CAV voting and ballot guidelines.
The RRVV may be able to assist with conducting a secret ballot at your village. Our contact details are on the “Contact”page (use the link on top of this page).
Q. How can I get our village management to respond to maintenance requests?
A. Make sure your request is made in writing, preferably on a form for this purpose, stating the date of the original request and a description of the work required. Keep a copy for your own reference.
If you don’t get a satisfactory response, you can print out a Residential Accommodation Complaint Form from the Consumer Affairs Victoria website, enter the relevant details on the form and post it to the CAV (their address is at the bottom of the form). You can ‘phone the CAV on 1300 55 8181 for assistance.
If the CAV is not able to help you to get the matter resolved, you may make an application to the Victorian Civil & Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). See also “Complaints” on our “Guidelines”page.
Q. Who can stand for election to the Residents Committee?
A. All residents are entitled to stand for election. Once elected, committee members hold office for a year, and may stand again for election in subsequent years.
Q. Are proxies allowed in Annual General Meetings and other meetings of residents?
A. If you cannot attend an AGM you may appoint a proxy to represent you and vote on your behalf. The person you appoint may be a fellow resident or a non-resident such as a family member. A village manager, or a close associate of the manager, cannot be appointed as a proxy. For more details, have a look at the Retirement Villages Act 1986. However, the Act does not say whether proxies are permitted at a meeting of residents called to consider a special resolution.
For those villages that have Owners Corporations, a resident (ie a “lot owner”) may appoint a proxy for any meeting held under the Owners Corporation Act. For details, please refer to Part 4 of the Owners Corporations Act 2006.
Q. How do I get a copy of the current version of the Retirement Villages Act?
A. Go to Victorian Legislation and Parliamentary Documents and click on “Victorian Law Today”.
1. Under “Search” click on the “Acts” button, type in “retirement villages act” and click on the “Start” button.
2. Select “126/1986 Retirement Villages Act 1986”
3. Download the “Authorised Version” highlighted in blue.
There is also a set of regulations associated with the Act. You can get a copy by going back to Step 1, clicking on “Statutory Rules” (under “Search”) and typing in “retirement villages”. The relevant document is “99/2006 Retirement Villages (Contractual Arrangements) Regulations 2006”.
Both documents incorporate amendments as at 1 July 2014.
If the RRVV can give any further assistance, please give us a ring on 03 9015 8402. If you have a question that you would like to be included here, please send it to us using the email form on the “Contact” page.