SMH 29 March 2012 – report on heartache for retirees entering into retirement village contracts
Retirement village contracts can be quite complex. Many residents end up signing away their entire life savings because they have no idea what they are signing. The president of the Retirement Village Residents Association, Ms Jan Pritchett, says that “one of the biggest problems is that people go to look at the village, fall in love with the facilities and then get handed a 300-page contract which they sign, often at a time when they are very vulnerable”.
What is the NSW Government doing about this? The NSW Government is committed to developing a standard contract for retirement villages, which is written in plain-English. The contract will contain all the important information that residents should know, including the key financial details. The details would be presented in a way that would make it easier to understand, so that residents can compare and understand the differences in costs and conditions between different retirement villages before entering into a binding contract. The Fair Trading Minister, Mr Anthony Roberts, said this new standard contract would end “a lot of heartache”. To have a look at the draft Standard Form Village Contract, click here.
In the meantime, it is important that retirees do not sign up for retirement villages unless they understand the financial and other implications. If you want advice about a retirement village contract, contact our Property Law team on firstname.lastname@example.org.