Having a say in your retirement village

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Annual meeting of retirement village residents

The retirement village manager must hold an annual meeting of residents. They must provide the following information:

1. A statement signed by the owner of the retirement village land, which must detail:

  • refundable ingoing contributions - whether contributions that should have been paid out over the past 12 months were paid in full and according to requirements. The statement must give reasons for any failure to do so
  • debt management - whether the owner is aware of any reasons why the village will not be able to meet its debts during the next 12 months, and why.

2. A financial statement that details:

  • the previous 12 months' income and expenditure
  • any provision for future extraordinary or major works
  • expected expenditure on goods and services for the next 12 months
  • any proposed increases in maintenance charges to be paid by residents
  • any special levies residents may be asked to pay.

The financial statement must be audited, unless residents have agreed by special resolution at the previous annual meeting to waive this requirement. A special resolution requires the support of at least 75 per cent of residents attending and voting at the meeting.

3. A report on internal complaints and disputes during the past year, including:

  • the number and types
  • action taken to resolve them
  • their outcomes, and
  • any changes made or proposed to address issues requiring a broader response.

For more information about dispute resolution, view our Resolve disputes in your retirement village page.

If there is an owners corporation (formerly body corporate) in the retirement village

The annual meeting requirements of both the Retirement Villages Act 1986 and the Owners Corporation Act 2006 must be met.

For more information, view our Owners corporation annual general meeting page.

Retirement village residents' committee

No owners corporation

When there is no owners corporation, the retirement village residents may elect a residents' committee to represent their interests. Some residents' committees manage services, organise outings and recreational activities or help resolve minor disputes. Residents may also choose not to have a residents committee.

All residents can stand for election to the residents' committee. Committee members hold office for one year and may be re-appointed.

A committee member can be removed from office by a special resolution passed by a meeting of residents.

Residents' committees establish their own meeting procedures and decide how often to meet. They can also call a meeting of all residents at the retirement village.

When there is an owners corporation:

  • the owners corporation has the legal powers of a residents committee under the Retirement Villages Act 1986, as well as powers under the Owners Corporations Act 2006
  • owner residents are automatically members of the owners corporation. They have the right to attend owners corporation meetings and stand for election to the owners corporation committee.

For more information, view our Owners corporations section.

Voting proxies in retirement villages

If you cannot attend an annual meeting or committee meeting, you can appoint someone you trust to represent you. This person holds your voting proxy and their vote is counted as if it were yours.

Retirement village managers, anyone they nominate, or any of their close associates cannot hold a resident's voting proxy unless the resident is a relative. Any such proxies that existed before 2006 are invalid.

Retirement village rules

A retirement village without an owners corporation can have rules or by-laws, but this is not compulsory.

If a retirement village has rules, a copy must be included in the residence documents provided to you before entering the village. For a list of documents that a retirement village operator must give you, view our Before you sign a retirement village contract page.

Retirement village rules relate to the use, enjoyment, control and management of the retirement village. The rules usually deal with:

  • visitors and guests
  • noise
  • security
  • pets
  • garbage disposal
  • car parking
  • restrictions on the use of services and facilities
  • the external appearance of residents' premises
  • gardening and landscaping.

Changing retirement village rules

You can only create, change or revoke retirement village rules by special resolution. This does not apply if your retirement village has an owners corporation. For more information about the operation of owners corporations, view our Owners corporations section.

Retirement village rules must comply with Commonwealth or Victorian laws - for example, they cannot contravene privacy or anti-discrimination laws.

Powers of attorney in a retirement village

A power of attorney enables you to appoint a family member or trusted friend to manage your legal and financial affairs, if you become ill or travel overseas.

You can only appoint a retirement village manager as your power of attorney if you are related to them. You cannot appoint their close associates, or someone they nominate.

This practice was permitted by law before 31 January 2006. Powers of attorney which existed prior to that time remain unchanged.

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