Recording information about a retirement village complaint or dispute

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The law has certain requirements around the recording of information on management complaints or resident disputes. 

Penalties apply for non-compliance. 

Resolved within 72 hours

Inform the complainant of the outcome and make a note of the complaint or dispute and the resolution. 

Not resolved within 72 hours 

The law prescribes how written records are to be created and maintained for complaints or disputes unable to be resolved within 72 hours (not counting weekends and public holidays). 

By law, you must: 

  • establish a separate (paper or electronic) file for each complaint or dispute, which must be retained for seven years 
  • immediately record in the file: 
    • the date of opening the file 
    • the name and address of the resident raising the complaint or dispute 
    • contact details for the resident or their representative 
    • whether the matter was raised orally or in writing 
    • whether it was a complaint about management or a dispute between residents          
    • detailed particulars of the complaint or dispute 
  • immediately place in the file copies of any correspondence or other documentation that the resident gives you. 

As soon as practicable, you must place in the file: 

  • a dated copy of written advice to the resident, summarising your understanding of the matter to be resolved 
  • the steps you intend to take 
  • the date by which you will advise the resident further. 

You must also place in the file, as soon as practicable after the event, a detailed description or copy of any further communication with the resident about: 

  • your understanding of any relevant issues to be resolved 
  • steps you intend to take or have taken, or 
  • the date by which you will advise the resident further. 

You must also place in the file, as soon as practicable after the event: 

  • notes of every action you have taken to resolve the complaint or dispute 
  • copies of all correspondence or other documentation you have received or sent about the complaint or dispute 
  • a copy of written notice to the resident that you consider: 
    • the dispute or complaint as resolved and setting out the details of its resolution, or 
    • that the complaint or dispute cannot be resolved, setting out the reasons why it cannot be resolved and advising that they may contact Consumer Affairs Victoria for information and advice, or seek independent legal advice. 

Though it is not a legal requirement, making a record of a complaint or dispute may include collecting relevant documentation and evidence - for example, photographs if the dispute involves the condition of the grounds, or advertising material if the dispute is about a resident’s expectations of facilities upon entering the village. 

We recommend you allow the residents named in the complaint or dispute, or their representatives, to inspect the file upon request unless there are special circumstances that make this unreasonable.