Making the move easier on residents
Comprehensive changes to the Retirement Villages Act were recently unveiled that will bring greater protection for older Australians buying into villages, while making the process simpler for them.
Imagine Projects Senior Living Consultants executive director Emma Plasier, who also sits on the Property Council’s Retirement Living Board, said one of the significant changes was the mandatory buyback laws.
“If villages haven’t sold their units within 18 months they’re going to enforce the villages to purchase those units back from the vendor, because at the moment they don’t have this provision,” Ms Plasier said.
“We’ve also heard that new contracts are coming out on February 1, 2019.’’
Current contracts buyers must sign when they purchase in a retirement village have been criticised as too complex and confusing for older Australians.
“The new contracts that are coming out, are basically simpler, easier to understand and come with disclosure documents,’’ Ms Plasier said.
“There is even a village comparison document, so we go to one village and then go to the next village and then use that as a base and compare apples with apples, because at the moment it’s like comparing apples with cheese.”
Ms Plasier’s company works with retirement villages to create designs and services to meet the needs of the current retirement market.
She said her most recent project was working with OzCare in Hervey Bay on their upcoming retirement village.
“The one in Hervey Bay, we’ve had a design panel, and this is a fabulous village but in the early stages.
“We actually got a whole lot of consumer clients to meet on a regular basis and they’ve helped design the village and come up with financial models and we’re pulling together concepts for the village.
“We’ve actually just appointed one of them to help design, he’s part of the Men’s Shed, so he’s coming on board to help design the Men’s Shed for the village.
“This is the future, to actually get the consumers and let them tell the operators what it is that they want.”
Ms Plasier said she also worked on Alondra Residences, a “boutique” retirement village in Nundah on Brisbane’s northside.
The development is about to be launched to the market, and will offer 52 residences with a choice of one, two and three bedroom apartments, as well as an in-house concierge, rooftop gardens, cafe and in-house services.
Alondra Residences at Nundah will consist of 52 apartments with rooftop gardens, cafe and in-house services for its residents.