The law is failing to protect Western Australian seniors who choose to live in retirement villages.
Many seniors have experienced unfair practices including complicated contracts; mismanagement; discrepancies between the rights of village owners and residents; excessive management and exit fees, and inadequate or lengthy complaints resolution processes.
There is little or no recourse. There were 484 inquiries made to Consumer Protection in 2017-18, resulting in 84 complaints investigated, but none resulted in any disciplinary action.
The Retirement Villages Act 1992 was reviewed in 2002 and again in 2010 but implementation of recommendations has been slow.
Seniors and their representative organisations including COTA WA and the WA Retirement Village Residents Association have highlighted the significant gaps in protections repeatedly.
We need reform now more desperately than ever. Otherwise, the problems will only increase as the Western Australian population ages.