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New retirement code of conduct to promote resident safety, dignity and happiness

Retirement village operators across the country are being urged to show their commitment to high standard and resident satisfaction by signing a new industry code of conduct.

A new Retirement Living Code of Conduct is scheduled to roll out from 1 January 2019 and take full effect from 1 January 2020. (Source: Shutterstock)
A new Retirement Living Code of Conduct is scheduled to roll out from 1 January 2019 and take full effect from 1 January 2020. (Source: Shutterstock)

The Retirement Living Code of Conduct is the initiative of two peak industry bodies, the Retirement Living Council (which is part of the Property Council of Australia) and Leading Age Services Australia (LASA).

The new code, which is scheduled to be rolled out from 1 January 2019 and take full effect from 1 January 2020, has been finalised after an extensive 12-month development process including consultation with retirement village operators, residents and other interested stakeholders earlier this year.

Property Council of Australia Executive Director, Retirement Living Ben Myers says the vision of the code is to promote and protect the independence, privacy, dignity, happiness, safety and security of retirement village residents.

“The code intends to create certainty and transparency around processes for moving into communities, living in communities including dispute resolution, and leaving a community. The code has been created to operate in conjunction with existing state and territory laws and regulations,” Mr Myers says.

“With approximately 2,300 retirement villages across Australia accommodating residents, the code is critical to ensuring that the retirement living industry can provide current and future residents with an exceptional quality of service.”

LASA Chief Executive Officer Sean Rooney says the code intends to set standards above and beyond statutory obligations.

“The code covers all aspects of a resident’s experience in a retirement community: from signing the contract to enter the community, their on-site experience of living in the retirement community, their decision to leave the community and then right through until the resident’s unit or apartment is re-sold,” he says.  

“The code is vital for the industry to set high standards for the marketing, selling and operating retirement communities, to promote and protect the interests of residents, and provide a clear framework for resolving disputes should they arise.

“LASA commends this code to operators across the country, to help provide residents with peace of mind about the community they live in or are thinking of moving into.”

From January 2019, all retirement village operators will be able to subscribe to the code here.

To ensure signatories meet the code’s standards and that appropriate resources are in place to support the code’s administration, the code will operate in a transitional stage until 31 December 2019.  

From 1 January 2020, residents will be able to make a complaint against a code signatory if they believe their community is not meeting the code standards.

Download a copy of the code here.

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