Retirement village disputesPosted to Financial Capability Retirement Section on 20-10-2015
Recommendations are being drawn up to improve the way disputes are resolved in retirement villages.
A forum was organised by the Retirement Commissioner and the Commission for Financial Capability after a report found a number of issues with the current disputes panel system.
A gap was identified between the complaints process in villages and the formal disputes process, which could be bridged by a stronger mediation option.
The meeting was attended by residents, operators, lawyers, mediation specialists and statutory supervisors, who also discussed the need for an improved register of complaints.
This would help the Commission to monitor any issues that might require action, while helping operators to improve the way they handle complaints.
The forum also discussed different ways of accessing dispute resolution services in the future, including the possibility of doing so online.
Troy Churton, the Commission’s National Manager for Retirement Villages, said: “At the moment, when complaints cannot be resolved in a village, mediation can be offered to a resident by the village operator.
“There was a strong view at the forum that both operators and residents should be able to elect mediation at any stage in the disputes process.”
The Commission will now draft a summary of recommendations, which could change the Code of Practice to allow for this.
The recommendations would go out for public consultation before being submitted to the Housing Minister for approval.
Next: Music to your ears or singing the blues?