New laws to protect the rights of older Queenslanders who live in retirement villages will be explained at a series of education sessions being hosted by National Seniors Australia.
An investigation by the ABC’s Four Corners program last year found residents in retirement villages were being left vulnerable to exploitation by loopholes in legislation. Many older people were being locked into increasing fees and charges, including exit fees.
The Queensland government introduced new laws to enforce simplified contracts and require ongoing fees and charges to be clearly declared upfront. It also introduced a minimum 21 days to evaluate the contract before signing and limited the time for payment of a resident’s exit entitlements to 18 months.
The new consumer protection laws assist current, former and future retirement village residents and manufactured home owners.
National Seniors chief advocate Ian Henschke said the advocacy organisation had been calling for stronger consumer protections for years to help older people avoid the many pitfalls of retirement villages.
Mr Henschke urged retirement village and manufactured home residents to attend one of the free education sessions to ensure they understood their rights and the protections the new laws offered.
The National Seniors education sessions will be held:
· 18 October at 10.00 am to 11.30 am – Springfield Central library
· 31 October at 10.00 am to 11.30 am – Garden City library
· 8 November at 2.15 pm to 4.30 pm – Venue 114, Bokarina (Sunshine Coast)
· 29 November at 10.00 am to 11.30 am – Brisbane Square library.
Registrations for the free events are essential. For more information, call 1300 76 50 50 or visit www.nationalseniors.com.au/rlo.