NSW Draft Exit Entitlements Bill

The NSW Government has now released draft legislation for the retirement living reforms including the 42-Day cap on fees, exit entitlements and Aged Care Rule. The current policy gives consumer protection and rights to the residents as well as ensuring the senior housing sector is financially viable. 

The exit entitlement policy allows for former residents to apply to the Secretary of the Department if they believe the operator has unreasonably delayed the sale of their premises after a 6 (metro) and 12 (rural) month time frame. The time frame commences at the time the premises is advertised for sale. The Aged Care Rule is based on the South Australian model which allows for the former resident to apply to the operator for DAP payments if they can show they will be in financial hardship. Residents will no longer have to pay recurrent fees and charges 42 days after giving vacant possession to the operator. 

Currently the Property Council is seeking clarity on whether the operators will have the ability to allow for operators to adjust their budgets to allow for shortfalls due to the capping of fees after 42-days. 

The consumer groups have raised the following concerns about aspects of the policy. These concerns include:

  • Estates will have no right to apply for an exit entitlement;
  • former resident's will have no right to apply for an exit entitlement if they take an aged care payment;
  • budget issues around the 42-day cap on fees; and
  • the trigger point of the exit entitlement timeframe.
The Property Council will continue to advocate strongly to the NSW Government and other stakeholders on these issues to ensure the policy continues to be fair for both residents and operators. 

If you have any questions on the NSW policy please contact Emma Ashton at eashton@propertycouncil.com.au