Closing a retirement village
As a retirement village operator, if you're proposing the temporary or permanent closure of a village, you must prepare a closure plan. The plan should provide a clear, orderly and fair process for the wind down period and closure.
The requirement for closure plans came into effect from 11 November 2019, as a result of changes to the Retirement Villages Act 1999 (the Act).
Content of a closure plan
A closure plan (Form 8) (DOC, 386KB) must include details of:
- time frames and schedule of the proposed wind down and closure
- reasons for the closure
- notifications to residents about the wind down and closure
- any consultation with residents in preparing the closure plan, during the closure process and for any proposed revisions to the plan
- communication and consultation with other relevant persons that may be impacted (e.g. other services and businesses operating in the village)
- how the closure will impact the amenity of the village and ongoing provision of general services, maintenance and personal services
- options available to residents on closure and any help you're providing (e.g. relocation, financial, legal)
- the source of funds or operator's financial obligations, including the payment of exit entitlements or freehold buybacks
- how you're dealing with reinstatement, exit fees and exit entitlements
- how you're dealing with budgets and funds for the village (capital replacement fund, maintenance reserve fund and general services charge fund), including final reports and disbursements
- how you're dealing with any existing or proposed body corporate arrangements.
Approval process for closure plans
If you propose to close your retirement village, you must:
- Formally advise the chief executive of Department of Housing by completing a notice of proposal to cancel registration (Form 8A) (PDF, 85KB)
- Within 28 days of advising the chief executive (or longer if you apply for an extension of time), you must give residents
- a copy of the proposed closure plan
- a residents meeting notice (Form 8B) (PDF, 96KB), proposing a date and time for the residents meeting to vote on the proposed closure plan. The date specified in the notice cannot be less than 21 days from when you gave residents the closure plan.
If the closure plan is not approved by the residents' vote at the meeting, you may apply to the chief executive to approve the plan.
Before making a decision, the chief executive will write to each resident to tell them how they can make submissions on the proposed closure plan.
The chief executive may also request additional information from you or direct you to revise the proposed closure plan. Use the chief executive information document (Form 10) (PDF, 89KB) to provide additional information.
If you want to revise an approved plan, you must make an application to the chief executive. Revisions to the plan will only be approved where the chief executive is satisfied that the revised closure plan provides for a clear, orderly and fair process for closure of the retirement village.
If the chief executive approves the proposed closure plan, or a revision to an approved closure plan, each resident in the retirement village will receive a Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) information notice for the decision.
You may also discontinue a closure plan by providing a notice (Form 8C) (PDF, 85KB) to the chief executive and each resident in the retirement village.
As an operator, you should:
- ensure the proposed closure process is clear, orderly and fair
- provide residents with the opportunity to vote on the closure plan. This may be done in person, by proxy, or by postal vote
- allow residents to clarify any matters in the closure plan that they do not understand. You may wish to consider holding a 'question and answer' session
- encourage residents to seek independent legal advice about their rights and obligations under the Act and how the proposed closure may affect them
- note and consider your rights to apply to QCAT to appeal the chief executive's decision to give you a direction to revise the plan.
You are responsible for implementing an approved closure plan. Penalties may apply under the Act.