A key document that must be provided to a prospective resident prior to them signing a residence contract is a copy of the retirement village's Residence Rules.
The Rules relate to the use of the retirement village to ensure the enjoyment of the village by all residents [Retirement Villages Regulations 2017 (SA) reg 15(a)].
Residence Rules must address at least the following (but can be more comprehensive than the following):
- visitors to the retirement village or residence. This can include rules relating to visitors staying in the village or in a residence overnight, or on a short-term or long term basis;
- noise within the village;
- parking arrangements within the village;
- collection and disposal of rubbish;
- gardening and landscaping requirements within the village;
- the use and operation of services and facilities within the village
See Retirement Villages Regulations 2017 (SA) reg 15(b).
A residence rule cannot be harsh or unconscionable [see Retirement Villages Act 2016 (SA) s 41].
Retirement village operators are required to consult with residents before making any changes to the Residence Rules [see Retirement Villages Regulations 2017 (SA) Schedule 1 reg 6(1)(c)].
Aside from being provided with a copy of the Residence Rules prior to signing a residence contract, a retirement village operator must also provide a copy to any resident at their request [see Retirement Villages Act 2016 (SA) s 42(1)(b)] and if any alterations are made to the Rules, must provided a copy of the amended rules to each resident [see s 42(2)].
The penalty for an operator failing to comply with the above is a maximum fine of up to $2 500 [see s 42].
If a resident commits a breach of the Residence Rules, the operator may terminate their right of occupation on that basis [see s 44(1)(c)(I)].
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