An occupation right agreement is any written agreement that gives a person the right to occupy a unit in a retirement village, and sets out the relevant terms and conditions. The occupation right agreement must be clear and unambiguous and may consist of more than 1 document.
The provisions of an occupation right agreement
The occupation right agreement must contain provisions covering:
- the management of the village
- the village's services and facilities
- the nature of the resident's right to occupy the unit, and the resident's and operator's respective rights to deal with the unit
- the charges relating to the village and to the use of its services and facilities
- the operator's obligation to run the village properly
- the resident's rights to be given key financial documents and other information that they ask for
- residents' safety and personal security
- fire protection and emergency management
- the transfer of residents within the village
- meetings of residents with the operator
- maintenance and upgrading
- the termination of the agreement by a resident or the operator
- communication to those for whom English is a second language or whose ability to communicate is limited, and
- a complaints facility and disputes procedure.
The occupation right agreement must also cover consultation with residents:
- before a village is sold or disposed of
- before a new manager is appointed, and
- about any proposed changes in services or benefits provided or charges that could affect residents' ability to pay for them.
In addition the agreement must require the operator, people who work at the village and contractors to:
- treat the residents with courtesy
- respect their rights, and
- not exploit them.
Complying with the legislation
The occupation right agreement must comply and be consistent with the provisions of the Retirement Villages Act 2003, regulations and Code of Practice (unless exempted from any provision). It must also provide information on the code of residents' rights and Code of Practice.
Schedule 3 of the Act sets out what must be covered in the occupation right agreement and Part 2 covers the process for entering into an agreement.
The Code of Practice specifies minimum requirements for most of these areas, and these must be included in occupation right agreements — if not, they'll apply anyway.
Operators must register their standard form of occupation right agreement with us.