Retirement housing residents need access to an industry funded ombudsman service, to provide free, fair and binding determination of retirement housing disputes, across the full spectrum of retirement housing types. Currently, residents must go to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) to resolve their disputes with operators, which is an expensive, lengthy and intimidating process.
Running a substantial matter through VCAT is simply beyond the financial capacity of most retirees, and the process itself can be overwhelming. A case run by Consumer Action was independently assessed as costing over $250,000. As a result, many choose not to pursue legitimate grievances through VCAT, leaving those grievances unchallenged and largely unreported.