Submission cover sheet
- Name of organisation or individual making this submission
James A Bell
- Authorised delegate/contact person
James A Bell
Rowland Bell Australia Pty Ltd
Questions on possible options
- Is the description of the ‘Sydney Metropolitan Area’ appropriate? If not, why not, and what areas should be included or excluded?
Do not have enough information. The metropolitan area should include properties on the fringe of sydney.
- Are the proposals for appointing a valuer, to determine the value of the property, necessary and appropriate?
Fair property values, by an independent third party, is critical to the exit process. The retirement village should be responsible for the fee/cost.
- Where residents wish to sell their residence on their own terms, under what circumstances should they be able to opt in or opt out of the exit entitlement provision?
Opting out should be at the discretion of the resident.
- What issues should the Tribunal take into account when considering whether or not the operator has done everything in their power to enable the sale of a premises?
As there is an imbalance in the powers of both parties with the village owner having substantially greater power and knowledge the tribunal should take this into account. Issues include the extent of renovation of the property required to restore it to an acceptable condition, what are capital items and what are wear and tear items, the time period for payment of recurring charges.
- Are there any additional circumstances the Tribunal should be able to take into account when considering a hardship application from an operator?
Was the contract fair and equitable in the first place. The knowledge and legal difference of both parties. Is the hardship application real of contrived. What is hardship??? The exit period for which residents are responsible for recurrent charges should be grandfathered to all residents, both current and future. The time period for selling should be limited.
- Are there any other factors that could affect the setting of a ‘trigger point’?
The resident may have issues in leaving and how do you set the trigger point if there are unforeseen delays in leaving the premises.
- Would any of the current provisions in Victoria and South Australia as set out in Appendix A (in the discussion paper), be of benefit to NSW residents of retirement villages?
- Can you think of any other benefits or costs of this proposal? What are they?
Peace of mind for current residents who are concerned about the financial issues of ongoing payments. Current residents need to be included in the proposal as this is a big issue for many residents. Financial certainty for planning purposes is important. If the resident is vacating to go to a higher level of care it is important to know, with certainty, what financial assets are going to be available
- As with residents with a non-registered interest, should the ‘trigger’ to commence the 42-day period begin when the resident permanently vacates the premises?
The 42 days should be the maximum time period permitted. This should be a hard limit and should commence with the scheduled date of permanent vacation of the premises. If there are other factors they should be negotiated separately.
- Should one or both of the proposals be ‘grandfathered’? If not, please provide your reasons.
Grandfathering is very important for both issues, as it will give residents and their families peace of mind and prevent village owners from exploiting a window of opportunity. It also provides a degree of financial certainty for planning purposes. Owners should not have the option of exploiting residents in a vulnerable position. I can see owners maximizing their return on existing residents.
- Please provide any further comments on the reforms.