Submission cover sheet
- Name of organisation or individual making this submission
Mountain View Retirement Village
- Authorised delegate/contact person
Residents Committee Mountain View
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?
Consideration also needs to be given to other large cities in the state.
- Are the proposals for appointing a valuer, to determine the value of the property, necessary and appropriate?
Definitely necessary. Definitely needs to be independent to both parties. Operator needs to give resident the information required in the new contract check-up legislation.
- 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?
Residents should be able to opt out however if the unit hasnt sold after a set time eg 6 months, they should be able to opt in again.
- 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?
Does the sale price reflect market value in the area? Has there been effective marketing?
- Are there any additional circumstances the Tribunal should be able to take into account when considering a hardship application from an operator?
Has the Operator planned adequately for this contingency? Is it a Strata Village without an operator?
- Are there any other factors that could affect the setting of a ‘trigger point’?
The date the premises was formally listed OR The date the resident formally leaves, eg death, higher care or relocates OR The date the resident notified the Operator the property is to be sold but remains in occupation until the property is sold or exit entitlements are due. All of above could be the trigger to start of the process.
- 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?
These provisions should definitely be made available to registered interest holders including Strata owners as well as non registered interest holders. It would appear that Strata villages have been excluded from the benefits of these reforms as strata owners pay strata levies and not recurrent charges. There needs to be federal legislation re buybacks etc. The Qld legislation includes strata owners (registered interest owners) in their buyback reforms.
- Can you think of any other benefits or costs of this proposal? What are they?
If this legislation is applied to all current residents it will greatly improve the very poor image of retirement villages and the mistrust the community has about village operators. If there was increased confidence in the industry, units would sell more quickly. If Strata owners are excluded from these reforms it will create anger and dissatisfaction considering the government made the promise to all residents prior to the last election. At present many residents worry about the time theyll need to go into higher care and what theyll do if their unit doesnt sell. Many are also concerned that their families will have to bear the financial burden after their death or relocation to higher care. In this village some units have remained vacant and unsold for years. Some estates have been bankrupted. A major benefit will be peace of mind for residents, knowing theres a defined time to wait for payment for their unit.
- 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 needs and circumstances of individual residents need to be taken into consideration; some may be homeless if forced to vacate their property before it has sold. Strata levies and recurrent charges should cease 42 days after the property has been vacated.
- Should one or both of the proposals be ‘grandfathered’? If not, please provide your reasons.
Neither reform should be grandfathered. The Liberal National government made the promise of buyback reforms to all current residents of retirement villages. Its a breach of promise to now say its only for future residents. Its also unfair and unjust to exclude some residents (strata villages) from the benefits.
- Please provide any further comments on the reforms.
In strata villages we pay strata levies and not recurrent charges so the terminology in the legislation is limited and not inclusive of all retirement villages. We need these reforms. we need to know our units will be bought back within a defined time (if not sold) and we need levies to cease after 42 days. Some residents estates have been bankrupted because levies have continued for years eg 5 years of accrued levies approximates $30,000.