Re­port not bal­anced

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

WHAT a half- baked story ABC Four Cor­ners did about a few un­happy res­i­dents at two Aveo re­tire­ment vil­lages in Victoria and NSW.

I’m not sug­gest­ing the res­i­dents in­ter­viewed did not have gen­uine com­plaints but I do sug­gest their ex­pe­ri­ence is not that of the vast ma­jor­ity of vil­lage res­i­dents.

My is­sue is the to­tal lack of bal­ance in the Four Cor­ners story.

It was said Aveo de­clined to com­ment. Did this mean facts could not be checked from other sources?

It was not said state has its own that each leg­is­la­tion and reg­u­la­tions or any men­tion of laws ap­ply­ing to is­sues giv­ing rise to res­i­dents’ com­plaints, and whether Aveo ac­tu­ally breached any laws and it was not said if th­ese vil­lages had formed Res­i­dents’ Com­mit­tees.

There was plenty talk about the cost of re­plac­ing a light bulb and other mi­nor mat­ters, but res­i­dents were said to have free­hold own­er­ship.

Doesn’t free­hold ti­tle mean you pay your own home main­te­nance costs?

On buy­ing into a re­tire­ment vil­lage you are not en­ter­ing the real es­tate mar­ket. You are buy­ing a life­style that guaran- tees peace and quiet with no yap­ping dogs or hoons burn­ing up your street. You can get in­volved as much or as lit­tle as you wish in the many so­cial ac­tiv­i­ties and if you want a cuppa at the cafe, it’s not free – you need to pay for it.

There were the old chest­nuts: “main­te­nance” and “exit fees”.

Un­der Queens­land law, you pay a monthly “gen­eral ser­vices” fee for rates, wa­ter, in­sur­ance, mow­ing, gar­den­ing, com­mon area and road main­te­nance and staff wages, etc, at cost price. Op­er­a­tors are not per­mit­ted to add a profit to th­ese costs.

As “lease­hold” res­i­dents of Car­lyle Gar­dens Townsville for 15 years, we have no re­grets about mov­ing here.

Thank­fully we’ve al­ways had a vig­i­lant Res­i­dents’ Com­mit­tee that has the le­gal right to ex­am­ine the op­er­a­tor’s bud­get.

We en­tered a reg­is­tered lease that per­mits us life­time oc­cu­pancy of our three- bed­room brick and tile house, with “first re­sponse” staff who at­tend emer­gen­cies, day and night.

Our monthly ser­vices fee is about a quar­ter of that claimed in the story.

Many hun­dreds of vil­lages op­er­ate sim­i­larly Aus­tralia.

Af­ter 20 years, our exit fees will be equal to rent of less than $ 100 a week, hardly a case of “Bleed them dry, ’ til they die” as claimed in Four Cor­ners’ story.

In­stead of com­plain­ing to an ABC jour­nal­ist who pre­dictably would pro­duce a lop­sided story, those res­i­dents should have set up a prop­erly con­sti­tuted Res­i­dents’ Com­mit­tee that could ad­dress their con­cerns through their states’ le­gal pro­cesses. all over GE­OFF DIL­LON, Con­don.

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