Report not balanced
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.