14th Sep 2017

Closer scrutiny of retirement village operators

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Olga Galacho

One sector that isn’t starved of attention at the moment is the retirement living industry, with multiple state inquiries, consumer watchdogs and legal firms probing the way it is managed.

Late yesterday in the Federal Court in Melbourne, law firm Levitt Robinson launched a class action in the Federal Court in Melbourne against operator Aveo on behalf of village residents.

Announcing the move, principal Stewart Levitt said: “The entry of a Johnny-come late-lately competitor onto the scene, led to the decision to bite the bullet and file an open class action.”

The firm was spurred to act after rivals Maurice and Blackburn also yesterday said it would begin registering interested parties ahead of conducting its own class action.



On the Government front, the latest to join the queue prying into the affairs of village operators is NSW Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Matthew Kean, who last week ordered his own inquiry.

The Minister said an investigation was warranted because of  “concerns raised about the fairness and transparency of business practices of retirement villages”.

Long-time social advocate Kathryn Greiner, former Premier Nick’s ex-wife, will lead the review. Among the issues on which she has just 90 days to report are whether retirement village marketing activities are being conducted honestly and diligently.

She will also be able to flag potential breaches of the law which should be referred for further investigation.

Meanwhile, the Victorian Government’s recent response to its own inquiry findings was criticised for failing to take strong action on the ‘serious’ issues raised in nearly 800 submissions.

Four advocacy groups have condemned the response, saying: “Despite …  recommendations that promised meaningful reform, the pleas of residents have fallen on deaf ears, with many of the proposed reforms pushed off into the long grass of more reviews.”

Joined by Residents of Retirement Villages Victoria, Council on the Ageing and Housing for the Aged Action Group, the Consumer Action Law Centre (CALC) said the Government’s position “failed to remedy the serious problems’’.

Other the shortfalls the group identified were the lack of support for an independent ombudsman to hear disputes that residents could not resolve with their retirement housing provider.

“The response has also failed to deliver any meaningful change to harsh exit fees, which can lock people into contractual arrangements … this is wholly unacceptable,” CALC said.

The Queensland Government has also recently introduced legislation to ‘safeguard’ village residents’ rights, but CALC says the new laws merely entrench village operators’ business as usual practices.         

 

Opinion: Legal eagles to tackle yellow-bellied politicians’ failure to govern

It certainly is wholly unacceptable for governments long deaf to the plight of retirement village residents to conclude their enquiries with an arrogant and dismissive ‘nothing to see here’ stance.

Well a bunch of law firms have been watching and they think there is plenty to see. Not to be gazumped, Stewart Levitt launched its no-win, no-fee class action saying: “We are sharpening our scalpels, with a view to embarking on corrective legal surgery in relation to further industry victims.”

Yesterday, class action specialists Maurice Blackburn belatedly also recognised that there is a potential injustice being carried out against retirement village residents. The firm told YourLifeChoices that among other things, it was looking at “deferred management/exit fees … terms which require residents to pay up to 35 to 40 per cent of the property value accruing over two to three years’’.

Levitt Robinson, which is representing around 200 residents, countered by revealing it had invited Maurice Blackburn last week to join it in its Aveo suit but changed its mind when terms could not be agreed on.

“Levitt Robinson are so much more advanced in the case and because of the different fee structures of the firms, we decided it would be too problematic to share the load under these circumstances,” principal Steward Levitt told YourLifeChoices.

In July, Mr Levitt told YourLifeChoices he would “put a blowtorch to the belly of a sector imposing unconscionable conditions on retirees”.

I wish him well and hope that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) does the same when it runs its ruler over Aveo’s business practices.

Yesterday, the ACCC confirmed to YourLifeChoices that its investigation into Aveo was ongoing.

There are three main areas the ACCC will investigate: misleading conduct, unfair contract terms and unconscionable conduct.

That’s all very nice. But really it’s a job state governments should have been doing all along and one which was no more timely than now to address. Aren’t state governments  embarrassed by their failed duty of care to some of the most vulnerable Australians?

These yellow-bellied politicians who are beholden to the retirement village sectors’ big players should hang their heads in shame.

As CALC told us yesterday, the government reviews so far merely address disclosure. They fail to go to the underlying problems with the business models of retirement village operators.

That’s just not good enough for thousands of retirees spending their twilight years in financial and emotional distress while governments fiddle.

‘Rome’ is burning and its elderly citizens are running out of time. 

Have you been treated unfairly by a retirement village contract? Should exit fees from villages be banned? Should the Federal Government take control of the sector?

Related articles:
Watchdog to probe Aveo
Residents allege price gouging
Aveo confesses to let down





COMMENTS

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TREBOR
14th Sep 2017
10:34am
Let's put something to rest here - an 'inquisition' is not a bad thing - the European/Napoleonic approach to legal matters requires an 'inquisitorial process' - meaning that the both the judge and the prosecutor engage in a full fact-finding exercise before a matter comes to trial. Contrast that with our own usually shoddy pre-trial investigation and what passes for 'evidence' here in most cases.....

The term Inquisition got a bad name from the methods used way back in the olde dayes - torture etc to get 'truth'... and that hasn't applied for centuries.

The utmost scrutiny should be made of ANY who have the responsibility to watch over others and a duty of care to provide fairly to those under their watch... and part of that is a proper legal oversight of what may or may not constitute a contract, with clear rules applied to all.

Pretty simple really - until you count the brown paper bags going into political donations, that is..... suddenly all vim and vigor for constructive change goes limp at the sound of brown paper bags rustling ............
Maur
14th Sep 2017
11:09am
Yes exit fees should be banned. If a resident is unhappy in the village they are financially unable to move due to the high cost of exit fees. Effectively it is "stay where you are to bad "
TREBOR
14th Sep 2017
11:21am
I always thought - until rudely awakened - that when you purchased a freehold it was yours, and a leasehold was like a rental.

When you sell a home, there are no 'exit fees' (you don;t pay yourself to get out of your own home), when you terminate a lease, there are no 'exit fees', and certainly when you sell a home of your own, bought and paid for, you are not obligated to sell it to only one potential buyer.

For way too long the 'village people' management have been allowed to make their own rules, and, as usual, the political puppet masters have sat back and ignored the very real issues involved.

That is now a civilisation gone with the wind, and it is time for a set of rules to be brought in to suit all participants, and not just the 'boss' masquerading as benevolent dictator, but in reality just another corporate thief in the night, with falsely based ideas on how things run and an established 'right' to dictate terms at whim.
maelcolium
14th Sep 2017
11:16am
Aged Care and Retirement Homes industry. Another spectacular failure of the so called free market much touted by our current Government. And let's not mention the energy industry?

One day the penny will drop that some services are not meant to be in private hands and Governments are actually in power to provide services.
danbo
14th Sep 2017
12:11pm
I agree wholeheartedly. Exit fees should be banned altogether. I am trapped here inside my Aveo prison. I can't afford to sell up and leave because Aveo will take most of my money via their huge commission for selling my unit (to themselves!!!!) and their enormous Exit Fee amongst other hidden costs to their advantage. I would be left with a very small percentage of what I originally paid for my Independent Living Unit, unable to purchase anywhere else.
johnp
14th Sep 2017
12:51pm
Danbo, In your own interests get immediately onto such as :
Stuart Levitt at Levitt Robinson and all the others mentioned in the above article.
Also give short warning of your impending actions to your village management
trood
14th Sep 2017
12:36pm
What also stinks is that when you leave a village after they have take 32% of your equity leaving you well down on funds they also expect you to continue paying your monthly maintenance fee until your unit is resold; as you are no longer using the facilities you are paying for, why? and especially as there are usually very few vacancies for any length of time . This doesn't make sense and so it becomes immoral gouging.
Old Man
14th Sep 2017
12:52pm
Sadly, because of a few bad apples, the whole industry needs a complete overhaul. The first matter to be considered is Land Title. Most purchasers are selling a freehold property to then purchase a dwelling on land owned by someone else. The law in NSW is clear in that whoever owns the land then owns anything erected upon that land and no agreement can alter that law. Imposing exit fees would be more difficult to enforce as ownership would make that harder.

A lot of purchasers are in receipt of an age pension (or part thereof) and, for those, I believe that the government should be involved in assisting with the legal documentation and giving advice to eligible purchasers. I wonder how many purchasers are conned into believing that the solicitors acting for the vendor would be cheaper to use if they also acted for the purchaser. Unethical but legal.
TREBOR
14th Sep 2017
5:46pm
Of course, you are correct, OM - as regards ownership of land and what that entails. Clearly then the concept that a person is purchasing, at a far higher price, a 'freehold' residence on such property is false advertising and possibly fraud.......

Clearly, too, that is something that needs to be rectified immediately.
TREBOR
14th Sep 2017
5:49pm
Same could be said of caravan parks...the ex is considering buying a permanent near her daughter's new caravan park part-timer home... permanents pay a higher price and pay a higher rent... yet still have zero ownership rights.

Frankly, this is bizarre.

This is an area that desperately needs to be reviewed and restructured so as to afford fair rights to all and less dictatorial rights to the owners of the parks.
Old Man
14th Sep 2017
6:02pm
Stay away from caravan parks! We got thrown out of one because the new owner wanted to change the style of park and all permanent and semi-permanent (us) were moved on. Our local member's parents had a weekender there and she could do bugger all for them.
TREBOR
14th Sep 2017
8:55pm
I must say I'm not surprised...... the 'laws' obviously have far too many loophighways for the owners to run through...

Definitely past time for some intervention... and some firm rules that you get what you pay for.
KSS
14th Sep 2017
1:12pm
I do wish that the authors of these articles would STOP with the emotionally charges descriptions of those living in retirement villages as 'vulnerable'. Most are not. Most are perfectly healthy intelligent people over the age of 55.

They made their own decisions to buy where they did and there may be many reasons they did so. These are independent living communities not aged care facilities. They may not like the terms and conditions they previously agreed to but that does not make them 'vulnerable'. No one forced them into the retirement villages and most had their own chosen solicitor to look over the contract. If they didn't like the Ts&Cs they should not have signed the contract. Rule No1: ALWAYS read the small print before signing anything. And if you don't understand it, don't sign it!

As for all these different investigations, I find this a far more disgraceful waste of money. There should be a single co-ordinated enquiry perhaps lead by the Federal Government supported by all State and Territory governments. The two lawyer groups are clearly in it for what they can get out of it for themselves (aren't all lawyers?) and in effect say so:
“Levitt Robinson are so much more advanced in the case and because of the different fee structures of the firms, we decided it would be too problematic to share the load under these circumstances,” principal Steward Levitt told YourLifeChoices." The only people to win there are the lawyers!


"
danbo
14th Sep 2017
2:05pm
I bought my independent living unit based on lies told to me by Aveo. I am 77 years of age, not 55.
KSS
14th Sep 2017
3:30pm
And I would suggest you are in good health and at least moderately intelligent? The point being that you and others in Retirement Villages are not buying aged care services. They are, as you say, independent living options for those aged 55 and above.

Did you read the contract? Did you understand it? If so and you didn't like what you saw, why did you sign it?
TREBOR
14th Sep 2017
4:01pm
Nah - give it both barrels and lay it on thick as possible, using the worst possible example of a semi-mobile great-granny trapped in a unit where her finances are taken away every fortnight by the management, she is allowed no visitors, and cops every abuse.

That's the kind of example legislators use when formulating their shotgun legislations - why not use the same tactics to obtain change??

All fair's in love and class war......... just saying....
Rae
15th Sep 2017
7:14am
Yes TREBOR. IF we are going to have a class war it is time the poor side started firing some shots.

We are certainly seeing the barrels of the wealthy class weapons.
Rainey
17th Sep 2017
2:15am
I think Retirement Villages should be compelled to issue PLAIN ENGLISH, simply worded contracts that EVERYONE can understand readily. Even good lawyers struggle with some of the contracts villages issue.

I have a wealthy friend who invested in building a retirement village because ''it's a ticket to obscene wealth'' - ''you can rip the poor old dears off every direction and they have no defence. Just make the contract so complicated that nobody but the author can figure out what it all means, and the author - having the money to hire good lawyers and fight - can demand it is interpreted in the way that benefits him''''.

It's not just an issue of reading and understanding the contract. It's a question of how to enforce your rights. Legal action is outrageously costly, and we are talking about pensioners and struggling retirees with limited funds battling a rich corporation that can hire the best barristers and appeal repeatedly.

The government SHOULD step in here - and should have a long time ago. But the industry should pay the cost of the inquiries and reforms, not taxpayers. Put it back on the people who created the problem!
Puglet
14th Sep 2017
1:17pm
We have to accept that companies like AVEO and despite their clever marketing campaigns that it 'cares' about us and our happiness only 'care' about their profits.the bloke who owns AVEO is a self-made billionaire. He didn't make his money by 'caring' for old people. We are just a money-making product a bit like live cattle transports really - just shove as many in as possible, house them in hot, filthy, overcrowded conditions knowing some will die but the rest will make a huge profit. I doubt much will be done about retirees' welfare given that Ken Wyatt the Minister says he has close relationships with some of the directors of the villages named on the ABC last night. Wyatt says the bloke who has been accused of bullying by a number of people from a number of settings is doing 'excellent' work and that is why he is on Wyatt's Advisory Panel.
Raphael
14th Sep 2017
3:17pm
have little sympathy for anyone who buys into one of these villages without a full understanding of the financial and legal obligations
you cant legislate away stupidity
danbo
14th Sep 2017
3:21pm
Acting on information based on lies does not equate stupidity on the part of the innocent buyer, Raphael.
KSS
14th Sep 2017
3:32pm
Again did you actually read the contract dando? If not why not and why did you sign something you didn't read?
Puglet
14th Sep 2017
3:53pm
I gave a contract (120 pages) to three lawyer colleagues one of whom was a barrister. The verdict - the contract was written in deliberately obtuse legalise and designed to confuse the non-expert reader. The barrister would have charged about 2000.00 for two days work (reading, interpretation, advice and written report). The 'exit' fees were cleverly hidden and it took the barrister several hours to work out what it all meant. In addition terms and conditions were deliberately vague - administration. I only found out that residents are still charged 10.00 for changing a light globe or to open a door if the resident had locked themselves out. There was supposed to be 24 hour on site medical care but this pretty much involved calling an after hours GP your self. I found out by accident that the alarm only worked sometimes and wouldn't be repaired for weeks but residents still had to pay for the service. The contract didn't say that residents could only use the ISP stipulated by the company but that was the case. The one they insisted on was much expensive and less efficient than the one I had. The barrister explained that the conditions that the resident was to meet if they needed to sell but commented the contract omitted to say that even if the resident had only been in the apartment for 3 months they still had to pay for complete refurbishment - painting, new carpets etc. and of course the company insisted that only their employees did the work. A resident I met at the complex I was interested in buying into told me that tradies prices were grossly inflated. Danbo you were not 'stupid', too trusting maybe but silly no. Don't listen to the unkind comments. BTW I change my own light globes right now but I doubt I will be able to climb a ladder when I am 94.
Raphael
14th Sep 2017
4:01pm
Puglet - if your lawyer says the contract was deliberately obtuse, then a smart person would have chucked it in the bin and not signed up
CindyLou
14th Sep 2017
11:25pm
Puglet - pretty awful if three legal professionals had difficulties understanding the contract condition, what hope is there for others. I hope you didn't go into this mop lex Puglet.
Rae
15th Sep 2017
7:34am
Raphael that is the very reason we have rules and laws so that those less advantaged are protected. Smart people morally should protect the less gifted.Everyone can have life events that leave them confused and unable to make sensible decisions.

Did you attend a Selective School or a Private school by any chance? You seem to believe those born less able than you deserve to be abused and it is somehow their fault for not being born as intelligent and as lucky.Typical right wing ideology being forced into the minds of our young in these institutions.

The gifted should use some of their advantages to help those unable to see the consequences. It's a moral duty in my opinion.

Many of those elderly were forced to leave school early. Often before High School. There will also always be those more able physically than mentally and preventing teams of lawyers and profiteers from foreign nations to create abusive situations is a government's responsibility.

Politicians get paid enough to protect the interests of constituents and they are failing to do so in many situations.

People conned into these villages at a fragile time in their lives deserve better. This wasn't a mistake but a deliberate plot to overcharge. The very contracts themselves prove it.
Rainey
17th Sep 2017
2:19am
So you should read and understand the contract? Okay. And then how does a retiree with very limited resources afford a legal battle with a wealthy corporation that can hire the best barristers and appeal every court ruling that goes against them?

The law DOES NOT protect those who cannot afford to pay the hideous costs of protection. So a contract is worthless against an unconscionable party.
danbo
14th Sep 2017
4:33pm
I had a solicitor read my contract. But the problem was that neither the solicitor nor myself understood a couple of cleverly camouflaged clauses ( such as the exorbitant Exit Fee) and the monthly 'maintenance fees'. When I signed my contract, my monthly fee was almost half of what I pay now. The fee constantly goes up all the time. I now pay $440 per month just to have my tiny lawn mowed once a fortnight. That's $200 for a couple of minutes' mowing. I assumed that other maintenance jobs such as changing a light bulb would be covered but they're not. One week three light bulbs 'blew' and I had to pay $30 extra on top of my monthly $440 maintenance fee to have them replaced. And of course I had to supply the new light bulbs. Also, Aveo has now created its own 'Real Estate Agency' and is buying units from families of residents who have died at extremely low prices. Consequently the value of units has gone right down. My unit has decreased in value by $103,000. The reason families give in and accept the low prices offered by Aveo is because these families still have to pay the monthly maintenance fees for their unit even though it is now empty.
KSS
14th Sep 2017
8:16pm
Again, if you didn't understand exactly what the contract said, why did you sign it?
Rae
15th Sep 2017
7:44am
Yes danbo it's a terrible situation indeed.

A family member is in the same boat. She panicked when her husband developed rapid onset dementia.

She now regrets it and has no idea how she will manage costs into the future. She now has no alternatives either. She was told a pack of lies by the management and the lawyers paid to examine the contract failed dismally.

KSS people do make dreadful mistakes out of fear or mistaken beliefs. I lost a house by buying a working farm once in the time after my husband died suddenly. It was stupid yes but at the time seemed like the very best thing to do.

It's like asking why we went to Vietnam or why we are burning coal or spitting out the 8 billionth baby.

Legislation is meant to protect us not the foreign corporations wanting our money.
Puglet
14th Sep 2017
4:34pm
Raphael, I didn't sign the contract. I have access to 'free' legal advice which not everyone has and I was able to research the entire process before I decided this sort of gimmick was not for me. There would have to be a Royal Commission before I set foot one of these places. Aged care is pretty much a hit and miss affair and much of it is cruel and humiliating and yes I do know what I am talking about.
Raphael
14th Sep 2017
4:41pm
you did the right thing

if you don't understand the contract - dont sign
better safe then sorry
KSS
14th Sep 2017
8:18pm
Puglet retirement villages are NOT aged care facilities. The are for independent living. That is one of the complaints - that when people need more care they have to move on as such care is NOT provided in retirement villages.
CindyLou
15th Sep 2017
9:41am
Just read your post Puglet - so glad you dodged a bullet.
floss
14th Sep 2017
4:46pm
Raphael so you believe in ripping off old people you must be a Liberal supporter.
Raphael
14th Sep 2017
5:02pm
Now that was an uneccessary comment from a leftie.

shame you dont realise the ones selling the country's future is labor and the greens with their stupid unsustainable economic

but that's a one eyed leftie for you
TREBOR
14th Sep 2017
5:51pm
Ri-i-i-ight - Labor and the Greens have been running the show and raising the national debt to over twice what is was in the last four years while achieving nothing with regard to genuine employment and retirement etc - for the past four years?
heemskerk99
14th Sep 2017
5:52pm
floss, you have to be one of those who goes to coles, 7/11 stores to buy u-tunes cards and give those to anybody ringing you up promising to send you money and after being found out YOU to be the FOOL just blame the liberals, floss you are a FOOL for losing your money and you can't blame anybody else but YOURSELF, this now being an art which is fast disappearing because we are now relying on lawyers, especial those who rope in the FOOLS with promises of class actions, lawyers can't lose, are insured, if they win the case they make a fortune on the backs of the FOOLS, if they win they rake in an huge amount of money before they pay you and the rest the crumbs what are left, if they lose, the FOOLS pay.
FLOSS, nobody stands over you with a gun to make you sign a piece of paper, you sign, you should know and agree with the terms etc. on that paper, if not, DON'T SIGN, got nothing to do with the liberals, labor or who ever, start being responsible for the actions of YOURSELF!!!!!!!!!!!
Triss
14th Sep 2017
8:11pm
After that piece of vindictiveness, Heemskerk99, I think you've lost all right to call anyone a fool.
CindyLou
14th Sep 2017
5:34pm
I don't know much about these types of villages, however today spoke to being our from years ago and he gave me a run down of the costs of one place he had considered (he bought a unit instead and is very happy).

What he told me was basically, when the village duplex is sold, the company takes 30% of sale and keeps half the capital gain...

I respect individuals' decisions to buy into such housing, but I'd NEVER EVER do so myself. I'd rather buy a small property, pave it heaps and pay someone to do the odd jobs if I didn't have family members to help.

Individual choice, but it seems that the companies selling these properties are fairly greedy, they charge high weekly fees, then have another bite of people's money when people leave.
CindyLou
14th Sep 2017
5:35pm
Darn iPad... Correction. I spoke to someone I'd known years ago.
TREBOR
14th Sep 2017
5:52pm
Same here - nothing beats your own home.
heemskerk99
14th Sep 2017
6:13pm
cindylou, exactly the way I think, I looked into going into one of those villages and decided I be better of paying somebody to do the jobs I can't do, I still got my freedom and can do whatever I want without having to worry about paying the monthly expenses those villages charges or whatever the conditions are to be able to move into those villages, fully agree with your last comment, nobody now-a-days does it for love, they all want their bit of flesh!
TREBOR
15th Sep 2017
1:32am
It's beginning to sound like buying into one gives a whole new meaning to the term 'village idiot'.......

I'll stick with my own home, thanks... I enjoy my gardens and stuff and despite the pains, I do enjoy working on it....
Grey Voter
14th Sep 2017
11:16pm
Not all retirement villages have exit fees and require tenants to refurbish the property when they leave. I recently moved into Ingenia Lifestyle village in Lara (Victoria). The contract was straight forward. If I decide to leave, I can sell my unit through them, appoint an estate agent or sell it myself....and I do not have to refurbish anything. No wonder units in this village are selling like hot-cakes. This is the first village operated by Ingenia in Victoria as they are mainly based in NSW. I recommend an inspection.
CindyLou
15th Sep 2017
4:56pm
Excellent - so glad it has worked out well for you. C
Radish
17th Sep 2017
7:40am
Recently moved into a not for profit village...one of a number run by the Royal Australian Airforce here in WA. Happy as one thing and what a great group of people living here....warmly welcomed by everyone we have come across.

Know exactly what happens when or if we ever depart the village...do not have to sell our place ourselves...we just get a cheque written out and no refurbishment costs.

As a number have said to us "you will wish you had moved in sooner".

All I can say is to anyone contemplating moving into a village...just do your homeword and know what you are letting yourselves in for which is what we did.

Looking forward to the last stage of our life in an environment which is friendly, a secure well run village with lots to do and most of all no social isolation...something which happens to a great many elderly people sadly, these days.
robbie
15th Sep 2017
12:11am
For the interest of people who may be considering the retirement village lifestyle.
Not all villages are as reported in the news or on this forum.
Yes you do have to read the small print in the contract and yes get a copy of the Retirement Villages Act and give to your solicitor. Find a solicitor who is conversant with the Act.
I live in a retirement village.
My monthly levy is a percentage of the single pension. This applies to couples and singles.
The percentage never changes.
I do not have to pay for any extras such changing light globe, gardening etc
Any work we need is attended by management organising tradesmen.
There are good villages. Look around and you will find them.
The village I live in has 450 villas and 60 assisted living apartments.
TREBOR
15th Sep 2017
1:35am
That seems to be exactly why there is a need for a standard and overseen contract with the same rights etc clearly laid out for everybody.

If some can do it, as Grey Voter points out above, they can all do it.. obviously Ingenia are looking at a long term profit rather than an AVEO style, which I call 'Ram Raid/Smash and Grab" management....

Corporate pirates have no place in controlling the lives and finances of ordinary people.. and thereby hangs many a tale... stick around... the best is yet to come...
Radish
17th Sep 2017
2:05pm
From what you have said Robbie I think you and I live in villages run by the same not for profit people ;)...well run and I am amazed at how quickly maintenance complaints are fixed. We had a problem the other day...light on outside patio not working...within 2 hours the electrician was here and it was done. no cost to us as all included in our monthly fees as you said.
danbo
15th Sep 2017
7:21am
The AVEO retirement village in which I live reminds me of the set in a Stephen King movie. It's a Village of Misery. So much depression and unhappiness amongst residents, knowing there is no escape. I, like many others, would love to sell my unit and move elsewhere but AVEO would end up with more than half my money and it would be impossible to re-purchase anywhere else. Yes, I agree that I should have tried to understand my contract better but I was experiencing a very difficult time in my life and I trusted AVEO because it never occurred to me that a retirement village would deliberately rip senior citizens off. To those here criticising us for not reading or understanding the contract properly, please understand that making such a decision is very often done at a time of stress including illness, grief and other elements that go with reaching old age.
Rae
15th Sep 2017
7:58am
Yes exactly danbo. I've made stupid decisions I regretted under stress too.

Slaves made their masters miserable by refusing to co-operate in any way and forcing every single action to be issued as an instruction.

I'm sure there are ways you could give the management a very hard time indeed if you ganged up.
CindyLou
15th Sep 2017
5:03pm
Danbury, it's horrible that people feel trapped in their housing choices.

Reading above post from Puglet 14/9 - it seems that the contracts for for SOME organizations are so difficult to understand, obviously done to confuse both individuals and legal professionals. That's just not right, as noted by Puglet, three pretty switched on legal professionals struggled to make sense of one of these contracts. How dishonest is this.
danbo
15th Sep 2017
8:12am
'Bleed them dry before they die.' (AVEO's Motto).
CindyLou
15th Sep 2017
9:43am
I think you could add BEFORE AND AFTER they die. Shameful. The 'take' that keeps on taking.
TREBOR
15th Sep 2017
7:02pm
Yes - once the inmate has passed on, AVEO get to buy back their property at rock bottom price, re-sell it at a higher price to some other sucker wanting to become an inmate, and cop a nice fee for handling all that for the estate.... as well as continuing to levy charges and costs until the property is 'sold'.

What's the difference between AVEO and a whore?

A whore stops screwing you once you're dead.
sybilla
16th Sep 2017
12:06pm
Not sure if Lend-Lease is typical of the way retirement village
sybilla
16th Sep 2017
12:11pm
Oops what I meant to say is not sure if Lend-Lease is typical of the way retirement villages operate but the devil seems to be in the detail and the details of how h they run the village I often visit reveals that profit is secondary to residents' welfare, Consider the following:
sybilla
16th Sep 2017
12:23pm
Third time lucky, I seem to have struck a glitch here but consider that:
*Smoke alarms go off if the oven or stove exceed moderate temperatures, residents expected to pay fire department fee to reset alarm
*Swimming pool closed for several weeks
* Inadequate parking for visitors
Sorry to veer off topic but small things like this can grow into an enormous issue for residents who believe the publicity that "We are a caring community which supports and values its residents." My advice is try before you buy.
*Spa below recommended temperature despite frequent resident requests to heat it to industry standards


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