17th Aug 2017

Aveo confesses it let retirement village residents down

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Aveo group admits poor standards
Olga Galacho

Retirement village operator Aveo yesterday admitted it needs to lift its game after posting a 118 per cent jump in net profit to $253 million for the past financial year.

In a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) Group Chief Executive Geoff Grady said: “The strong performance of the core Aveo retirement business was strengthened by solid contributions from the Freedom and RVG acquisitions.”

The company said the operations had lifted earnings to 18.9 cents per share and was aiming for more gains this financial year to reach 20.4 cents.

Aveo has been under fire this year following media reports that it was allegedly “gouging” many village residents.



The company spent tens of thousands of dollars on full-page newspaper advertisements defending its record.

But yesterday, Aveo said “we can do better and we’ve resolved to simplify both the Aveo Way and Freedom contracts further within the next 12 months”.

It acknowledged that it was “genuinely distressed” at “falling short of the standards our consumers expect of us”.

“We know that some of our consumers feel that we have let them down.

“Having listened to the needs of its consumers, Aveo is today announcing: (It) has improved and strengthened its own complaint and incident handling procedures, including a requirement for independent mediation.

“We’ve listened carefully to the public discussion about us,” the company said, adding that it supported the push for federal legislation for the retirement village industry.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission launched an investigation of "the more serious matters being raised" in the Aveo scandal last month.

Opinion: Aveo's mea culpa a weak cop out

Aveo’s mea culpa yesterday smacked of a besieged organisation desperate to clean up its act after a slew of current and former village residents revealed to the media allegations of mistreatment.

The stunning backflip was contained in a glossy, 94-page document peppered with photographs of content seniors smiling broadly.

We can assume that the retirees pictured did not include the dozens who have shamed the giant village operator, some of whom have been technically evicted in the past year or two for insisting on their rights.

Interestingly, Aveo states in the document it will not sue any of those who have outed its appalling behaviour. Not because it believes the claims are indefensible but because it says its hands are tied.

“Aveo faces a number of legal restrictions in its capacity to respond to or comment on media coverage,” the document reports.

“While vigorously disputing the accuracy of many of the claims and representations, as a corporate entity, Aveo is unable to pursue any defamation remedies.

“For this reason, all Aveo responses to date and going forward can deal only with addressing the accuracy of the general rather than specific claims that have been made regarding its businesses.”

What a cop out! But if this organisation thinks it will be able to evade its day in court, it is wrong. There are at least two class actions currently preparing to sue Aveo  on behalf of residents with genuine claims of unfair treatment.

Luckily for the village operator, it will be able to dig into its nine-figure profit of $253 million announced yesterday.

Those dollars translate to a profit contribution of almost $20,000 per each village household.

The current legislation allows free rein to village operators to treat our most vulnerable citizens appallingly while at the same time charging them exhorbitantly in their twilight years.

We can only hope Aveo gets what it wishes for and the Federal Government steps in to write national laws. Politicians need to draft and pass legislation quickly to protect residents from unscrupulous behaviour by giant corporations aimed at lining the pockets of investors while delivering sub-standard service.

Do you live in a retirement village or would you ever contemplate moving into one? What has been your experience of village life? Do you think the huge profit made by Aveo off its elderly residents is an unconscionable rip off?

Related articles:
ACCC to investigate Aveo
Minister responds to Aveo scandal
Ministers to meet over Aveo scandal





COMMENTS

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Tom Tank
17th Aug 2017
11:18am
Why is it we get strong controls on things such as trade unions yet profit making organisations like Aveo, CBA etc get protected by the Government?
KSS
17th Aug 2017
12:15pm
Have you not seen what the CMFEU 'gets away with' Tom Tank? So much for strong controls there!
Sceptic
17th Aug 2017
3:25pm
Clearly Tom you do not know your subject. Unions that are responsible for millions of dollars of members funds do not have anything like the control that public companies have, not the accountability of directors of public companies.

Further, so you think that Unions are not profit making entities. Then how come they are able to make minions of dollars of donations to like minded organisations like Get-up and their protectors like the Green party and the ALP?
MICK
17th Aug 2017
3:26pm
But I have seen what the coal industry gets away with, what the banking industry gets away with and what the top end of town gets away with.
Forget the troll comment KSS. You are comparing small time crookedness with grand larceny. Whilst both ends are dirty the sheer scale of the corruption at the top makes the CMFEU look like a choirboy. But of course you know that!
TREBOR
17th Aug 2017
7:51pm
What exactly have the CFMEU 'gotten away with'? Just asking.....
TREBOR
17th Aug 2017
7:54pm
Unions often run businesses as a means of raising funds - they own office buildings and collect the rents....

Yes -= in some ways they act as a business - but in those areas where they do, they are subject to the same rules.

You may have a case with member's dues etc - but only if you include all political donations etc in the same basket.... and place them all under the same watch dog.
MICK
17th Aug 2017
8:18pm
My recollection is that they held building sites to ransom and stood over people like gangsters. Of course nothing compared to what the top does with a smile on its face and its puppet politicians enacting legislation and giving the top money.
TREBOR
17th Aug 2017
8:26pm
I note a Royal Commission ended up with one person charged for that kind of behaviour, Mick.. I'd hardly call it a CFMEU thing... or a Union thing alone.

Just exactly how does a Union go about 'standing over' a business that employs its members? Surely adults can reach an agreement and stick to it, and from what comes out, it seems that most of the problems with certain building sites come from management and not Union.

As long as the rules and agreements are abided by, no Union has a leg to stand on in 'holding a site to ransom'.... the courts see to that very swiftly.

On the other hand, there is not the same attention to management malfeasance.
MICK
17th Aug 2017
8:47pm
I remember the bad old days when multistory buildings came to a grinding halt when it was time to finish it off with nonsense like not putting on the front door, etc. to extract more pay and the like. I took very little interest in those days but I do recall feeling that the behaviour was bad. And of course we all remember the waterfront and how much workers earned for some pretty lax working conditions.
Let's not make the CMFEU out to be saints TREBOR.....but of course compared to the monumental fraud at the top these end up as minor misdemeanours. Quite unsurprisingly the coalition never discuss the relationship it has with the big end of town or the huge amounts of public money which go into the bank accounts of business interests and wealthy business people. Only ever Labor and Unions.
TREBOR
17th Aug 2017
8:51pm
Not me - I worked the office on the Eastern Suburbs Railway many years ago, at a time when the building Unions were becoming somewhat bellicose.... I know what you mean, Mick, but these days it seems that such silly things are not happening, but that often breaches of contract and even safety rules are, under the governance of the management....
trood
17th Aug 2017
11:59am
This shonky lot are now advertising on channel 10s morning show about how wonderful life is in their "retirement communities', no eye to eye contact with the viewers only a profile angle talking to the interviewer. Potential customers, be very very careful!
Retired Knowall
17th Aug 2017
1:38pm
Anyone going into one of these villages have only themselves to blame. Everyone has the information, no excuses.
Rae
17th Aug 2017
2:18pm
Yes I agree Retired. For too long we have been behaving like spoilt children expecting "the government" or someone else to look after us. The can't or won't and it is time people took responsibility for themselves a bit more.
KSS
17th Aug 2017
2:37pm
I agree Rae. People bought into these retirement villages of their own volition. They were given (very) detailed contracts and had their own solicitors look at them. They made the decision to go ahead and knew or should have known the consequences of doing so.

Aveo and others are selling a product at a certain price under certain conditions. If you accept those terms and conditions then you are responsible for your actions. No point crying about it later if you abdicated your responsibility.
MICK
17th Aug 2017
3:29pm
Not everybody watches Four Corners or does due diligence Rae.
The way to rat businesses like AVEO out is to email the stations you see them advertising on and tell them you will stop watching the station and let your friends know about it and they may do likewise. Any media outlet worth its salt will quickly work out that losing many views is a short cut to receivership and probably pull the advertising.
TREBOR
17th Aug 2017
8:45pm
I wonder if those contracts clearly spelled out that you could buy for $245k, and if you wished to sell later, you took a hit of (for example) 20% of that $245k, and had no choice but to sell it back to the original seller (???) for $245k - 20%, who could then on-sell it to another buyer at $645k???

At what point does a purchased freehold property remain the property of the original vendor under all circumstances, simply because they own the land it sits on - for which the purchaser pays a weekly fee?

This is what needs to be cleared up.
MICK
17th Aug 2017
8:50pm
I read through one for my mother 10 years ago TREBOR. It is there.
What needs to be cleaned up is the length of the contract. This needs to be at most 3 or 4 pages and the language used basic English rather than legalese. There is a reason why the contracts are so long and verbose. Guess why people do not read them.
TREBOR
17th Aug 2017
8:52pm
Amazing that a lawyer could let things slip through.. but I can believe it happens....

Yes - a simple contract and simple rules would make it a lot easier for everyone.
Old Man
17th Aug 2017
12:15pm
There is legislation covering the way that these providers are meant to carry out their business and with legislation comes a set of rules and penalties. Is this organisation too big for a government to enforce the rules? I wonder if any political donations have been made.
KSS
17th Aug 2017
12:22pm
Surely at the moment all there are are allegations. There may be moral outrage but it remains to be seen whether there have been any laws broken.
Retired Knowall
17th Aug 2017
1:40pm
The problem is there is no legislation or rules protecting the tenants.
There needs to be LAWS legislated that make it a level playing field.
The Moral Outrage is because these operators are Morally Bankrupt.
Rae
17th Aug 2017
2:22pm
The contracts clearly state there are 35% penalties and 40% penalties for early withdrawal. Buying or building infrastructure on someone else land has always been a pretty stupid thing to do.
MICK
17th Aug 2017
3:33pm
OM: I am sure you better than anyone understand that there are MANY rules and much LEGISLATION which controls what businesses can and can't do to people.
Crooked business just ignore the rules because governments refuse to enforce them. So you get 'rules' which you have to enforce yourself. Try that one with a multinational. I have seen this work many time for big business and the only way you can hurt these crooked operators is to get the matter aired on prime time TV so that consumers vote with their feet.
Tom Tank
17th Aug 2017
4:05pm
Laws may not have been broken KSS but one questions the Laws.
It was exactly because of the Laws of the time that the Trade Union Movement formed their own political party, i.e the Labour Party. They realised that the only way fair Laws would ever be made to protect those who worked for a wage was to have a hand in making those Laws.
This applied to the UK as well as Australia. At least here workers who protested about working conditions were not subjected to mounted charges by cavalry wielding sabres called in by the government.
TREBOR
17th Aug 2017
8:49pm
If laws are not broken but wrong is done - it is the duty of government and of the courts to ensure that right is done....

Tenez Le Droit!! Let Right Be Done!

If laws can be circumvented with a little chicanery, those laws need to be tightened up.

Someone on another forum said not so long ago that governments always installed loop-holes in legislation for business etc, since that meant there would always be those who could use them.... and those who did were all in the mate's club...

There is a serious delusion going around that somehow business is like a religion and cannot be touched or criticised..... since it patently does so much for the economy and the nation... I think many need to look at the end results to get a firm grip on the truth of that.
MICK
17th Aug 2017
8:54pm
The big out is that you have put up a lot of cash to have your day in court. That is where all the laws and all the legislation becomes useless as average citizens don't normally have the financial clout to take an issue to court. Business wons by default and governments refuse to enforce its legislation despite having regulators employed to do so. Forget about the ACCC or ASIC. The are useless figureheads and serve little or no purpose because they refuse to act. So you lose. That is how the system is intended to work.
Leoan
17th Aug 2017
12:19pm
THANK YOU, MS. GALACHO, AND THE PRODUCER OF 'YOUR LIFE CHOICES' ! With your no-nonsense articles and reviews on behalf of the elderly you've been championing their causes, and by pursuing this topic on AVEO you have opened this "can of worms" - the possibility that other ILU operators could be illegally profiteering also right on the noses of our apathetic government! My sincere gratitude to the journalists & staff of your newsletter.
[from Leoan]
KSS
17th Aug 2017
12:27pm
We don't know that they have been 'illegally profiteering' Leoan or which if any, laws have actually been broken.

Until they are brought before the courts we should be wary about assuming the role of Judge and Jury to convict based on opinions voiced on this (or any other) media outlet.
Placido
17th Aug 2017
1:24pm
KSS should ask Julie Bishop to stop trying intimadate courts and other governments, she too should leave it to the courts
Rae
17th Aug 2017
2:25pm
There is no law against profiteering. Why would anyone expect there to be protections in a neoliberal economy? A lot of people obviously wanted this or they wouldn't have voted for the LNP government.
Olga Galacho
17th Aug 2017
2:36pm
Thanks heaps Leoan for your feedback.

Cheers. Olga
KSS
17th Aug 2017
2:39pm
Why Placido? She has nothing to do with the retirement village issue.
floss
17th Aug 2017
2:12pm
This type of Organisation has flourished under the Liberal Party rule but as their mantra is greed is good as long as there is money to be made, go hard.KSS most worker are not in a union that why wages are on the way down. I know people that have been shafted by these people ,before you sign on visit a solicitor that deals only in that type of accommodation.They were given a free go when John Howard was in power.
MICK
17th Aug 2017
3:35pm
Yeah, KSS is certainly a right winger defending the rights of the rich to plunder people. Maybe she needs to come clean?
KSS
17th Aug 2017
5:39pm
Come clean about what exactly Mick? I have asked that you put up or shut before with your accusations.
MICK
17th Aug 2017
8:27pm
Perhaps explain why you cry poor to defend the rich and the top end of town plying its trade.

"Strong control of the CMFEU"?
"Allegations" with respect to Aveo?

You want me to come clean? How about you come clean and tell this community who you are posting your misleading BS for.
We both know that the CMFEU were a problem but mainly to rich building companies screwing their workers on unsafe building sites. And the top end of town? Maybe shed a word or two on that!
You obviously did not watch the Four Corners expose on Aveo and how it mounted an attack on retirees who it wanted to shaft, including one very very on the ball older woman who Aveo tried to have declared mentally incapacitated.

I don't appreciate your taunt. It is dishonest and seeks to mislead.
Rosret
17th Aug 2017
2:16pm
So many political responses to this article. I doubt either party would have realised what this foreign billionaire was up to.
However we now know and its buyer beware. I certainly won't go near an AVEO retirement village. The trouble is - who else out there can't be trusted.
Rae
17th Aug 2017
2:28pm
You need to check out the details in the contract and the legal structure. Who owns the land would be my first question. Any dwelling on someone else's land isn't worth anything at all.
B5YCK
17th Aug 2017
2:34pm
If an foreign company makes a take over for an Australian company it has to go to the government review board.
The same should apply for take overs of retirement homes here in Australia.
Isn't the government there to protect its citizens?
MICK
17th Aug 2017
3:23pm
"It needs to lift its game"? That is what all the crooked businesses say when they are caught out. I seem to recall the Commonwealth Bank CEO said the same last week.
Lifting its game is BS. Means nothing. The only thing that matters is MONEY and how to extract the next dollar, legal or otherwise. Oh yes....Narev said his the conduct of his crooked bank was a "coding error". A lie. So is Aveo's statement.
Do yourselves a favour retirees and avoid retirement operators who have been shown to be crooks. You'll live a lot longer.
heemskerk99
17th Aug 2017
7:06pm
mick also avoid property investors special the person who stated in these columns not so long ago for renters to shut up complaining about rising rents because they did not know what they were talking about and the cost to be an investor, yet this same person two days later boasted about his three months holiday in europe and still is and informing us in the same breath of his next year's three months trip to Italy while at the same time telling the renters to go and live in the never ever if they opened their mouth in regard to the high rent they were paying, yes mick I agree with your comment to do yourselves a favour and avoid people who have been shown to be crooks especial those in the renting industry and special those who use their investments of rorting the tax they are supposed to be paying,
heemskerk99
17th Aug 2017
7:06pm
mick also avoid property investors special the person who stated in these columns not so long ago for renters to shut up complaining about rising rents because they did not know what they were talking about and the cost to be an investor, yet this same person two days later boasted about his three months holiday in europe and still is and informing us in the same breath of his next year's three months trip to Italy while at the same time telling the renters to go and live in the never ever if they opened their mouth in regard to the high rent they were paying, yes mick I agree with your comment to do yourselves a favour and avoid people who have been shown to be crooks especial those in the renting industry and special those who use their investments of rorting the tax they are supposed to be paying,
MICK
17th Aug 2017
8:35pm
??????? Twice as stupid heemsjerk?

I normally would not bother responding to your BS but I'll do you a favour lest others half believe your illiterate tripe.
Thanks for advertising what I so freely printed. I have no shame of that because it did not come easy (still doesn't) and because i paid my dues.
What I said about rents is that the cost of property and maintenance, let alone interest, is not e walk in the park. You need to try it before you cry poor. Ordinary citizens do not get to own rental property easily and tenants sometimes trash places when much work has been done to provide a beautiful place to live. But I guess you would know that.
Rorting? Not me. If you want to remember back you'll see I have campaigned for strugglers on many occasions so save that crap for somebody who deserves it.
As for the 3 month holidays you'd choke if you knew the budget these were done on.
Don't be too jealous. You could achieve the same if you took the medicine...but you'll have none of that mate.
Raphael
17th Aug 2017
3:47pm
Aveo profits doubles and the share price was up 5%
the must be doing something right. a majority of their customers are happy and their base is growing.
So me thinks there is biased reporting going on.
FCM
17th Aug 2017
4:03pm
I live in a retirement village - not owned or managed by Aveo. I watched the 4 corners program a few weeks ago and was appalled at how residents in Aveo residents are treated exorbitant exit fees, charges for the smallest maintenance jobs and so on. Not sure how widespread such practices are in other non-Aveo villages but certainly not where I live.
MICK
17th Aug 2017
8:37pm
The entire industry is corrupt and has been aided and abetted by governments on both sides of politics who know precisely what has been going on for decades. Work that one out.
baza18
17th Aug 2017
4:57pm
We are in our second retirement village & both are privately owned which is the best way to go, you deal with the person who actually owns the village not a huge corporation & there isn't any entry or exit fees either. If you want to sell you can & the money is all yours.
Rae, to say a a dwelling on someone else"s land is't worth anything is ridiculous, we sold our last home in a retirement village & downsized to this one & had some money over.
MICK
17th Aug 2017
8:37pm
You are lucky. Thank your lucky stars you picked the needle in the haystack.
Rae
19th Aug 2017
11:14am
Glad you dealt with honourable people baza18 and not a soulless corporation.
TREBOR
17th Aug 2017
7:51pm
This kind of profit gouging is precisely why nations end up with extreme governments of either right or left, which dictate prices and such and thus create an often lop-sided society that simply doesn't function.

It is up to business to begin to behave as a decent citizen and to put the interests of all on an equal footing, and not just the 'greed is good' nonsense that is supposed to 'trickle-down' so much benefit for a society.

Unfortunately, if they won't do that - they are crying out for a strong, centralised, controlling government...... and nobody in his/her right mind really wants that.

Far better to come to the party early and make amends and then set your course on the straight and level... better to do that than hang from a lamp post...
Raphael
17th Aug 2017
8:03pm
AVEO made good profits because there is a huge demand for its product.
simple economics which I wudda thought you would have learnt at first year Uni
they are not a monoploy and hence are not making super profits.
looks like a well run company whose products and services are in high demand and hence fetch a premium in the market

What would you have them do - lower their prices and reduce profits just because you enagage in the politics of envy?
TREBOR
17th Aug 2017
8:22pm
115% net profit increase? 5% to investors? Truly an investment dream....

I'd say there is a lot going on there that is outside the control of the investors or anyone else..... and with all the reports of the nasty things going on, there is a need for greater oversight and voluntary self-control....

Once people learn the downside of this kind of thing, demand will decline.... good citizenship from business would create a longer term and more steady profit train than simple price gouging and gouging of those who purchase into these schemes.
Raphael
17th Aug 2017
8:38pm
"once people learn the downside ....."

that's your view.
most AVEO clients are pretty happy, so I suggest you are in the minority
MICK
17th Aug 2017
8:40pm
Business does not think or work like that TREBOR. It is all about maximising profits.
When you have strong government which is not in bed with business you have a chance. Unfortunately business can do not wrong and when it does if frequently has no case to answer. The system is broken and our politicians and regulatory authorities are either in bed with the crooks or enjoying the privileged lifestyle and will not rock the boat.
TREBOR
17th Aug 2017
8:58pm
I'm in no minority - I'm an observer and an impartial judge of what I see and hear.....

It seems most AVEO clients have not run up against the reality of saying the want or need to get out.... or they either don't care or they are afraid to say anything... well - look at the stories coming out from those who did say anything...

Yes - a silly business charges too much and sells once - a good business charges a reasonable price and sells twice or more.. the old adage that repeat customers are your bread and butter holds true to some extent.

Trouble is, with this kind of thing, you customers are never 'repeat' ones - they leave via the chimney..... just like the good old days at Auschwitz, eh? (just saying .. injecting a little humour, Hans... but remember, like dat feminism - it's only theory about the master race and such)....
Rae
19th Aug 2017
11:07am
If most Aveo clients are happy then why the very high exit costs to keep them confined to the villages.
doris008
17th Aug 2017
8:10pm
What saying! rip you off until you die. That nice company who don't care about human works hard knowing these low life are sitting back enjoying your hard earnings.
Raphael
17th Aug 2017
8:17pm
what?
no one is forcing anyone to buy into these homes.
folks are doing so because it makes sense for them. Aveo is merely fullfilling a demand in the marketplace
Capitalism working as it should.

The few who bought into the plan and later realised they wanted out are the only ones who are complaining.

I wish I could ask for my money back one of my investment decisions lost a bit of money or didnt perform as well as I thought it would
TREBOR
17th Aug 2017
8:39pm
Are you suggesting that a demand based on a false premise will remain immutable, and that demand will not decline once the false premise on which it is based is revealed?

There was once a strong demand for arsenic as a health aid, since it offered red, rosy cheeks - now it is a severely controlled substance..... (hello)....

When you discuss demand you must always remain aware that the market will change for many reasons, and one primary and immediate cause of change in demand downward is the realisation that the commodity is not providing what it is supposed to.
MICK
17th Aug 2017
8:41pm
The real problem is consumers who will not read the contract and who do not get a solicitor to explain the pitfalls to them. They should.
Raphael
17th Aug 2017
8:45pm
Caveat Emptor Trebor and Mick
and use a friggin lawyer if you dont understand the fine print
TREBOR
17th Aug 2017
9:15pm
Ah - so the theory here is the emptor has no rights or must be able to interpret reams of paperwork.... it seems then that regulations are in order so as to ensure that no emptor is emptied of cash with a set of card tricks.....

A simple contract is the answer..... one that anyone can understand.... since it seems that many lawyers can't even interpret these AVEO contracts..... that must ring a bell somewhere....
Raphael
17th Aug 2017
9:24pm
I wish people would stop blaming the contracts or the law for their own lack of due dilignece or common sense
Shysters are in every industry, but if you don't do your homework, you have only yourself to blame
stupid is as stupid does
TREBOR
18th Aug 2017
1:18am
That's precisely why regulation and oversight need to be put in place to properly protect all parties in total transparency .... in any honest dealing nobody co0uld have an argument with that...

It protects BOTH sides.... and if AVEO feel they are currently being hard done by - they should have considered that in the same light BEFORE launching their 'business plan'.

Total clarity and transparency protects BOTH sides.

Caveat Emptor works two ways.....
Olga
17th Aug 2017
8:57pm
Hi Floss. My mum has lived in an Aveo apartment since she was widowed 12 years ago today ... today being the anniversary of my Dads death. I thought I was helping her with due diligence when i found the only solicitor at the time listing retirement village contracts as his specialty. So we went to consult him and he handed over docs for us to sign saying everything was hunky dory. But he got the units address wrong. The docs he provided were for a serviced apartment in the property's aged care facility. He fixed it when I pointed out the error and mum signed up ... a few years later I discovered that said solicitor was on the village operators payroll... so all along he was spruikiing for the company and my mum didnt stand a chance. Back then and probably even today there just arent enough lawyers who understand the murky retirement village laws to vouch for the rights of potential village buyers ... which is why we need decent legislation to inform the ill informed legal fraternity who allow unsuspecting elderly people to sign away their rights to decent service today.
Cheers
Olga
TREBOR
17th Aug 2017
9:17pm
I believe that is illegal on his part, Olga.
Blossom
18th Aug 2017
7:25pm
I consider this activity by the solicitor to be a conflict of interest.
A solicitor can not act on both sides of a transaction
Rae
19th Aug 2017
11:04am
Make an appointment to see Legal Aid for your mum. This is not alright nor legal.
TREBOR
18th Aug 2017
1:23am
I do so love a reasoned and reasonable discussion of points.. without all the personal tripe and vitriol....

I see so much more gained here in reasoned discussion than in days of flinging mere\de back and forth over one another's character and mental capabilities...

I believe the answer has been posted here.. a reasonable and readable contract, with proper regulation and oversight, and clear delineation of what 'freehold' ownership actually means, as opposed to freehold ownership of the land on which a dwelling rests.... each has rights.. those rights need to clarified and codified s and contracts made clear and simple so as to protect all parties equally.

Pretty easy, eh? Beats days of slanging off at one another... now it seems the adults ARE in charge for a change....
Raphael
18th Aug 2017
2:02am
You're holier then thou condescending post makes me want to barf
No amount of simplifying or codifying or whatever else simplistic idiot proofing will compensate for bad judgement
A seller made an offer and the customer accepted
You can't legislate away what a willing buyer and a willing seller want to enter into a contracrualb arrangements towards
Your mindset is naive and to be honest quite ludicrous
Rae
19th Aug 2017
11:01am
TREBOR eventually these dodgy operators will become so greedy they will have no customers and collapse taking their shareholders with them. Happens all the time.

Yes a simplified contract would be best but then they couldn't hide the horrendous exit fees half as well. Unfortunately it is probably all perfectly legal. Capitalism has always feasted on the weak, gullible and uneducated.When the legal system set up to protect joined the fray all safety disappeared. People should be brought to realise no one is protecting or looking after them against the corporations. Beware when dealing with them. Read the contracts and tape any dialogue. Contemporaneous notes are also a good idea. They stand up in court often enough.

By trapping these people into staying and paying or losing far too much it's almost a form of legalised theft.

I am happily waiting for a consumer strike because nothing else is going to slow the greedy profiteers.

There my mindset is quite naive and ludicrous as well because I believe those able to should protect the innocent.
Fair Dinkum
18th Aug 2017
5:31am
My mum is in Goodwin village and it is very good.
It did go through a very bad stage when they had an extremely bad CEO but since getting rid of him it has slowly regained its good reputation.i speak fronm experience because mum was one of the first into the cottages and has recently moved into full care SOI have been associated with Goodwin for around 20 years
Fair Dinkum
18th Aug 2017
5:31am
My mum is in Goodwin village and it is very good.
It did go through a very bad stage when they had an extremely bad CEO but since getting rid of him it has slowly regained its good reputation.i speak fronm experience because mum was one of the first into the cottages and has recently moved into full care SOI have been associated with Goodwin for around 20 years
danbo
18th Aug 2017
7:36am
I am in an Aveo village. I pay $440 a month in 'maintenance fees' but the only maintenance I receive is having my tiny lawn mowed once a fortnight, which boils down to paying $220 every two weeks to have my lawn cut, which only takes a couple of minutes. I want to get out of here but I can't afford to because of the enormous exit fee and other outrageous costs involved in selling. Aveo will get the money that I had always believed would be my inheritance to my grandchildren. I have developed depression since living here, as have many fellow residents.
Blossom
18th Aug 2017
7:23pm
You didn't mention that you don't pay council rates, water rates, building insurance which the owners of the retirement village pay.
Raphael
18th Aug 2017
9:54pm
"Aveo wil get the money uo always thought would be inheritance for your grandkids" ?????

What money and why did you think that

You work for the competition danbo ?
floss
18th Aug 2017
9:52am
Good comment Olga do the right thing and still get screwed , but one person you can work out the name does seem to think greed is good and that is the big problem we now face in Australia.
inextratime
18th Aug 2017
10:07am
Despite all the rhetoric in many of the comments re this subject, the article suggests that there are two class actions being prepared. The law firms involved obviously believe they have a case but if Aveo have not broken the law they have nothing to fear. A court will decide the outcome and until then speculation for or against Aveo is exactly that. Time will tell.
Priscilla
18th Aug 2017
10:44am
There are some rogue trade unions but if it were not for trade unions in general people would be suffering as they are now with this government allowing jobs to be sent offshore and denying wage increases. They are also promoting 25% tax for all businesses no matter how large whilst now charging people 42% who have more than $100,000 in an immediate annuity. This was first organised in 2004 as tax free but now has been changed. They make the mafia look good!
Rae
19th Aug 2017
10:46am
Yes Pricilla and foreign corporations have their entire staff employed as casuals or contractors on changing rosters with no annual leave, sick leave or guarantee of ongoing employment. Work Choices no doubt about it.
Ted Wards
18th Aug 2017
2:13pm
At the end of the day this is a big business and it will always put profit ahead of consumers. Consumers are their business and this is what they have lost sight of. Worse is to come as the government spends millions on band aid solutions and nothing on fixing a corrupt and highly profitable business. The real question might be how many shareholders would actually live in one of these villages. If the answer is none there you have your biggest answer.
Blossom
18th Aug 2017
7:28pm
Does this complaint refer to all states or just Vict.
Each state has its own Retirement Villages Act. SA has only recently been updated in court.
danbo
19th Aug 2017
7:03am
Raphael, when I entered the AVEO Retirement Village I was assured that when I died, my unit would be sold for what would then be the current going price and as my kids are stated in my will as inheriting what I own, I thought they would get the money from the sale of my unit place plus the profit gained through increase in value over the years. The truth is that the 'Real Estate Agent branch' of Aveo (which I had no idea existed...I thought the unit would be sold through a regular real estate agent, which is the means by which I purchased it) would be selling it and taking the 36% sale commission out of it for themselves. And they would also charge a 40% 'Exit Fee' on top of that. Not much left for my kids ! Keep in mind also, that I pay $440 per month 'maintenance fee' and that will still apply (my kids will have to pay it) after I die, until it is sold. One unit here remained empty for 2 years but the family still had to pay the 'maintenance fee' on that empty unit util it was sold.
Rae
19th Aug 2017
10:42am
That is outrageous danbo. Was the exit fees written into the contract at the beginning? If not I'd be taking legal advice.
danbo
19th Aug 2017
7:10am
Blossom, you are wrong in stating that the village pay our rates. Every independent Living Unit owner has to pay their own annual land rates, water rates and interior insurance. Another hefty cost on top of everything else. Am wondering where you get your misinformation from?
PlanB
19th Aug 2017
12:29pm
Also, what gets me that silly morning show -- Studio 10 was saying how bad Aveo homes were and at the same time the Adds were showing saying how GOOD they were --
KeyC
19th Aug 2017
5:18pm
Sadly, the aged have become the target for companies like Aveo. As far as I am concerned Four Corners would not have touched that story if there were no truth in it. Aveo would have called its lawyers.
And unless some of you have been hibernating, it is a fact that the aged have become the industry to make a buck. We are talking about some of our older people who have become most vulnerable through illness, function decline and/or dementia. Those who have family are able to assist with transitioning into retirement villages but even families have reported just how complicated the contracts have turned out to be. Some have given up. It is not suffice to say 'but they knew what they were in for...'. Contracts are agreed upon firstly, in good faith when first informed of its contents. People will never be told what is in the 'fine print' until they experience real issues. Everyone knows that: look out for fine print. And that does not always make it right. In actual fact in my books makes it look worse because the older person at that point/time in their life is likely to believe and sign anything.They are preyed upon in some cases. No retirement village companies can truthfully say that it is not 'milking' the aged and that its tactics are wilful and punitive of those who 'rock the boat'.
I work in the aged care myself. The evidence of financial/elder abuse not only at the hands of next-of -kin can be at the hands of corporations as well. I have seen how the older person gets 'groomed' to gain their trust. Those who are isolated for whatever reason are the most at risk.
Anyway, getting back to Aveo - it is wrong, it should be held accountable and 'please explain' but the sad thing is: it is not alone. If we shake up any of the other retirement village companies you will find the same. They want to grow their profits and look after its shareholders. Shameful. The industry needs to cleaned up and the aged need protection. And that is the job of the government to step in. Let's wait and see what happens. Then again the Turnbull mob is in such disarray it can't even run their show properly! Useless lot and we pay them. cheers
PlanB
20th Aug 2017
9:19am
With you all the way there KeyC, makes one wonder with the amount charged in those home you would be better staying in your own home and paying someone to do stuff for you as they seem to charge a HELL of a lot for not doing a thing -- and when someone can be lying on the floor for a week it is no better than being in your own home, plus the great amount of I think it was $5000 a month for upkeep !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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