One of the main aims of the ARQRV is to support, and assist members when they have a problem or dispute with their village manager and/or Scheme Operator. The ARQRV cannot intervene in disputes between residents in a Retirement Village.
Too many Scheme Operators in this industry have placed too much faith in the legal profession in order to maximise their profits. The result has been unfair complex contracts which are so long that ordinary solicitors – sometimes with little knowledge of the Acts relating to Retirement Villages – will still charge thousands of dollars to check them over for future residents. If you know someone considering the move to a Retirement Village please advise them to seek help from the ARQRV before they sign anything. (See ‘Retirement Villages: some questions to ask before signing’ in this section).
Poorly managed companies in this industry should not be encouraged by the former lax attitude of the Office of Fair Trading (now the Department of Housing and Public Works) towards penalising Scheme Operators who do not operate their villages within the law. The fines are minor, but are still not enforced in a transparent manner. The public are beginning to perceive that some Scheme Operators see nothing immoral, unethical, unfair and dishonest in subjecting residents – in their sixties, seventies and eighties and older – to Elder Abuse, and making them possibly the oldest whistleblowers in Australia. Perhaps, the reducing value of their shares will see changes in this industry for the better. The ARQRV has been campaigning for years to have amendments to the Acts which will give residents a fairer deal.
The health effects for whistleblowers and residents risk is well documented. However, residents who belong to the ARQRV are NOT alone, because they have help and advice from the ARQRV Committee at all stages of a dispute including Mediation and the Tribunal. The ARQRV also has recourse to the services of a solicitor who specialises in the Acts governing Retirement Villages.
The Acts that govern Retirement Villages have sections dealing with the Resolution of Disputes. However, these sections lack credibility, because they ignore the fact that residents in many disputes are suffering Elder Abuse in the way village managers and Scheme Operators behave. More information on Elder Abuse can be found by clicking on Links, and then clicking on the links Elder Abuse….. . The ARQRV Newsletters can attest to the bullying, and intimidation of residents involved in disputes with their village manager and/or Scheme Operator. Even the ARQRV Committee has been subjected to intimidation by solicitors acting on behalf of Scheme Operators for helping members involved in disputes.