News from our Legal service

On the 31 January one of our client’s got great news. With legal assistance from Senior Rights Service she was given the right to remain in her retirement village indefinitely.
 
Our client, an elderly woman, lives in a rural retirement village. She is one of the last of the original residents of that complex of over 40 one bedroom units and has lived there for over 10 years.

 

She had a contract with the first operator which was in the form of a residential tenancy agreement. But, because that agreement did not exclude the provisions of the Retirement Villages Act it was therefore a residence contract which allowed her to live in the village indefinitely.

 

After the current operator took over the complex it decided to convert the retirement village into a strata scheme.
It then offered our client $5000.00 to convert her residence contract into a new tenancy agreement with a fixed term and at a higher rent.
When she refused to accept the offer and to change to a “lease,” the operator tried to evict our client by serving on her a notice of intention to seek termination.
They later argued that, because our client had not surrendered her keys and provided vacant possession after receiving the notice, she was in breach of her agreement. The operator argued that the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) could therefore make an order terminating her residence contract thereby allowing it regain possession.
When the operator applied to NCAT for an order our client approached Seniors Rights Service for legal assistance.
Ultimately she won an appeal in the NCAT review panel.
The operator of her village then sought to appeal that decision to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court did not grant leave to appeal.

That decision meant that our client’s contract is protected by the provisions of the Retirement Villages Act 2015, effectively granting her the right to reside at her village indefinitely. This is a great outcome for her as she now feels secure in her home.

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