Media Release - 12 March 2021
“The Residential Land Lease Communities Act 2013 is up for review and submissions close today. This has been a great opportunity for residents living in residential communities to make submissions that will address the loopholes in the current Act,” the MP for Ballina, Tamara Smith said.
“During a press conference, I met with residents from a number of residential villages in the Ballina electorate and received their submissions. The residents told me of their experiences with residential village operators and the impact that was having on their health and finances. It was shocking to hear how much exploitation our senior citizens are subjected to through the current Act,” Ms Smith said
“I am glad that residential villages and a few others in the community have regularly contacted me and informed me of some of the challenges they face due to the current Residential (Land Lease) Communities Act 2013.
“I am aware that there are 29 residential communities in my electorate, all with varied concerns about the current Act. Their concerns range from unjustifiable site fee increases to unclear terms and conditions that only work in favour of the operators.
“The current Act leaves the home owner vulnerable and powerless. It is absurd that some of the most vulnerable people in our community are not protected from the laborious, legalistic and financially exhausting systems in place due to this Act.
“Whilst many of the residents in these residential villages are mentally and physically alert, others are not able to understand the complexities of the Act and site agreements leaving them open to exploitation.
“The Act does not enable prospective home owners to make informed decisions. In some villages, buyers are not informed of any rights or supports that the village has in place.
“I am grateful for the work that the Tenants Union has done with the residents in these villages. They have advocated for them and empowered them to stand up and push for fairness.
“I made my own submission, which was mostly informed by proactive residents who felt that they have no protections through the current Act.
“I am grateful to all those residents who have regularly contacted me and informed me of all the injustices happening in these villages. Particularly, I want to thank the residents of Riverbend, Waterfront and Sanctuary Villages,” Ms Smith said.
“I hope that the Department of Fair Trading listens to the concerns of residents in these villages and provides residents with more protections in the reviewed Act.”