Jude McCauley has begun a process of challenging the levies at the retirement village where she lives.
Jude McCauley has begun a process of challenging the levies at the retirement village where she lives. Blainey Woodham

Retirement village fees differ

TWEED’S older residents, looking at moving to a retirement village, have been urged to make sure they understand the fee structure.

Laurie Ganter, who is secretary of one Tweed Heads complex which has a long waiting list, has made the warning in the wake of a Tweed Daily News story on Monday about rising strata levies at the Mountain View Retirement Village in Murwillumbah.

Mr Ganter fears the report could reflect badly on other well-run complexes which sell “a lease to occupy” rather than strata-titled units which have strata levies. He wants others to recognise the difference.

He has also taken exception to a claim by Mountain View executive committee spokesman Ossie Brunner that despite recent fee rises his village still offers the best-value retirement between Ballina and Brisbane.

“Ossie Brunner’s village is different from many other efficiently run villages in the Tweed which do not include additional strata title levies,” Mr Ganter said.

“Retirees living in our village in the centre of Tweed Heads know the real value of their village as they are not hit with massive strata title levies.”

Mr Ganter said some retirement villages in NSW were set up as strata-titled schemes and others sold a “lease to occupy”, with advantages and disadvantages in both systems.

“I am secretary of the board of management of a retirement village that would claim the sale of a ‘lease to occupy’ is always much cheaper and better for retirees than any strata title-based village,” he said.

Meanwhile, another resident of the Mountain View village, Jude McCauley, has joined criticism of that village’s recent fee rises. Ms McAuley, a previous executive committee member who moved to the village just over three years ago, said she had begun the process required by the NSW Office of Fair Trading by asking management to justify increases in fees prior to applying for mediation.

“A lease to occupy is always much cheaper and better for retirees than any strata title.”



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