Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Consumer NZ Calls Out Unfair Terms In Retirement Village Contracts

Consumer NZ wants an overhaul of retirement village regulations to protect residents from unfair terms.

Consumer NZ chief executive Jon Duffy said its review of retirement village contracts found terms that unfairly favour the village and risk leaving residents out of pocket.

“Retirement villages promise the good life in your golden years. However, the agreements consumers must sign before they move into a village can have a nasty financial sting. Some also risk breaching consumer law,” Duffy said.

A major concern was terms that made residents responsible for the costs of maintaining and repairing items in their unit, even though they didn’t own them, he said.

Most retirement villages offer a “licence to occupy”, which gives the resident the right to live in their unit but no ownership rights to the property. Despite this, some contracts made the resident liable for repairing the operator’s chattels.

Consumer NZ head of research Jessica Wilson said Metlifecare had a wide-ranging clause in its contract, which gave residents just one month after the agreement begins to advise the company of any repairs needed.

After that time, the resident was required to meet any costs, including paying for repairs to the unit’s stove, garage doors, plumbing and electrical fittings.

“In our view, these terms conflict with residents’ rights under the Consumer Guarantees Act to expect goods and services of a reasonable standard. If the oven in your unit fails, the village should wear the repair cost.”

Wilson said many residents also faced significant financial losses when their unit was sold because they didn’t receive any capital gains, despite paying towards the property’s upkeep.

Villages’ retention of the capital gain was a major cause of complaint. In a Consumer NZ survey of 1680 residents, 63 percent were unhappy their agreement didn’t allow them to get any capital gain when their unit was sold.

Consumer NZ’s review of village contracts also found terms that gave the village wide discretion to decide what residents could and couldn’t do.

Several contracts restricted residents’ rights to raise objections about village developments. Metlifecare and Summerset contracts included terms stating residents weren’t allowed to object to any dust, noise or other nuisance caused by the development.

Wilson said these kinds of clauses ignored residents’ rights to raise legitimate concerns.

Consumer NZ will be providing the findings of its review to the Retirement Commissioner Jane Wrightson, who’s responsible for monitoring the sector.

Consumer NZ’s review of retirement village contracts was supported by a grant from The New Zealand Law Foundation.

The review looked at contracts offered by six major retirement village operators: Arvida, Bupa, Metlifecare, Oceania Healthcare, Ryman Healthcare and Summerset.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Rivals For The Covid Saliva Testing Dollar

If you want a good insight into what the limits of tiny, barely discernible steps to reduce poverty actually look like, delve into the latest Statistics Department figures on poverty in New Zealand Most of the nine measures utilised reveal little or no progress in combatting poverty over the 21 months to March 2020... More>>


Government: Reserve Bank To Take Account Of Housing In Decision Making

The Reserve Bank is now required to consider the impact on housing when making monetary and financial policy decisions, Grant Robertson announced today. Changes have been made to the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee’s remit requiring it to take into ... More>>


RNZ: Alert Levels Remain

There are no new community cases of Covid-19 today, the Ministry of Health has confirmed.
Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says at least half of the Papatoetoe High School community have been tested and the results that have come through so far have all been negative... More>>


Stats NZ: Latest Release Of Child Poverty Statistics

All measures of child poverty were trending downwards, prior to the COVID-19 lockdown, across the two years since year ended June 2018, Stats NZ said today. The COVID-19 lockdown in late March 2020 affected Stats NZ’s ability to collect data from households ... More>>


NZ Initiative: New Report Highlights How Our Housing Crisis Could Worsen If We Don’t Act Now

If New Zealand politicians thought the housing crisis in 2020 was bad, the worst is yet to come, warns a new report by The New Zealand Initiative. In The Need to Build: The demographic drivers of housing demand , Research Assistant Leonard Hong ... More>>

Parliament: Kiwi MPs Among The “Most Educated In The World”

New analysis of MP qualifications reveals New Zealand’s Parliament is one of the most educated and highest qualified in the world, and significantly more educated than Australia’s. The research, by Mark Blackham of BlacklandPR and Geoffrey Miller ... More>>

The Dig: An Illogical Ideological Struggle

Dig beneath all the trade wars and the arguments to the effect that the USA should not permit China to achieve economic and technological superiority, or even parity, and you find the real reason behind the conflict... More>>

Travel: Government Eases Visa Restrictions For Visitors In New Zealand

Visitor visa holders will be able to stay in New Zealand a little longer as the Government eases restrictions for those still here, the Minister of Immigration has announced. More>>




InfoPages News Channels