Older people – news and analysis

Outasite Lite 38 – land lease communities news

outasite lite cover
Outasite Lite 38 is winging its way across the internet to subscribers' inboxes. Articles in this issue include, "Community recognition for land lease community advocate", "Appeal afoot – fixed method site fee increases", "Review update", "High Court application", "Advice line extension", and "Holiday period closure".
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Appeal afoot – fixed method site fee increases

Bob Morris
In Outasite Issue 6 (August 2020) we wrote about fixed method site fee increases and mentioned three communities where those methods were being challenged by home owners. Home owners from the Palm Lake Resorts are still awaiting a hearing before the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal Appeal Panel, however the Tribunal handed down the decision in Morris and Ors v Kincumber Nautical Village on 3 September.
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Community recognition for resident advocate

Pam
Resident Advocate and Residential Land Lease Communities Forum Member Pam Meatheringham was recognised by Jodie Harrison, Member for Charlestown, in the NSW Parliament on 4 August 2020. In the Community Recognition Statement Ms Jodie Harrison said “I recognise Mrs Pam Meatheringham, a hardworking local of the Charlestown electorate. Pam lives at The Sanctuary in Redhead and has been a tireless land lease community advocate for the residents. Pam serves as secretary and treasurer of the Residential Parks Homeowners Association NSW and works with three other land lease parks in the local area.
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80 to 55: the case for lowering the age for early allocation of social housing in NSW

Older renter - do I need to wait until I'm 80 until I get housing?
In this blog Robert Mowbray puts the argument for lowering the age for early allocation of social housing in NSW from aged 80 years to 55 years. We argue that older people, especially older women, are struggling in an insecure and unaffordable rental housing market and constantly face the possibility of homelessness which has a severe impact on older people, with premature ageing through earlier onset of health problems.
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Outasite magazine issue 6 – out now!

Outasite 6 cover
Our annual printed publication for land lease communities has been published and delivered to mailboxes in communities all over NSW. You can also download a pdf here or read the articles online. We hope you enjoy the read. If you’d like to subscribe, please contact us, or subscribe to our regular email newsletter Outasite Lite.
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Fair market value

Philomena and Ian
This article is not about home sales, although that is what gives rise to the issue, it’s about site fees and site fee increases. Fair market value appears in sections 109 and 111 of the Residential (Land Lease) Communities Act 2013 (RLLC Act) and is a small but important provision that sets an upper limit on site fees in new site agreements when a home has been sold by one home owner to another. Fair market value is the higher of either the site fees payable by the home owner who is selling the home, or the site fees payable for residential sites of a similar size and location within the community. It seems very straightforward, but in reality the provision has been ineffective and site fees are often set much higher than fair market value. Over time this practice lifts the site fees in a community to higher and higher levels, yet there is no scrutiny over these increases.
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Fixed method site fee increases

Bob Morris
The concept of increasing rent or site fees by a fixed method is not new. Fixed method increases were possible and did happen under the (repealed) Residential Parks Act 1998. What the Residential (Land Lease) Communities Act (RLLC Act) introduced is specificity regarding what a fixed method may be, and that is what we examine in this article. The RLLC Act provides that site fees may be increased by a fixed method which may be either: (i) by fixed amounts, or (ii) by a fixed calculation (for example, in proportion to variations in the Consumer Price Index or in the age pension).
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Retirement upheaval

Hacienda holiday park
On 31 December 2019, His Honour Justice Rothman finally handed down his decision in the case of Commissioner for Fair Trading v Jonval Builders Pty Ltd, Hacienda Caravan Park Pty Ltd and John Allan Willmott [2019] NSWSC 1893. This Supreme Court of NSW decision is the culmination of nearly 5 years of legal proceedings and some 8 years since the home owners first sought assistance through their residents associations from NSW Fair Trading. The proceedings were brought by NSW Fair Trading Legal Services.
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Community rules

Water sports
We could write three or four articles about community rules and still not address all of the confusion and questions that arise out of Part 8 of the Residential (Land Lease) Communities Act. We have written articles before on this subject and no doubt will write more in the future, but in this article we are going to focus on compliance with community rules. The RLLC Act enables written community rules to be made about the use, enjoyment, control and management of a community. The community rules must be fair and reasonable and clearly expressed.
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Shifting sands

Lakeline
It is fair to say that land lease living is a unique arrangement. The community aspect is attractive to many people but when you own a home that sits on land owned by another party, you cannot be sure that the land use won’t change. The actual land itself is unlikely to change, however its designated use can. Most commonly we see this when a community operator changes a residential site from long-term to shortterm, or vice versa. This can be done by a simple amendment to the approval to operate, which is issued by the local council under section 68 of the Local Government Act 1993. Neither the operator or the council is required to notify anyone about the change and affected home owners usually don’t find out until later
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