Richard and Stephen have been engaged for almost a year in fighting their cause, mostly on their own. However, as a result of the Tribunal proceedings to evict them, the RVRA (Retirement Village Residents Association) has started this petition on their behalf. Peter Hill, Hill & Co Lawyers, the RVRA honorary solicitor agreed to defend these disadvantaged residents in this case, on a pro bono basis.
This ‘landmark’ case arose because Richard Best, aged 72 and Stephen Baume, 78 want to stay in Waitara and have refused Vasey’s offer to be relocated at no cost to another retirement village owned by Vasey – in Epping, Hunters Hill, Lane Cove or Maroubra.
“We wish to stay here in the area we bought a lease in,” Mr Best said. “I don’t think that’s unfair. The other villages are not where I bought the lease and it’s not within all of the social and medical support networks that I’ve got.”
Mr Hill (their lawyer) said the case is an important one because it turns on the rights of village residents under the Retirement Villages Act 1999 who face redevelopment of their village.
“Many villages are ageing across NSW and increasingly operators are seeking to move out existing residents and make way for higher density apartment style living to capitalise on the rising Sydney property market,” Mr Hill said. Security of accommodation and housing affordability for elderly persons that in good faith entered a bargain with an operator to continue to provide it.”
(The above is an extract of an article by Nigel Gladstone that appeared in the Hornsby Advocate on 2 June 2017. The full article can be viewed on the Hornsby Advocate website.)
The NCAT Hearing
The case was heard by the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (the Tribunal) on Friday 9 June 2017. The two elderly gentlemen were represented by Mr Peter Hill, Hill & Co Lawyers. Vasey were represented by one of Australia’s largest law firms.
RVRA members attended the Tribunal Hearing. It was heartening to see so many turn up to support Mr Best and Mr Baume. So many turned up that the hearing had to be moved to a larger room.
The hearing took all day. Preliminaries were discussed and agreed, evidence was provided by both parties and all cross examinations completed. The lawyers will now prepare their submissions and this will likely be followed by a further hearing. We will keep you posted.
Read the latest HERE
That this case is being dealt with by the Tribunal with the residents being given legal support by the RVRA demonstrates our value to, residents.
Remember, our funding comes from membership fees (currently $25pa for a joint fee), donations and sponsorships.
This legal and the financial support provided to Mr Best and Mr Baume is substantial. This will be more so should the case proceed to a higher court.
In addition to Mr Hill, Bishop Collins Chartered Accountants are the RVRA’s honorary accountants.