Living In A Retirement Village
Every resident who occupies a unit in a retirement village has a legal basis for residency which the Act refers to as an Occupation Right Agreement ("ORA"). This terminology applies irrespective of what your individual contract may be called. An ORA gives you the right to live in your unit and use the village facilities, usually for as long as you choose, and subject to you complying with various rules and obligations. These rights are conferred in exchange for the capital contribution you make.
The Act enhances the relationship by balancing the interests of residents (individually and collectively), the operator, external financiers, and the long term infrastructural needs of the village.
Alandale's statutory supervisor, Covenant, monitors these relationships and the operation of the village.
To protect your interests Covenant holds security over the assets of the retirement village. This helps them to work constructively with operators and their financiers if the operator gets into financial difficulty.
Processing Of Transactions
Covenant processes the transaction when you acquire or terminate your ORA. They check that the terms of the ORA are in accordance with the Act and that payments are in accordance with the Act and that payments are in accordance with the terms of your ORA. We hold any money paid or owing during the process of acquiring or terminating the ORA in our trust account. Then, if something happens to the village or to Covenant during this period of time, you do not lose your deposit or termination payment.
Annual and Special General Meetings
The Retirement Villages Code of Practice and the regulations made under the Act ("Regulations") require your village operator to hold a village annual general meeting. At the meeting the operator's audited financial statements (which Covenant will have already reviewed), the village's maintenance plan, Covenant's report (which includes anything they have found in the course of monitoring our village) and other matters are discussed. All residents have the right to speak about these matters at the annual general meeting if you wish. Residents also have the right to raise matters of general business.
The operator is required by the Code of Practice to take out and keep in force a comprehensive replacement insurance policy, or to ensure that a policy is taken out or kept in force. The earthquakes in Christchurch have highlighted the importance of this. Covenant monitors our village's replacement insurance cover and if they have concerns they raise them with the village operator.