Make Friends Fast in a Retirement Village – Join a Residents Committee!
If you’re moving into a retirement village where you don’t know anyone, it may be important to you to make friends quickly. If this is the case, then joining the resident committee may be the answer for you!
Although retirement villages aren’t obliged to have these committees, the vast majority do (other than villages with a very small number of residents). Formed by residents, these committees are the channel through which the residents can speak to the village operators.
How to become a member of a residents committee
Anyone who lives within a village can stand to be elected to the residents committee. To be elected, you must receive 50% or more of the votes cast by the other committee members. There is no restriction as to how many committee members there can be. Of course, only residents can be members, so people such as employees of the village operator, or friends of the resident are unable to be members.
Should office holders be appointed?
There is no formal requirement to appoint a chairman or a secretary, but it is a good idea to appoint residents to these positions. This ensures that there is always somebody taking the minutes of the meeting, and somebody who will keep order if residents can’t agree on an issue.
To ensure the office holders remain accountable and fresh ideas are always brought to the table, office holders can only hold these positions for a maximum of three years (unless the village has 20 residents or less).
What are the functions of the committee?
The committee has the right to:
- report to the operator on residents’ decisions, where residents’ consent is necessary;
- apply to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal if there is a dispute between the residents and the operator;
- request information from the operator dealing with changes to recurrent charges; and,
- suggest changes to the retirement village rules or the services and facilities provided.
As you can see from the above, resident committees serve a vital purpose in the efficient running of a retirement village, and are the main voice between operators and residents. Attending a meeting, or having a role on the committee is also a great way to meet your fellow residents and start long lasting relationships.
For more information please contact our Retirement Living expert:
Dean Claughton, Lawyer
Phone: 02 9895 9276
For more information on Retirement Living please view our Plain English Guides:
Plain English Guide to Retirement Village Living
Plain English Guide to Seniors Living