QLD buyback rules backfire at freehold retirement villages – resident owners forced to buy back units

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10 freehold retirement villages have been caught out by the new laws – which require village operators to buy back units if they have not sold after 18 months.

Included is the 37-unit Sunny Ridge Garden Retirement Village at Coombabah where residents have been forced to spend over $300,000 to buy back several empty units, The Gold Coast Bulletin reports.

In one case, the village’s operator had to sell her own home in Brisbane to buy back a unit vacated by the death of its owner and yet to be sold by the benefactors of the estate in order to maintain the village.

The Department of Housing has advised the village’s body corporate residents’ association spokesperson that the operator could apply through the Queensland and Civil Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) for an extension of time.

They point out what is the worth of an extension if nobody wants to take on this liability.

Opposition MP Richard Hart says:

“We now have people second guessing whether they, in fact, should go into a retirement village that has freehold title because they may get caught out in this instance. We now have developers wondering whether they should develop these places because they may get caught out.”

An increasingly common question.