Property management versus people management - Retirement villages bulletin 12

18 December 2020

Property management versus people management 

In this issue:
  • Property management versus people management 
  • $600 to pay your power bill – apply for a household electricity credit
  • Consumer Protection December to January office closures

Property management versus people management

In recent talks between the Commissioner for Consumer Protection and retirement village representatives, the importance of good people management as part of property management was a hot topic. Whilst a large part of a retirement village operator’s role is the administration and the maintenance of buildings and gardens, their biggest responsibility remains to the residents of the village.
Each resident adds value to the village. Many have extensive professional and life experiences and are willing and capable of contributing to the success of the retirement village if their opinions and ideas are appropriately considered.
Residents also have a right to be informed and contribute to matters that impact on their living arrangements in the village. They are your customers and the source of your current and future success as a village operator and effective engagement with them will help your business.

Dispute prevention and resolution 

It is prudent that village operators appreciate that residents consider the village as their home, with most having an emotional attachment and interest in any proposed changes which may affect their lifestyle. Disputes generally arise when village operators and residents don’t meaningfully engage in discussing changes. Potential disputes could be reduced if residents are consulted before any proposed changes occur.
Issues raised by residents are too often viewed as a problem and many residents often report the dismissive nature of some operators when they have raised genuine concerns. These are opportunities to engender trust, respect and to develop and establish your village as a place that future residents will choose to live because your current residents enjoy the choice they made to live there. Try to build strong and constructive relationships through listening and understanding residents' views. This doesn’t mean agreeing to unreasonable demands, it simply means establishing good consultation and communication processes to improve understanding between the parties.
Active listening, good communication and actively engaging with residents’ committees will also help prevent disputes from occurring. Many disputes are caused by simple misunderstandings that generally occur through a lack of communication. It is important to continuously work on and improve communications between village operators and residents and residents' committees.
The Code places strong emphasis on providing easy access to an informal and inexpensive process to resolve disputes. Village operators are encouraged to use an appropriate dispute resolution process to ensure that disputes are dealt with quickly and fairly. Further information on guidelines for retirement village dispute resolution can be found on the department’s website: see the guidelines for retirement village dispute resolution.

Electricity grant

Retirement village operators and residents may be eligible for a $600 credit towards household electricity costs. See the Department of Finance’s Household Electricity Credit fact sheet.

Consumer Protection December to January office closures

Please note our offices will be closed from Friday 25 December 2020 and will reopen on Monday 4 January 2021. 
For licensing and Bonds Administration matters only, our Cannington office will be open Tuesday 29 December to Thursday 31 December 2020. Cashiers will be on site to take payments for licence and registration applications, tenancy bonds, and associations, cooperative and limited partnership applications.
The Landlord Hotline and mandatory conciliation service will continue to operate from Tuesday 29 December to Thursday 31 December 2020 and can be reached by calling 1300 304 054 and pressing 1.
For the Residential Rent Relief Grant Scheme you can call the dedicated number (08) 6251 2740 which will also be available from Tuesday 29 December to Thursday 31 December 2020.
For other urgent enquiries during the closure please visit our Consumer Protection Contact page
Wishing you all a safe and happy festive season.
Consumer Protection
Last updated 18 Dec 2020

Last modified: