Maurice Blackburn is investigating a potential class action on behalf of ex-residents of Aveo who paid departure fees (including exit fees or deferred management fees) from 2013 onwards.
In June 2017, a joint Fairfax Media/Four Corners investigation revealed questionable business practices of Aveo, one of the biggest providers in the retirement village sector.
The proposed class action will only proceed if enough ex-Aveo residents support seeking redress and on the satisfactory completion of Maurice Blackburn’s investigation into Aveo’s business practices.
The investigation by Maurice Blackburn will examine whether Aveo contracts are in contravention of Australian consumer law, particularly whether the contracts include terms that could be deemed unfair, unconscionable and potentially misleading and deceptive.
Aveo has been accused of charging exorbitant exit fees (also referred to by Aveo as deferred management fees). Typically the exit fee charged by Aveo is between 20 to 40%. Depending on the contract, the maximum amount payable can accrue after the resident has lived at the property for only 2 to 3 years.
In addition to the exit fee, there are other terms which have been alleged to be unfair and unconscionable such as the following:
- Capital gain/loss terms which entitle Aveo to 50% of any capital gain but the resident bears 100% responsibility for any capital loss;
- Expensive maintenance fees that continue after the unit has been vacated; and
- Terms which make it the resident’s responsibility for the costs of finding a new resident.
The contracts have further been alleged to be unnecessarily complex and confusing.
Who can register an interest?
At this stage, registration is only open to claimants who have terminated an Aveo contract and paid fees or charges under the contract. Registration does not cover current residents.
We are only able to accept registrations from claimants who have paid these fees from 2013 onwards. If you are unsure about the year, check your Aveo entitlement assessment and/or settlement statement. Typically this will be when the unit has been purchased by a new Aveo resident.
In order to register, the relevant year is the date you paid out the exit fee under the contract and not the date the Aveo contract was originally signed which is likely to be much earlier than 2013.
If you are unsure about whether you are eligible to register, please contact Maurice Blackburn on the contact details provided below.
How do I register?
Register for the Maurice Blackburn class action.
Here you can input your contact details, including the year of your Aveo contract and the year you paid any departure fees (including exit fees or deferred management fees). If you have any Aveo contract documents electronically available, you will be also able to upload this material.
If you are unable to complete the online application, you can call Maurice Blackburn on the number below and we can register your interest over the telephone.
It is important that you provide Maurice Blackburn as soon as possible with a copy of the original contract, including any disclosure statements (where provided) and final settlement documents (i.e. your Aveo entitlement assessment and/or settlement statement). If you do not currently have these documents available, we ask that you register and then send any documents to Maurice Blackburn after you have registered your interest.
Do you know any other ex-Aveo residents affected?
In order to identify whether there is enough interest to run a class action, we need as many claimants to register as possible.
We estimate that more than 3500 ex-Aveo residents may be eligible to register their interest. If you know of any other ex-Aveo residents who may not know about the potential class action, we would be grateful if you could let them know and pass on our details.
If you would like further information regarding the potential class action, please contact us at Aveo@mauriceblackburn.com.au or on 1800 572 149. It might also assist you to check out our Frequently Asked Questions below.