‘If you don’t like it, move’

‘If you don’t like it, move’

A total of 82 residents voiced their opinions at a meeting last week. Photograph – Aaron Van Rongen.

Several residents at an over 45s village in Serpentine have been told “if you don’t like it, move” and have received notices of termination for not adhering to the park’s recent rent increase of $10 per week, per site.

Serpentine Falls Park Home and Tourist Village management team delivered a letter to all residents on June 5, which said while they understood there was some discontent regarding the rent increase, they would not be changing the increase which took effect from July 1.

A total of 82 residents met at the clubroom last week along with representatives from Consumer Protection and Tenancy WA to discuss their actions moving forward as a group.

Resident Greg Traupmann chaired the meeting and said although everyone agreed that the village was a great place to live, with great neighbours and friendships, the recent rent increase was ‘beyond a joke’.

Park management were invited to attend the meeting but declined by letter saying that the reasons for the increase were clearly explained to all residents in previous correspondence.

Mr Traupmann said the residents lobbying against the increase wanted to see a financial report to see what their rents were used for and would not be paying the increase until a new deal was negotiated with management.

“I do not see other lifestyle villages raising rents by such large amounts annually or paying GST on their own homes,” he said.

“Other villages are constantly carrying out routine management and improvements to provide the residents with a nice lifestyle.

“Here in Serpentine we get nothing for the enormous fees, not even a heated pool for our frail old bodies.”

Other residents echoed Mr Traupmann’s views saying they had been promised new facilities such as a heated pool and a bowling green for at least the past 22 years.

Mr Traupmann said admittedly the park had built a new clubroom but it had so many rules and regulations that residents felt like they were back at school when using the area.

Park Management told The Examiner the annual rent review was a fixed amount in accordance with the site agreements that incoming residents chose to enter into as part of their choice to live in the village.

“Unfortunately, this year a number of our costs have increased significantly, in particular our shire rates have increased by 18 per cent,” they said.

“The amount of the rent increase this year is necessary to offset part of those cost increases and is limited to the fixed amount permitted by the site agreements.”

Mr Traupmann said the group would likely be taking the issue to the State Administrative Tribunal.