Emil Ford Lawyers

RSL Lifecare capitulate in Supreme Court of NSW over fees for Retirement Village Loan Agreements

Retirement village residents Robert and Sharon Lamb have come out on top in their attempt to hold RSL Lifecare accountable to comply with the Retirement Villages Act, specifically on the question of legal and other fees charged on entering the village, with RSL abandoning its appeal to the Supreme Court on the eve of the hearing.

In 2014, Mr and Mrs Lamb sought a refund of an amount of legal fees claimed by RSL. The Lambs were successful in the New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal. RSL appealed that decision to the NCAT Appeal Panel. That panel also found in favour of the Lambs.

RSL then appealed again against the pensioners, in the Supreme Court of New South Wales, seeking to overturn the decision of the NCAT Appeal Panel. The Supreme Court hearing was set down for Wednesday 22 June, but on the eve of the hearing RSL have “thrown in the towel”.


"... Residents in New South Wales retirement villages should consider seeking the refund of any overpaid legal fees and expenses paid in relation to Loan Agreements ..." 

Mr and Mrs Lamb, represented by Emil Ford Lawyers, had been successful before NCAT at the first instance and also before the Appeal Panel of NCAT, but RSL Lifecare had chosen to appeal those decisions against Mr and Mrs Lamb, potentially putting Mr and Mrs Lamb in a difficult financial situation. Fortunately, the NSW Retirement Village Residents Association backed the Lambs, a position which has been vindicated.

The abandonment of the Appeal to the New South Wales Supreme Court means residents in New South Wales retirement villages should consider seeking the refund of any overpaid legal fees and expenses paid in relation to Loan Agreements on entering their village.

The Retirement Villages Partner at Emil Ford Lawyers, Garry Pritchard said today

“We have for a long time taken the view that making separate charges for Loan and other Contracts with residents entering villages has been in breach of the Retirement Villages Act. Fortunately, the Lambs have stood up and enabled NCAT to make a statement of principle on this. This puts other residents who have also been overcharged in a position to seek a refund of the legal fees that they have been overcharged.”

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