Retirement centre hikes pensioners levy by 42%

John Maytham received a mail from a pensioner with life rights, in a retirement center in Durbanville. She expressed concern about the centres management's decision to hike the residents levies by 42 percent as of 1 July.

She says pensioners they have limited income and wants to know if this increase is legal.

Cape Talk's John Maytham spoke to Paul Wisenberg, an attorney at Maurice Phillips Wisenberg about the rights of this pensioner.

Wisenberg says The Retired Persons Act of 1988 makes provisions that sets out likely levies for the following two years after the purchase.

After the two years, the Act doesn't say much about what the limit of the levies should be.

Wisenberg says pensioners are 99 percent governed by the agreement they have signed when purchasing their Life Rights.

Wisenberg says it seems the centre did not follow proper procedures when making a decision to increase the levies. The standard practice would be to communicate an increase and allow time for residents to raise questions, vote and lodge a protest if they did not agree.

They have to follow certain provisions and procedures before they could come out with a new levy ... in this particular instance it seems specific provisions and procedures have not been followed.

Paul Wisenberg, Attorney

If the legal procedures weren't followed then there is no legal basis for enforcing

Paul Wisenberg, Attorney

He says the pensioner can write back to the centre management and ask them to follow proper procedure before serving them with notices.

Listen to the full conversation below:

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