Aveo investigation to end 'sense of persecution'

NATIONAL Seniors Australia has backed an investigation into retirement giant Aveo to end the "fear and a sense of persecution" felt by vulnerable seniors.

Aveo - one of Australia's leading retirement village retailers - has come under extreme scrutiny after explosive allegations were made by a joint investigation by the ABC's Four Corners program and Fairfax Media.

The allegations have led to the ACCC announcing an investigation into the company.

National Seniors Chief advocate Ian Henschke said the ACCC's investigation would shed light on any untoward practices and help seniors find peace of mind in retirement.

National Seniors have also repeated its call for uniform legislation across the sector.

"Many people buy into retirement villages expecting to have autonomy and security in their later years," Mr Henschke said.

"Instead, more people are being faced with unaffordable increases to ongoing fees and charges and reduced service standards, causing them a great deal of worry and, at times, fear and sense of persecution."

Mr Henschke said that since the allegations against Aveo were made public, National Seniors had been contacted by a concerned resident of one of the company's villages who claims to have been left in the dark about expansion plans to the development.

"She wasn't consulted and had to go to the local council to find out what was happening," Mr Henschke said. "It's just not good enough."

ACCC chairman Rod Sims reportedly told The Australian Financial Review their investigation in Aveo would look into the most serious of allegations and a wider regulatory review of the sector beginning with state regulators.

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