A STOUSH between retirement village residents over noise, mobility scooters, and claims of bullying and harassment has ended with court orders requiring all residents to play by the rules.
Claims and counter-claims between residents and the owners of Ridge Estate Retirement Village at Gillieston Heights have been aired in the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal to determine if Mark and Beverley Anne Tindall could stay put, and whether their complaints about other residents were properly investigated.
Mr and Mrs Tindall said changes to village rules, including that mobility scooters must be driven forwards towards oncoming traffic on the right hand side of the road - were not introduced properly.
The Tindalls also claimed that management failed to reply to their complaints and follow complaints policy after they made claims they were being bullied by other residents.
Their bullying claims included vexatious complaints about them to management, junk mail being placed in their letterbox, cyberstalking on a social media page, poison pen letters, whistling outside their unit, and a physical injury to Mr Tindall's ear when a car horn was honked in close proximity to him.
Ridge Estate by Teman Pty Ltd, which took over the village on July 1, 2020, submitted that the couple's complaints were investigated. Teman said in effect, Mr and Mrs Tindall assumed that the behaviour of other residents was directed at them, when those residents were "merely going about their own business".
Teman also submitted that in at least some of the incidents, other residents were reacting to the Tindalls' behaviour, including being filmed by them, and ridiculed on a social media page called "Wispurin Gums Retyrement Village", which the Tindalls claimed was satire.
Teman claimed the couple was not suited to community living and sought to terminate their residence contract, but Mr and Mrs Tindall said they wanted to continue to "live happily ' in the village without intimidation and harassment.
Tribunal Senior Member Katherine Ross said she could not find on the evidence before her that other residents' behaviour amounted to bullying and harassment. In relation to noise, it was "clear that on some occasions, singing and whistling can be heard within Mr and Mrs Tindall's unit" however the noise did not unreasonably interfere with their capacity to quietly enjoy their premises, she said. The honking of horns also did not constitute harassment.
But, there was 'no doubt' there was significant disharmony between the Tindall's and other residents, with other residents keeping daily records of their complaints about Mr and Mrs Tindall, and doctored junk mail being placed in their letter box.
The application to have the Tindall's residence contract terminated was dismissed. The Tribunal ordered that the Tindall's comply with the terms of their agreement and the village rules, and also that Teman investigate their complaints in those cases where some complaints had not been investigated.
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