Retirement Villages

A retirement village is a collection of accommodation units established mainly for the older members of our community. In some cases, the individual village will set an age limit for residents and only people over that age will be able to live there.

A nursing home where nursing care is provided is not a retirement village. Neither is a manufactured home village or a caravan park.

A retirement village living usually involves significant financial commitment. There is an initial payment called an "ingoing contribution", as well as ongoing contributions to maintain the village facilities and the provision of services.

Before you make the decision to move into a retirement village seek advice from financial, legal and health advisers, as well as family and friends. It's worth knowing that many people purchase into retirement villages only to discover they're unhappy later and suffer significant costs in finding alternative accommodation. Do not go into these contracts lightly.

Only sign a contract when:

  • you are sure that the village you have chosen is the one which best suits your particular needs; and
  • you understand the obligations and rights that you are agreeing to.

Keep in mind that when you sign a contract, you are signing a document that will become legally binding after the 14 day cooling-off period has expired.

The four most common ownership arrangements are:

  • Leasehold - a resident is granted a registered lease to live in his/her unit for life. In this case of a couple, the lease remains in force for the life of both partners.
  • Licence - a resident's rights under a licence are similar to their rights under a lease. The major difference is that the licence is not registered at the Titles Office like a lease is.
  • Freehold - the resident purchases their unit and has their name registered on the title.
  • Rental accommodation - the most flexible option for seniors, it requires no up-front contribution. The rental arrangement works in a similar way to other property.

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