What is a Retirement Village?

A retirement village is a residential complex primarily occupied by people aged 55 years and over, who have retired from full-time employment in accordance with Section 4 of the Retirement Villages Act 1999 (NSW). Retirement villages are operated by commercial operators or not-for-profit organisations such as churches and charities. Each retirement village offers different accommodation. The services and facilities offered by retirement villages vary.

Buying into a retirement village can be more complex than buying and selling freehold and strata title property. There are different purchase and payment models for retirement villages. The purchase models allow you to buy into the retirement village and include things such as freehold, leasehold arrangements, loan and/or licence arrangements, strata or community schemes, company title schemes or through a rental agreement. In addition to this, most retirement villages have recurrent charges for things such as utilities and maintenance.

All residents moving into a retirement village must sign a written contract with the operator before you move, except under certain circumstances. Under Section 39 of the Retirement Villages Act 1999 (NSW)you must be given a copy of the contract within 14 days from the date the operator enters into the contract or within 14 days after the operator receives the contract signed by you. Under Section 32 of the Retirement Villages Act 1999 (NSW)you are given a seven-business day cooling-off period from the date you signed the contract. Either party can end the contract within this period by notifying the other party in writing. However, under Section 32(4) of the Retirement Villages Act 1999 (NSW) the cooling-off period is waived under if the person commences to live in the premises to which the contract relates. Once a resident moves into their premises, they are entitled to a ninety-day settling-in period.

There may be one-off or ongoing fees after you leave a retirement village. This should be explained in the contract you sign when you enter the village. The contract will also explain any restrictions on how you sell your premises in the retirement village if you are responsible for selling the property.

Contact us for a free thirty-minute consultation with aged care lawyer.

Any information on this website is general in nature and should not be taken as personal legal advice. We recommend that you speak to a lawyer about your personal circumstances.