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Elder Law

Choosing a retirement village

For those of you that are considering moving into a retirement village there are a number of points to consider such as the location and size of the village, its proximity to your family and friends, the design of the particular unit, the common facilities (swimming pool, bowling green, movie theatre, café etc.) and also the support available. You would also want to consider whether facilities were available at the village should your health deteriorate and you required full-time residential care.

Purchasing a villa at a retirement village is very different to purchasing your own home. It is a lifestyle choice. You will be required to enter into what is known as an Occupation Right Agreement (the “Agreement”) which gives you a right to exclusively occupy the unit but does not confer ownership of the unit. You will not receive a certificate of title as you would when purchasing your own home. The Agreement records your various rights, entitlements and obligations such as who pays the utility accounts (Power, sky TV, phone etc) and whether you can have someone to stay in your unit and for how long. As you do not actually own the unit you would only be responsible for ensuring your contents and vehicle. The village would take care of the insurance for the village as a whole (villas and common areas).

When considering moving into a retirement village it would be prudent to check out the cost of the particular villa together with any weekly fee. The occupancy arrangements and related costs can vary significantly between villages.

The Retirement Villages Act 2003 records the rights and obligations that both residents and village operators have. When looking at various villages you should ensure that they are a registered retirement village as those villages will have an appointed Statutory Supervisor who has an obligation to protect the capital outlay made by the resident on entry into the village.

If you would like to sit down and discuss your move to a retirement village with one of our specialist lawyers contact Joanne Davies.