If you are thinking of moving into a retirement village you will need to consult your lawyer. There is a significant amount of paper work involved and significant costs that you need to be aware of.
Retirement villages are not uniform in their ownership structure. In some retirement villages you may purchase a registerable interest in land however, in most you will be limited to a simple “right to occupy”. Whatever the ownership structure you will essentially be purchasing the same bundle of rights and obligations in each village which is a right to occupy a house or unit until you pass away, leave or otherwise vacate the house or unit.
Purchasing a house or unit in a retirement village is very different from purchasing an ordinary house. There are many obligations alongside the numerous benefits that come with living in a community that provides higher standards of care than living on your own. Your obligations and rights will be set out in an Occupation Right Agreement provided by the retirement village operator. The Retirement Villages Act 2003 provides a minimum level of residents rights. Every retirement village must comply with that minimum level. There are also a number of other statutory safe guards for residents of retirement villages that your lawyer can check are included in your Occupation Right Agreement.
It is important to note that prior to entering into a retirement village your lawyer must sign a certificate saying that they have explained all the important parts of the agreement to you and that in the lawyer’s opinion you understood all of those terms and conditions. It is important to consult your lawyer prior to the signing stage so you can be entirely sure what your rights and obligations will be when you enter into the Village prior to making any other plans – for example, putting your current house on the market in anticipation of moving into a retirement village unit.
If you have any questions or queries regarding entry into a retirement village, please do not hesitate to contact either Michael, Nicole or Bruce and we will be more than happy to talk you through the various issues that you need to be aware of.