Retirement Villages are designed for people aged 55 years or above as an alternative accommodation and lifestyle option. People who feel that they need more security, support and company, prefer this particular lifestyle. At the same time, these people also want to enjoy and relish their independence.

A Retirement Village is a community where:

The residents are aged 55 years or above or have retired from full time employment or the spouses/partners of such people. Residents are provided with lodging and services, other than the services provided in a residential care or aged care facility; and

At least one of the residents, as a matter of contractual condition for entering the Retirement Village, has to pay an ongoing contribution. It does not matter who makes the payment, or whether the payments are made in a lump sum or by installments.

The decision to relocate into a Retirement Village is an important one and one should carefully consider the option before taking the leap. A Retirement Village may be either funded by residents or donors. The ones funded by donors are generally charitable institutions particularly to help the needy. A resident funded Retirement Village is run for commercial purposes to earn a profit or a surplus by private sectors or non-profit organisations, respectively. The accommodation facilities available are mostly common in the Retirement Villages; however, it varies depending upon the amount paid for admission.

Each State and Territory has its own laws and regulations which regulate the operation of Retirement Villages within the jurisdictions. The exact definition of what is to be considered as a Retirement Village also varies from one State to another.

The particular living arrangements in different Retirement Villages and the various types of contractual arrangements entered into with different boarders may also attract the application of other legislation which are operative within the jurisdiction.

The level of care provided in Retirement Villages varies in accordance with the different types of facilities provided. The level of care is highest in assisted living units or serviced apartments and much more than that provided by independent living units or self-care units

Before enrolling in a resident funded Retirement Village, you must remember that it can be a costly affair and the common expenses include:

An initial entry price when you move in;

Recurring service charges during your stay and possibly afterwards; and

A departure fee when you leave.

The structures of the fees are widely different and complex. The initial entry fee may relate to purchase price of a freehold property and security or other assets. Similarly, departure fee structures determine how much refund a boarder will get back at the time of leaving the Retirement Village.

It is particularly important for you to consult a Solicitor or a Legal Practitioner, to decide about the contractual terms and implications of the fee structure, before you decide to join a Retirement Village. Our experts at Owen Hodge Lawyers are always ready to help you in this regard and will endeavor to help you in achieving the best possible results.

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