A retirement village is a residential complex, for retirees. Residents live in these premises by entering into a retirement village contract with the operator of the village.
Locating a retirement village
The New South Wales Fair Trading public register of retirement villages is a helpful resource to assist in finding and contacting a retirement village in New South Wales. Please see the link below for further information:
Before entering into a retirement village contract, it is important to inspect the premises and obtain the relevant documents to determine whether the village is a suitable place to live.
Under section 18 of the Retirement Villages Act 1999 (NSW) (“the Act”) an operator must provide a prospective resident with:
- A general inquiry document within 14 days of enquiring about becoming a resident
- A disclosure statement at least 14 days before signing the contract
- A copy of the proposed village contract at least 14 days before signing the contract
Section 20 of the Act provides a list of further documents that the operator must provide at the village or the operator’s place of business for inspection by the prospective resident. For example, a site plan of the village.
Standard form contract
Most village contracts are presented in standard form in accordance with schedule 2 of the Retirement Villages Regulation 2009. Some exceptions include a contract whereby a resident obtains a right to use a garage, parking space or storage in the village which are not contained in a residence or service contract.
Apart from the exceptions, a standard form contract must attach:
- A disclosure statement
- The condition report (if applicable)
- Village services and facilities that are available
- Village rules (if any)
Schedule 3 of the Retirement Villages Regulation 2009 also lists matters that cannot be included in a village contract. For example, a village contract must not restrict the period of time the resident may be absent from the village.
Cooling off period
Under section 32 of the Act, a village contract allows for a 7 day cooling off period, and in this time a resident/prospective resident may rescind the contract. However, this cooling off period is waived if a resident commences to live in the residential premises.
A village contract also entitles the resident to a 90 day settling-in period. Within this time, a resident is entitled to terminate the village contract; however expenses such as fair market rent for the period that the former resident occupied the premises will be incurred.
Some types of retirement village arrangements
- Strata or community schemes
- Company titles schemes
- Loan and licence
How we can help
A retirement village contract, like any sale of land contract, should not be entered into with haste and legal advice is always recommended before entering into such an agreement. A retirement village contract is a significant financial investment.
We have helped many clients understand their rights, obligations and financial commitments under a retirement village contract and the Act, both on entering and exiting a retirement village.
If you would like further information, please contact
Peter McLachlan, Partner firstname.lastname@example.org
Elaine Hall, Licensed Conveyancer email@example.com