Thinking of moving into a Retirement Village?


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.

Relevant documents

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.

Settling-in period

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
  • Leasehold
  • 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

Disclaimer:  This article is intended to provide general information only, and is not to be regarded as legal advice. Formal legal advice should be sought in relation to particular transactions or circumstances.

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