Retirement Villages in NSW: What you need to know

It is a big investment to buy into a retirement village and in NSW advice can be found at the fair-trading website: Information provided here is summarized from the fair trading website as well as the NSW retirement villages act:

The information provided here is only in summary form, and all decisions should be based on legal and financial advice as well as the advice offered by the government.

UPDATE: If you are looking for a retirement village in Australia, please

What is a retirement village?

What constitutes a retirement village can vary widely but generally, one partner must be over 55 and retired, as well as being able to live independently


What information must be provided to me? 

When you are enquiring to retirement village the village must provide you with a general enquiry document. This document will provide you with general information about the village, including the type of village, the cost and the village facilities. You should make enquiries with a range of villages and compare their general enquiry documents to see which suits your circumstance the best.

You may ask for a full disclosure statement for any unit you are interested in and indeed a disclosure statement must be given to you 14 days before you sign a contract. The disclosure statement is more detailed than the general enquiry document and includes information about the costs to enter, live and leave the village. All documents should be considered with the help of financial advisors.


Clarification of terms? 

· Leasehold Arrangements – Where the village operator owns the premises and you lease the unit from the operator. if you sign a long term lease, it is registered on the title deed.

· Loan and License arrangements – Where you pay an ingoing contribution up front in return for the right to occupy the premises.

· Strata or community title schemes – Where you purchase the unit and become the owner and a member of the owners corporation.

· Rental arrangements – A small number of villages offer premises for rent to retired people. You sign the tenancy agreement and pay rent like their tenants in the general community. The agreement may contain a term excluding you from the retirement village laws. You are covered by tenancy laws instead.


Your contract

Before you enter into a contract, you need to carefully consider your decision; you need to ensure you have looked at a range of retirement villages and that you understand the terms and conditions in your contract. Make sure that you fully understand all the terms and conditions, if you are unsure ask the village operator to explain them to you in detail and obtain independent advice from your solicitor or financial advisor. The retirement village laws specify a standard from of village contract tat operators can use.


Fees and Charges

There will be a range of fees and charges that you might need to pay, these will be different depending on what retirement village you are dealing with. The following are some of the charges that you might come across. Always ask if you are unsure of fees or charges:

  • Waiting list
  • Holding deposit
  • Ingoing contribution/purchase price
  • Contract preparation(max. $200)
  • Recurrent fees
  • Termination fees and charges


Below you will find a checklist provided by the department of Fair Trading NSW:


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