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There comes a time for many when the children have flown the nest and the five bedroom home and garden seem like more work that they’re worth. For those approaching retirement and looking towards downsizing, Retirement Villages are becoming an increasingly popular lifestyle choice.

Retirement Village living can offer a welcome change of pace, with communal facilities for residents as well as opportunities to join social clubs and engage in various hobbies. The lifestyle is often paralleled to community or strata living, but for those aged generally over 55.

Often Retirement Villages offer various accommodation options, including:-

  • Independent Living Homes; or
  • Serviced Apartments.

Retirement Villages can adopt a number of legal structures. A few of the common models are:-

  • Unit Title;
  • Loan/Lease; and
  • Loan/Licence.

It is important to know which legal structure the Retirement Village falls into, as each structure has its own advantages and disadvantages, and may afford varying degrees of financial protection for residents.

In the ACT, Retirement Villages are governed by the Retirement Villages Act 2012. This governing legislation was significantly amended in March 2013 to bring it more in line with the practices and procedures adopted in NSW. These changes have resulted in considerably more favourable terms for residents.

Retirement Village contracts can be extensive and complicated, so if you are looking at entering into a Retirement Village, we strongly recommend you contact our office to obtain legal advice first. This will ensure that you are fully abreast your rights and responsibilities as well as the rights and responsibilities of the Village, and the financial implications of entering into the contract.

If you would like to find out more about retirement village living in NSW or the ACT please contact Emma Bragg at Tetlow Legal on (02) 6140 3263 or at [email protected]