Know your rights: Understanding the legal framework of retirement villages

Jun 22, 2023
Questions to ask to understand the legal framework of retirement villages. Image source: Getty

Knowing your legal rights and seeking appropriate legal advice are crucial steps to take when considering retirement village living. One of the best things you can do is to ask the retirement village operator for a sample contract and then get your own appropriate, independent legal advice that aligns with your specific circumstances.

Many residents also find this is a good opportunity to involve their families in the decision-making process. This ensures that everyone you love is across the legal aspects of your decision and can support you in your journey to retirement living.

Below are some important questions you could ask your prospective retirement village operator to help you make an informed decision:

  1. What is the relevant legislation under which the village operates?
  2. In what areas, if at all, is the village contract more generous than the legislative requirements
  3. Is the village operator a signatory to the Retirement Living Council’s code of conduct?
  4. Is there a residents’ committee and is it active in negotiating with the village operator on the management of the village’s facilities and services?
  5. How does the operator resolve residents’ complaints and is there an independent arbitrator that oversees complaints that cannot be resolved by the resident and operator?
  6. What, if any, cooling off period does the operator provide?
  7. What, if any, assistance does the operator provide in selling a village residence, and does that assistance require the seller to pay for mandatory refurbishment of the residence or cover marketing or other sales fees?
  8. What, if any, buyback facility does the operator provide?

Other important considerations

The legal framework is just one of many considerations to be had when thinking about moving into a retirement village.

We’ve created a free online handbook packed with comprehensive information on everything you need to know before you make the move. You’ll find helpful resources and activities to decide you make an informed decision if retirement village living is right for you. Download a copy of Considering a Retirement Village – The Ultimate Checklist today.

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