Brisbane, Logan and Gold Coast’s Best Retirement Villages Lawyer
If you are thinking about moving into a retirement village, you need to ensure you obtain the right legal advice and understand your rights and obligations when living in the village.
At RHC Solicitors, our retirement village lawyers have extensive knowledge and experience in dealing with village leasing agreements, rules and other common features of living with and dealing with retirement villages. We are also patient and meticulously ensure you get the chance to ask us any questions to fully understand everything you need to know.
Why Engage RHC Solicitors When Moving Into a Retirement Village?
Our retirement village lawyers are highly skilled and always ensure you receive the correct documents, spend the time with you and your family when conducting reviews of the documents you receive from the village operator and ensuring all legislative requirements and timeframes are complied with. Although complex, we understand the importance of ensuring you receive accurate and complete advice in your time and in your language.
What Are Retirement Villages?
Retirement villages are residential establishments where a community of seniors resides in independent living units or serviced units, and they share communal facilities and amenities. These villages are designed to accommodate retirees and older individuals who can live independently. In certain retirement villages, residents can opt to purchase personal care and support services at an additional cost.
Ownership of retirement villages can fall under two categories:
Commercial operators: some retirement villages are owned and operated by commercial entities
Charitable, religious, or ethnic not-for-profit organisations: other retirement villages are managed by charitable, religious, or ethnic not-for-profit organizations. It's important to note that retirement villages do not receive government funding
For your convenience, a list of registered retirement villages is available by clicking here. Additionally, you can click here to use the Compare Retirement Villages platform provided by the Queensland Government to view and compare various villages based on their locations and facilities. These links should help you choose which village is right for you.
Keep in mind that a retirement village is just one accommodation option available for seniors. There are other retirement accommodation alternatives to explore as well, including manufactured homes.
Considerations When Buying into a Retirement Village
If you find that your current home has become too large for your needs or no longer suits your lifestyle, you might be considering the option of moving to a retirement village. When making this decision, you should give careful consideration on whether it is appropriate for you or whether there are alternative options.
Before you begin searching for retirement villages, it is crucial to identify your specific preferences and requirements. Take the time to discuss your retirement living options with trusted family and friends, as their input can be invaluable.
The compare retirement villages website is a helpful resource for Queenslanders seeking a retirement village that aligns with their needs. This platform enables you to search for and compare various villages based on factors such as location, services, facilities, and entry price range.
Before finalising your decision to purchase, it's essential to take the following steps:
Determine the location and specific amenities you desire in your retirement accommodation
Engage in discussions with family and friends and conduct thorough research. Utilise the Compare Retirement Villages Website above to shortlist potential villages and review their Village Comparison Documents, accessible on the website or each village's official site
Establish a budget and seek advice from your accountant to understand your financial capacity now and in the future
Take the time to explore multiple retirement villages, talk to current residents, and compare costs and facilities. It I also important you familiarise yourself with the entry, ongoing, and leaving costs by requesting a Prospective Costs Document
Educate yourself on your rights and responsibilities as a resident and collect all relevant paperwork from the chosen village
Appoint us to help you understand your rights and obligations as well as handle the transaction
Avoid feeling pressured to make a hasty decision. Take the necessary time to thoroughly review the contract documents with us as they are often very large and complex
Once you are confident in your choice, proceed with signing the contract. Keep in mind that a short cooling-off period is available if you change your mind
What Documents Must the Operator Supply?
Once you have ready to move forward and have decided on a retirement village, the operator is obligated to provide you with specific documents to facilitate an informed decision-making process. These documents include the Village Comparison Document (VCD), Prospective Costs Document (PCD), residence contract, and the village by-laws. You have the right to request these documents free of charge from the operator.
Village Comparison Document (VCD)
The VCD offers general information about the retirement village, including details about accommodation, facilities, services, and the overall costs associated with moving in, residing, and departing from the village. It simplifies the process of comparing different retirement villages. Upon your interest in a specific village, the operator must provide you with the up-to-date VCD within 7 days, adhering to the requirements of the Retirement Villages Act 1999.
Prospective Costs Document (PCD)
The PCD provides essential information about a particular unit within the retirement village. It outlines the costs of entering the village and ongoing expenses, providing clarity on the financial commitments involved in residing there for varying durations. The PCD includes information about the operator, your initial contribution, ongoing costs, details of the unit, fixtures, furnishings, and exit costs upon leaving the village. The operator is required to furnish you with the PCD within 7 days of expressing interest in a unit.
It is essential to thoroughly review the PCD for at least 21 days before entering into a resident's contract. During this period, seeking professional advice, including consultation with a Queensland Lawyer, is highly recommended. If there are any changes to the VCD or PCD, the operator must notify you at least 21 days before entering into a residence contract.
The Residence Contract
To reside in a registered retirement village, you must sign a residence contract, which outlines your rights and responsibilities as a resident and those of the operator. The contract includes various essential elements, such as the cooling-off period, the ingoing contribution amount, the exit fee payable, service charges, insurance responsibilities, dispute resolution process, and more.
Operators must register the retirement village before entering into a contract, and residence contracts for unregistered villages are unenforceable and can be terminated. The contract must include specific mandatory information and adhere to the Retirement Villages Regulation 2018 guidelines.
Precontractual disclosure is important, and the operator must provide you with a VCD and PCD at least 21 days before entering into a residence contract. If you wish, you can waive this disclosure period by completing a Precontractual Disclosure Waiver (Form 5) after seeking legal advice from us.
You have a 14-day cooling-off period after signing the residence contract, during which you can withdraw without penalty, and the operator must immediately refund any ingoing contribution paid. If the end date of the cooling-off period changes due to another contract or event, the operator must inform you in writing within 14 days of the occurrence.
Ready To Get Started?
With 40 years of conveyancing experience and dedicated property lawyers, we're always available to assist you through to this new phase of life. Understand your rights and obligations with an initial consultation with our senior solicitors, and move in comfortably knowing everything has been taken care of.