Moving Into A Retirement Village? Why You Should Have Your Eyes Wide Open

1 August 2022
 Categories: Law, Blog


If you or a loved one are thinking about moving into a retirement village, there are many possible advantages. After all, these communities tend to be active and can often represent companionship to those reaching the later stage in life. They may even have extensive sporting and other social facilities set in a pleasant environment. However, there is a lot to consider when it comes to the legal side and, specifically, signing a contract. What are some of the potential issues you could face if you're not entirely familiar with what you're about to sign?

Appreciating The Small Print

It's always important to read the small print whenever considering a contract but it is easy to assume that an agreement here should be very similar to a standard real estate contract. This is not always the case, and you may be simply purchasing the rights to live in the unit rather than acquiring any collateral in the unit itself.

Marketing Restrictions

As you do not own the freehold, you may be tied into a certain number of rules that dictate how things are handled should you want to move out. For example, the developer may insist that you only market the unit through their agency, so they have full control over the entire operation. This may make the process more lengthy than it could otherwise be, especially if there are a number of vacant units within the development already.

Grasping The Clawback Clause

Some contracts may seem to be of great value at the outset. However, there may be a clause contained within that claws back management or administration fees when the contract terminates. So, you may be faced with paying a sizeable amount out-of-pocket when you close the contract and should be aware of this possibility before you sign.

Being Responsible For Renovation

Don't be surprised if your contract also requires you to renovate certain items upon termination. This clause could ask you to spend money on servicing or replacing kitchen fittings, installing a new carpet and working on other areas.

Getting Professional Advice

It's not unusual for some people to gloss over these details as they are anxious to move into such an enticing community. This is why it's important to seek the advice of a retirement village lawyer first, so that you do not overlook anything important. You need to understand the legal terminology and your obligations, so you can decide whether to proceed or not.