Aged Care and Retirement Living

Wheter you are at retirement age or need extra care you may be considering Retirement Villiages or Aged Care facility options. There are many options available and there are many pitfalls to selecting the right option. We have many years providing advice on these types of agreements. We can also provide practical guidence on what to look for due to dealing with many clients prior to and after living in these types of facilities. The first place to start is the MyAgedCare Website set up by the Federal Goverment. This site can be a valuable source of information. If you need assistance contact us and we can help or point you in the right direction.

FAQ

What is Aged Care?

What is Aged Care?

Aged Care is a facility that's purpose is catering for elderly inhabitants.  They often have facilities like 24 hour 7 day a week call buttons. 

What is a Retirement Village

What is a Retirement Village

A Retirement Village is the same as an Aged Care Facility.

What are all the different terms used in relation to Aged Care Leases?

What are all the different terms used in relation to Aged Care Leases?

GENERAL TERMS

Prospective Costs Document

A document given to prospective residents entering a retirement village contract on or after 1 February 2019. It sets out specific information about the unit that you are considering purchasing and gives an estimate of the costs of moving into, living in and leaving the retirement village. The PCD forms part of your residence contract with the village.

Public Information Document

A document given to residents who entered a retirement village before 1 February 2019. It contains essential information about your rights and obligations as a resident. This forms part of your contract with the village.

Resident

A person who lives in a retirement village and receives one or more services in the village.

Residence Contract

The legal contract between the resident and the operator of the village.

Retirement Village

A communal, self-contained housing environment for older people. Living options can include high-rise apartments, medium-density housing, townhouse developments and resort-style complexes, referred to as retirement village or village in this publication.

Retirement Village Operator

A person or company who controls the operation of the village.

Retirement Village Scheme

A scheme where a person enters into a residence Contract pays the fee called ‘an ingoing contribution’ and obtains the right to live in the village and the right to receive one or more services in the village.

Right to Reside in a Retirement Village

A term used to describe the right that a person has to live in a retirement village once they pay the ingoing contribution.

Village Comparison Document

A document given to prospective residents entering a retirement village contract on or after 1 February 2019. It contains general information about the retirement village. The VCD forms part of your residence contract with the village.

What documents should I expect to receive?

What documents should I expect to receive?

The retirement village operator must provide you with the following documents at least 21 days before entering into the residence contract:

  1. A Retirement Villages Form 3 Village Comparison Document (VCD); and
  2. A Retirement Villages Form 4 Prospective Costs Document (PCD); and
  3. A copy of the proposed residence contract (usually a lease or licence); and
  4. Any by-laws for the retirement village.

These VCD and PCD (the disclosure documents) are standard forms that replaced the former Public Information Document (PID) on 1 February 2019. For retirement village residents who entered the retirement village before that date, the PID relating to their residence contract remains in force.

Is there a cooling-off period?

Is there a cooling-off period?

Generally a 14-day cooling off period will commence on the day the Contract is signed.

What sort of fees will I be expected to pay?

What sort of fees will I be expected to pay?

You will initially pay an ingoing contribution if you decide to move into a retirement village. This pays for your right to live at the village.

You will also be responsible for ongoing contributions towards the village’s general services and maintenance.

The general services charge covers services supplied or made available to all residents of a retirement village. This could include management, administration, gardening, general maintenance, a shop or other service, or facilities provided for the recreation or entertainment of the residents. The way your general services charge is calculated is set out in the PID.

The maintenance fund is set up to cover the cost of maintaining and repairing capital items at the village such as buildings, communal facilities and amenities, plant and machinery items, and infrastructure (e.g. roads and drains).

The scheme operator will generally require an upfront deposit when you sign an agreement.

Can fees be increased?

Can fees be increased?

Fees are reviewed each financial year when village operators must set budgets for both the general services charge fund and the maintenance reserve fund. The budgets are prepared by the village operator and will set the amount that residents have to pay over the course of the financial year. As a result, fees often increase each financial year, depending on the ongoing cost of running the village and the extent of maintenance and repairs that are required at the village.

How can we end a residency Contract?

How can we end a residency Contract?

You can generally end your residence contract by giving a one-month written notice to the village operator. If the village is unregistered, you can terminate your contract within 14 days of becoming aware that the village is not registered. In this case, you are entitled to be repaid your full ingoing contribution and will not have to pay any exit fees. Generally you will not receive all of your ingoing contribution back. Please see us for specific advice.

Can the Operator terminate my residency Contract?

Can the Operator terminate my residency Contract?

The village operator may terminate your right to reside in certain circumstances. The operator may give a resident a 14-day written notice to terminate their contract if a resident intentionally or recklessly:

  1. Injures a person at the retirement village; or
  2. Seriously damages the resident’s accommodation unit seriously damages the property of another person at the village.

The operator may give a resident a two-month written notice to terminate their contract if:

  1. The resident materially breaches their contract (this is a serious breach of the contract); or
  2. The village operator reasonably believes the resident has abandoned the right to reside; or

An assessment is carried out, and it is reasonably believed that the resident’s accommodation is now unsuitable for their health needs as the resident needs a higher level of care than is available at the village.

Will we need to pay an exit fee?

Will we need to pay an exit fee?

If you decide to leave the retirement village, you may be required to pay an exit fee. This fee will be calculated in accordance with the terms of the signed Contract.

Can I waive the 21-day pre-contractual period?

Can I waive the 21-day pre-contractual period?

You may be able to waive the requirement for 21 days to pass between when you are given the disclosure documents, a copy of the proposed residence Contract and any by-laws, and signing the residence Contract.

To do so, you will need to sign a Retirement Villages

Form 5 Pre-contractual Disclosure Waiver after receiving advice from a lawyer about entering into the residence contract.

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Information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. Please consult one of our lawyers for individual legal advice.

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