Protect Your Assets

Retirement Homes for over 55’s

Protect Your Assets – Today Retirement Villages and properties are becoming more and more popular.

As an ageing population it appears that these types of communities are the ideal solution to downsize and spend retirement years, with facilities conveniently placed close to hand. It is very easy to get caught up in the luxuries being offered in the glossy brochures and show homes

However there are many types of Retirement Communities and of course each of these will have different types of contracts. It is the small print contained in these contracts that require a qualified lawyer to look over and determine whether you are actually getting value for money now and whether you are able to sell-on or leave to loved ones in a Will!

Retirement homes for over 55’s are generally called Retirement Villages. Retirement Villages are residential complexes where entry is restricted to people 55 and over or who have retired from full-time employment. People wishing to enter a Retirement Village enter into a contract with the operator of the village to occupy the premises.

When deciding whether to enter into a contract for a Retirement Village it is important to obtain expert legal advice as the type of contract will differ from village to village with five different types of contracts available. Your solicitor will explain to you these different types of contracts and the type of contract you are being asked to enter into with your Retirement Village and the advantages and disadvantages of this contract to you and your estate.

Some Retirement Villages ask prospective residents to enter into a licence arrangement where you pay a fixed up-front interest free loan on entry to the Village as well as fortnightly or monthly charges. This type of arrangement gives you the right to occupy the premises but does not give you any legal ownership of the premises.

In other Retirement Villages you will be asked to enter into a leasehold arrangement where your lease will be registered on the title of the property and you are required to pay an up front deposit as well as fortnightly or monthly charges.

Retirement Villages can also operate under a Strata Scheme or Company Title Scheme where you purchase the premises from the previous resident or operator. In entering a Retirement Village under a Strata Scheme or Company Title Scheme you will acquire legal ownership of the premises, which gives you the right to sell the premises at any time for the price you wish. However, you may be liable to pay departure fees, capital gains and other charges from the proceeds of sale.

The main concern of many people entering into a Retirement Village is the financial obligations they will incur under the contract. These include the initial entry cost, any recurring fees during their period of residency and the cost of leaving the premises. Departure fees can be particularly difficult to understand and will determine how much you or your estate will get back when you leave the village.

Signing a contract to enter a Retirement Village is the same as entering into any other contract. It is a binding legal document that will affect your future and may impact on the beneficiaries of your estate. And once the contract is signed it is very difficult to get out of.

To ensure that you are aware of what will happen to the property when you die and whether the retirement body will be entitled to any proceeds on the sale of the property it is important that you talk to someone who knows the ins and outs of Retirement Village law. For your peace of mind and to make sure that your intentions are reflected in your will you should speak to a solicitor experienced in Retirement Village law.

If you are about to buy into a Retirement Village, or you have parents or family that have already brought into a Retirement Village and need help in finding out the entitlements contained in the contract, call Graeme today at Northern Beaches Lawyers who is an expert in the many different variations of contracts for Retirement Villages.

Call today for an appointment close to home on 9221 0341.

Northern Beaches Lawyers, City Experience by the Beach