Retirement Villages – Boom or Bust?
Security, companionship, support and on-site healthcare are just some of the reasons why you might be contemplating the move to a Retirement Village. But, the implications of buying in a Retirement Village are varied and often seem quite complex. It’s not the same as buying a residential property. The most important thing to remember is that this decision is about you and the type of lifestyle you want. Here are some things to keep in mind when you’re thinking about the move to Retirement Village living.
The Lifestyle – what kind of lifestyle do you want? Think about the things that are “must haves” for you and pick a Village which enables you to achieve your goals. Look at different Villages to ensure that the Village you pick ticks all your boxes.
Your Future - does the Village have Hospital or Dementia level care? If your needs change, are you able to move within the Village to a different level of care? Who decides if you need to be move to a different level of care? What are your rights in those circumstances? Will you have priority over a new resident? What happens if there is no available space?
Title – there are four common legal structures used in Retirement Villages. They are Cross Leases, Leases for Life, Licences to Occupy or Unit Titles. You are required to seek legal advice before you sign an Occupation Right Agreement so make sure your lawyer explains how the Village you are interested in is structured.
The Money – make sure you understand exactly what your purchase price or “Entry Payment” is paying for. What on-going fees are there? Will those fees change? If so, how will they change? On terminating your Agreement, what money will be refunded to you? How is this calculated? What costs will be taken out of any refund and when will you receive it?
Safeguards – are there any safeguards? If the Retirement Village you are looking at is registered, it will either have a Statutory Supervisor or an Exemption Certificate. Make sure you understand what a Statutory Supervisor is. If the Village isn’t registered, they should have an exemption certificate. Ask to see the Exemption Certificate. Ask why they have an Exemption Certificate.
The decision to move into a retirement village is not one you should rush. Take time and consider all your options. Make a checklist of the reasons for and against and involve your family and friends in your decision making process. It is also important to ensure you have the appropriate legal and financial advice.
As with all areas of law, it is important that you seek good advice from a team who understand how this area may impact on you and your legal requirements. At Harmans we have experience dealing with estate planning strategies. Give Phillipa Shaw a call on 03 352 2293 to arrange an appointment to discuss your situation.