If you want to leave
You need to give the operator one month´s written notice to terminate your ´right to reside´in the village.
If you become aware that the village is not registered, and it should be, you can also give the operator 14 days written notice. In this situation, the operator must refund the full amount of your ingoing contribution.
If the operator asks you to leave
An operator can terminate your right to reside, with 14 days written notice, if you:
- intentionally or recklessly injure someone in the village
- seriously damage your unit
- seriously damage someone´s property in the village.
An operator can terminate your right to reside, with two months notice, if:
- you breach the residence contract
- you abandon your right to reside in the retirement village
- they have someone assess your care needs under the Aged Care Act 1997 and find that your accommodation type is unsuitable (e.g. you live in an independent living unit but need help with personal care, which the operator does not provide).
Reinstating a unit
This involves returning a unit to a marketable condition. After you leave, the operator arranges for a unit to be reinstated.
Residents in a freehold unit pay reinstatement costs. They can obtain their own quotes for reinstatement work and give them to the operator.
Residents in a non-freehold unit, who signed contracts before 15 March 2006, must refer to their contract to see who pays the costs. If nothing is stated in the contract then the following applies:
- For contracts that commenced after 1 July 2000, the scheme operator pays.
- For contracts that commenced prior to 1 July 2000, the resident and operator share the cost in the same proportion they share the sale proceeds.
Residents in a leasehold unit who signed contracts after 15 March 2006 must share costs with the operator in the same proportion as they will share capital gain from the unit´s sale.
Reselling a unit
Resale refers to the operator selling a resident´s right to reside in the village.
In this situation, you and the operator must agree in writing on the unit´s resale value within 30 days of your termination. Otherwise the operator must get an independent valuation within 14 days.
You and the operator must agree on the work required to reinstate the unit. The work must be completed within 90 days of you leaving.
If the operator does not sell the right to reside within six months, you can contract a real estate agent to act on your behalf.
If you or the operator accept an offer less than that agreed on, or determined by a valuer, the person that agreed bears the difference.
Fees and charges
A residence contract will usually state that operators can deduct your exit fees and other costs from the amount you are owed.
The exit fee is calculated in accordance with the contract on the day you vacate.
The operator must provide a statement outlining the fees, including general service charges, personal services charges, outstanding fund contributions, expenses from the right-to-reside resale and any other costs covered in the contract.
You may have to pay the general services charge for up to nine months after you vacate the unit, unless the unit sells earlier.
You may have to pay personal services charges for up to:
- one month after you give notice that you are vacating
- 14 days after you give notice because the village is not registered
- 14 days after the operator gives notice due to dangerous behaviour or, if the notice is extended, 14 days after the extension period
- two months after the operator gives notice because you have breached the contract, abandoned the unit or been assessed as medically unfit to live in the village.
This is the amount the operator must pay or credit you when you sell your right to reside in the village. They must pay the entitlement on or before the date stated in your contract, or within 14 days after settlement day (whichever is first).
When you vacate your unit, you have voting rights until the unit is resold.
Rights of a spouse or relative
A spouse or relative who has lived in the unit for six months or longer, but was not on the contract, can live in the unit for three months after you vacate. During the three months, the relative has all the rights and liabilities of a resident.
The spouse or relative must write to the operator within 14 days of the termination date, stating they agree to the terms of the contract, while they live in the unit.
If the spouse or relative meets certain conditions, they may enter into a residence contract for the unit before the three-month period expires.
These conditions include that:
- the original resident´s interest was leasehold or licence
- no other person has a right under the contract to live in the unit
- they meet the eligibility criteria to live in the village
- they give written notice of their wish to enter into a residence contract.