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Standard fact sheet.
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Fees and charges 

There are a range of fees and charges you may have to pay when you move in, live in, and leave a retirement village. Check your contract to find out exactly what you are liable to pay.

This section describes some of the common fees and costs for retirement village living.

Retirement Village Calculator 

If you are considering moving into a village, you can use the NSW Fair Trading Retirement Village Calculator, which will give you an estimate of the fees you can expect to pay when you move in, live in and leave a retirement village.

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Waiting list fees 

Some retirement villages have a waiting list and may charge a fee for you to add your name to the list. The maximum fee that can be charged is $200. If the operator charges a fee, they must have a written waiting list policy and provide you with a copy along with a receipt when you pay the fee.

The waiting list fee is fully refundable if you are unable to, or no longer wish to be a resident of the village. The operator must provide a refund no later than 14 days after you notify them of your decision in writing.

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Holding deposits 

Some operators may allow you to pay a holding deposit on a particular unit while making arrangements to sign a village contract. This prevents the operator from offering the unit to another person.

A holding deposit can only be charged on a vacant unit or if the existing resident has given notice to vacate. As with waiting list fees, a holding deposit must be fully refunded within 14 days once written notice is provided to the operator that you do not intend to enter into the village contract.

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Entry payment and purchase price 

The largest cost is the amount you pay for the right to occupy a unit.

If you are buying the unit that you will own, like in a strata scheme, you will have to pay the agreed purchase price to the seller under a sale of land contract.

If you are not going to own the unit, you will be required to pay the operator an entry payment, for example, an ingoing contribution or interest-free loan.

At some villages you may be able to enter into a village contract and pay the ingoing contribution or purchase price at a later date once your home is sold. In this instance you are likely to be asked to pay a deposit.

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Legal and conveyancing fees 

It is recommended you obtain your own independent legal or financial advice before signing a village contract. You will be responsible for paying your own legal costs.

If you are buying a unit, such as in a strata village, there will be legal and conveyancing costs as with any property purchase.

If your village contract is a lease with a term of more than 3 years, the operator must register it with Land and Property Information. Generally, the resident pays this one-off registration fee.

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Contract preparation costs 

The operator usually incurs costs in preparing your village contract, such as legal and administrative expenses. The maximum amount you can be asked to pay towards these expenses is $50.

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Recurrent charges 

In most villages, the residents pay regular recurrent charges to meet the expenses of operating the village. The amount varies from village to village. It is important to consider the ongoing costs before you sign a contract. Your contract may also provide for the charges to be increased from time to time.

You will normally have to pay more in serviced apartments than in self-contained dwellings. At some villages, you may also pay higher recurrent charges if you are living with your spouse or living in larger unit, or if you have a garage.

In a strata or community scheme retirement village, you will have to pay levies to the owners corporation or community association for the management of the common property. This is in addition to any recurrent charges you pay to the operator for their services.

Exit costs 

In most villages, you will need to pay fees or charges when you leave, usually at the same time as receiving your refund. Part of your ingoing contribution may be non-refundable, or you may pay a departure fee, depending on what is in your contract. Your contract may also provide for you to share any capital gain on your unit with the operator. You may be liable for some or all of the ongoing recurrent charges until the next resident takes over responsibility for your unit.

For more information, see the Leaving a village page on the Fair Trading website.

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