This page provides information on who is responsible for various types of repairs and maintenance. It also includes information on the standard policy for alterations.
Items owned by the operator are generally referred to as 'capital items'. In most cases, unless the resident owns them, the operator is responsible for maintaining the following:
- buildings and structures (eg shared hall, admin building, pool, BBQ area, car park)
- machinery or equipment used in the village (eg. coffee machine, commercial oven and other appliances in a shared kitchen, air conditioning units)
- the village infrastructure (eg roads and walkways, plumbing, telephone and internet, water)
- fixtures (eg built-in cupboards, stoves, hot water systems and floor coverings)
- fittings (eg taps and light fittings)
- furnishings (eg curtains and blinds)
- non-fixed items (eg whitegoods, tables and chairs).
If it’s not practical or cost effective to maintain or repair an item, it should be replaced.
If you cause damage to a capital item, other than fair wear and tear, you may be required to reimburse the operator.
You are responsible for repairs or replacement of your personal items, such as fridges and microwaves or air conditioning units you have installed yourself.
A village operator is required to attend to the residents’ requests within a reasonable time.
What is considered to be reasonable will depend on the circumstances and the nature of the repair. You are encouraged to discuss and come to an agreement with the operator on when work should be done.
The operator is not responsible for:
- common property in a strata or community scheme (see strata repairs and maintenance), or
- items owned by you.
Who pays to maintain and repair capital items?
- In most villages, the cost of maintenance and repairs is included in the recurrent charges that residents pay.
- Each year the operator will include amounts for capital maintenance and repairs in the village budget.
- The budget must list the proposed items of work and their expected costs, and include any quotes obtained.
- Go to the village budgets and accounts for more information.
Who pays to replace capital items?
The operator must pay to replace any capital items that they are responsible for.
They must arrange and pay for the replacement items out of their own funds.
Proposed annual budgets cannot include an allowance for replacing these items, either directly or through depreciation. There are some exceptions to this in villages where residents did not pay an ingoing contribution.
Go to the village budgets and accounts for more information.
Capital works fund
If the annual budget sets aside any money from ongoing charges for longer term maintenance, the operator must set up a separate capital works fund for that money.
The capital works fund can only be used to pay for maintenance work.
Residents may agree to refund some or all of the money paid into the capital works fund to each resident in equal shares, if that money is no longer required for maintenance work.
Go to village budgets and accounts for more information.
For urgent repairs, you need to let the operator know and give them a reasonable opportunity to carry out the work.
If the repair cannot be done in a reasonable time, you can arrange for the work to be done and the operator has to reimburse the reasonable costs.
Repairs considered ‘urgent’ include:
- a burst water service
- a blocked or broken toilet
- a serious roof leak
- a gas leak
- a dangerous electrical fault
- flooding or serious flood damage
- serious storm or fire damage
- a breakdown of essential services for hot water, cooking, heating or laundering
- a fault or damage causing an urgent safety or security risk.
You need the written consent from the operator before you can add or remove fixtures or make alterations to your premises.
The operator can refuse consent if there is a good reason or may impose reasonable conditions when giving consent.
For example, a condition may be that you must return the premises to the previous condition when you leave.
After you have added fixtures or fittings, you don’t need the operator’s consent to remove them, unless doing so would cause significant damage. You are responsible for having any damage repaired.
The operator, or anybody acting on their behalf, cannot interfere with a resident’s reasonable peace, comfort and privacy. They can only enter for the following reasons and with the corresponding minimum amount of notice to the resident.
To do ordinary repairs or carry out general maintenance
To carry out urgent repairs, such as fixing burst water pipes, dangerous electrical faults, gas leaks or blocked toilets
In an emergency
If the operator has good cause for serious concern about the health or safety of anyone in the premises
To carry a general inspection of the premises (maximum twice per year), but only if the resident is a non-registered interest holder under their village contract
To install smoke alarms or change the batteries
If the resident consents to the entry
At the resident's discretion
In accordance with a NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal order
As ordered by the Tribunal
If you and the operator are having trouble coming to an agreement about repair and maintenance or cannot agree on who is responsible for maintaining or replacing a capital item, we offer a free mediation service to assist both parties to come to an agreement.
For more information see retirement village disputes