Entering into a village contract

Making the decision to move into a retirement village is a significant decision and there are a number of things you should consider very carefully. To assist prospective residents in choosing a village, the law requires operators to disclose certain information before you enter into a village contract.

Prospective residents must also be given at least 14 days to review the proposed contract before signing. If you are unsure about the contents, ask the village operator to explain it. You also should consider obtaining independent legal and financial advice.  Go to the standard contract and disclosure documents page for more information.

If you change your mind after entering into a village contract, you may be able to end the contract during the cooling-off or settling-in periods.

Cooling-off period

Once you sign a village contract, you have a seven day cooling-off period. During this time, if you change your their mind, you can end the contract by notifying the other party in writing. Generally, any money paid under the village contract must be fully refunded. However, if you move into the premises within the cooling-off period, there are no cooling-off rights.

Settling-in period

There is also a 90-day settling-in period. This means, for example, that if you need to move out of the village within 90 days of becoming entitled to occupy the premises, you only have to pay:

  • fair market rent for that period,
  • the cost of any repairs for damage in excess of fair wear and tear,
  • a reasonable administration fee (of no more than $200), and
  • the reasonable costs the operator had incurred in making any alterations or adding any fixtures or fittings at the request of the resident.

You don’t have to pay any departure fees and you’re entitled to a refund of the ingoing contribution or the proceeds from the sale of the premises plus any recurrent charges paid under the contract. The timing for payment of the refund depends on the type of village contract.

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