Fees and charges

There are a range of fees and charges you’ll have to pay when you move in, live, and leave a retirement village. Check your contract to find out exactly what you are liable to pay. Here are 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 to give you an estimate of the fees you’ll need to pay.

Waiting list fees

Some retirement villages have a waiting list and can charge a fee for you to add your name. The maximum fee that can be charged is $200. If they do charge a fee, they must give you a copy of their written waiting list policy and a receipt.

The waiting list fee is fully refundable if you decide not to be a resident. The operator must provide a refund no later than 14 days after you notify them of your decision in writing.

Holding deposits

To secure a unit, some operators allow you to pay a holding deposit before you sign a village contract.

A holding deposit can only be charged on a vacant unit or if the existing resident is leaving.

Holding deposits must be fully refunded within 14 days after you notify them of our decision in writing.

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, like in a strata scheme, you’ll pay the agreed purchase price to the seller under a sale of land contract.

If you are not going to own the unit, you’ll be required to pay the operator an entry payment, for example, an ingoing contribution or interest-free loan. At some villages you can 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 might be asked to pay a deposit.

Legal and conveyancing fees

We recommend you get your own legal or financial advice before signing a village contract. If you are buying a unit, there will be legal and conveyancing costs as with any property purchase. If your village contract is a lease for more than three years, the operator must register it with Land and Property Information. Generally, the resident pays this one-off registration fee.

Contract preparation costs

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

Recurrent charges

In most villages, the residents pay regular recurrent charges. These charges vary from village to village and depending on your circumstances. It’s important to consider the ongoing costs and the potential increases before you sign a contract.

In a strata or community scheme retirement village, you’ll have to pay levies to the owners corporation or community association for the management of the common property. This fee is on top of any recurrent charges.

Exit costs

In most villages, you’ll need to pay fees or charges when you leave. Part of your ingoing contribution may be non-refundable, or you may pay a departure fee, depending on what’s in your contract. The contract will also outline if you need 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.

Go to the <leaving a village page> for more information.

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