Fees and charges - entering a retirement village

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Waiting list fees

Some retirement villages require you to pay a fee to join their waiting lists.

If you are committed to entering a particular retirement village, it may be worth thinking about adding your name to the list.

Before you do, find out:

  • how much it costs to join a waiting list
  • the average waiting time
  • whether part or all of the fee will be refunded:
    • when you enter the village. This information is set out in a fact sheet the operator is required to provide if you ask for it, or in any marketing material they send personally to you 
    • if a place does not become available within a certain time 
    • if you change your mind about this retirement village.

If the retirement village operator says the fee is refundable in certain circumstances, ask for details in writing before handing over any money. Always get a receipt if you pay a fee.

Ingoing contribution or purchase price

In most circumstances, you will have to make an up-front payment when you enter a retirement village. This payment may be:

  • described in the retirement village contract in a number of different ways (for example, as an ingoing contribution, an interest-free loan, a refundable deposit, or as the purchase price),
  • refunded in whole or in part when you leave the village.

This up-front payment is the largest single payment you are likely to make and secures your right to occupy the premises.

Your right to reside in the village and to use facilities specified in your contract is binding on the owner of the retirement village, regardless of ownership changes. This right cannot be taken away if the village is sold.

Other fees and charges

For more information about fees and charges, view our related pages: