Fees and charges - living in a retirement village

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Whichever retirement village you choose, you will have to pay recurrent charges, including maintenance fees.

Maintenance charges

You will usually have to pay a maintenance charge every week, fortnight or month. It helps cover the cost of:

  • managing the retirement village, including staff salaries
  • maintaining the facilities and common areas available to all residents, such as gardens and recreational facilities
  • providing additional services available to all residents, such as emergency call system monitoring.

Some villages include a component for capital improvements or replacements in their maintenance charge, or set a separate maintenance charge for this purpose.

If you are an owner resident (a strata title holder), you will also have to pay owners’ corporation fees, used to pay for upkeep of common property, insurances for the common property and other owners corporation costs.

Some retirement villages combine the maintenance charge and owners corporation fee into one payment. For more information, view our Fees – owners corporations page.

Some retirement villages offer residents a choice between independent and assisted living arrangements. The recurrent charges will be higher for an assisted living contract that includes regular extras, such as meal services.

Increasing maintenance charges

After setting its maintenance charges for the first time, a retirement village can only increase the amount in accordance with any increases in the consumer price index (CPI). A bigger increase is only allowed if it is:

  • approved by a resolution of the residents’ committee or a resolution of a majority of the residents, or
  • due to the factors set out in section 38 of the Retirement Villages Act 1986:
    • increases in salaries or wages paid in accordance with an award
    • an increase in any taxes and charges relating to retirement village land or its use imposed by law.

Special levy

A retirement village may need more money than is collected in ongoing maintenance fees, to meet unexpected expenses such as unexpected major repairs, or to fund a new service or facility.

If this is the case, the operator can only charge a special levy if residents have not been charged one in the past 12 months and either:

  • residents agree to the change through a special resolution, which requires the support of at least 75 per cent of the residents voting at the meeting
  • the levy seeks to cover costs due to Victorian or Commonwealth law or the order of a court
  • the retirement village contract or its rules make residents responsible for the type of expenditure the special levy is intended to cover; for example, your contract states that residents will have to pay for any new facility, like a bowling green or pool.

Personal services fees

Personal services may be available to residents on an as-needs basis. They can include meals, cleaning, laundry and personal care, such as assistance with bathing and dressing. They are normally provided on a user-pays basis, at commercial rates.

Metered services and insurance costs

As a resident in a retirement village, you usually bear the cost of services that are separately metered and charged to your unit.

These services include:

  • telephone
  • gas and electricity
  • household contents insurance.

Other fees and charges

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