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    Retirement Villages

    Do you need experienced retirement village lawyers?

    Get the best representation with Ryan Murdoch O’Regan Lawyers. We carefully analyse and advise on all risks and obligations.

    Retirement Villages Team

    Daniel Lilley

    Executive Counsel

    1800 999 529


    View Profile

    The Law

    The Retirement Villages Act 1999 (“the Act”) defines a retirement village as the “premises where older members of the community or retired persons reside, or are to reside, in independent living units or serviced units, under a retirement village scheme”.


    Costs may include:

    • initial entry price,
    • village operator’s legal costs,
    • recurring service charges,
    • resale and reinstatement fees, and
    • exit fees.

    The First Step

    After expressing interest in a retirement village, the village operator will provide you with a:

    • public information document, and
    • residence contract.

    Independent legal advice on these documents must be obtained from our retirement village lawyers.

    We explain all costs, rights and obligations and the legal structure for the retirement village to you in plain English.

    Will I Own The Unit?

    There are 3 main types of tenure:

    • freehold,
    • leasehold, and
    • licence.

    With most retirement villages, you don’t own the title like you would with your home. You have a right to occupy the dwelling and as such leasehold is the most common form of tenure with retirement villages.

    However, there are some schemes that offer freehold title but you have to remember that although you own the property you are still restricted in dealing with the property.

    Retirement village leases will terminate automatically upon the death of the surviving resident or when the unit is on-sold to a new resident.

    Cooling-off Period

    Once you have signed the contract, there is a 14 day cooling-off period.

    For contracts subject to a particular event, or another contract being entered into, the 14 day cooling-off period will begin either:

    • when the event occurs, or
    • when the other contract is entered into.

    No penalties are incurred for withdrawing your contact within the 14 day cooling-off period.

    Seek legal advice from our retirement village lawyers prior to signing the contract.

    Capital Gains Or Loss

    It is important that you identify at the outset your entitlement to any capital gain when:

    • you leave the village, or
    • your liability to bear any capital loss.

    This aspect is not regulated and comes down to the terms within the retirement village contract.

    At times, there may be no provision for capital gain or loss.

    Our retirement village lawyers will carefully review the contract and advise you on any capital gains or loss.

    In a case regarding the sale of an retirement village unit which has a resale price of $600,000, the outgoing resident received $356,000, after the deduction of the exit fee.

    This was based on:

    • 33% of original ingoing contribution ($148,000),
    • capital gain ($76,000),
    • reinstatement costs ($4,000),
    • costs of sale ($11,000),
    • levy adjustment ($4,000), and
    • legal and registration fees ($1,000).

    What If I Have A Dispute?

    Are you in a dispute with your retirement village operator?

    A formal dispute resolution process is set out under the Act and must be followed.

    You can apply directly to QCAT for a hearing if you are subject to threatening or fraudulent behaviour from a retirement village operator.

    Our Proven Results

    Examples of our retirement village lawyers’ work includes:

    • Providing legal advice on the purchase of a retirement village at Coombabah, including attended to the detailed review of documents e.g. public information document and sale agreement and attending to settlement.
    • Representing our client for the sale of their retirement village unit at Mount Warren Park. This work involved liaising with the retirement village operator, their legal team, completing required searches and successfully negotiating terms of the exit agreement.
    • Advising our client on the lease of a retirement village at Sippy Downs. Our work involved reviewing and negotiating terms of the lease, preparation of the loan agreement and registration on the lease.


    Read What Our Clients Had To Say …

    "100% satisfaction. Highly recommend. MR"
    "Thank you for your wonderful support of my mother during this time. She has spoken very highly of your efforts and I am very appreciative of how you have made what can seem a daunting task much more manageable. Thanks for everything. BP"
    "Absolute pleasure to deal with throughout this time. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the effort you have put in and the genuine concern you had shown me and Dad. JE"
    "WOW!!!!! That’s really fantastic. You have really looked after us. Thank you so much, we really appreciate it. NR"
    "Thank you for all your help. You have made this process so easy and painless. I really appreciate everything you have done. I will heartily recommend Ryan Murdoch O'Regan to anyone looking to solve property-related issues. CM"
    "Awesome. You cared and had answers ready as required. We were impressed. TF"

    How We Can Help

    Firstly, there will be no surprises during your transaction.

    Secondly, all of the costs involved are provided to you in plain English.

    Thirdly, you are provided with all of the information you need so you can make an informed decision.

    Most importantly, our experienced retirement village lawyers provide you with the best legal advice to allow you to decide whether the retirement village is the right lifestyle choice for you.

    Office Locations

    Ryan Murdoch O’Regan Lawyers’ experienced retirement village lawyers are available at any of our local offices (Brisbane, Gold Coast, Beenleigh, Cleveland and Jimboomba).

    Cannot make it to our local offices? Speak to our lawyers by telephone or video-conference.

    Contact Us

    You should obtain legal advice. Make an informed decision. Call now.

    Get the best representation. Contact Ryan Murdoch O’Regan Lawyers’ experienced retirement village lawyers on 1800 999 529, email or submit an enquiry below.

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