Re­search any re­tire­ment vil­lage fees

Pilbara News - - Lifestyle - Gwyn­neth Hay­wood Gwyn­neth Hay­wood is the se­nior re­gional of­fi­cer for Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion.

If you or any­one in your fam­ily is con­sid­er­ing a move to a re­tire­ment vil­lage, be aware that it is not a care op­tion nor is it likely to pro­vide an easy tran­si­tion to a co-lo­cated aged-care fa­cil­ity.

Re­tire­ment vil­lages are for in­de­pen­dent liv­ing, so they should not be thought of as a low-care op­tion.

Some el­derly res­i­dents have moved into a re­tire­ment vil­lage only to then find a short time later that they had to ter­mi­nate their res­i­dence con­tract to move into res­i­den­tial aged care. When they left the re­tire­ment vil­lage they had to pay a range of exit fees which re­duced the amount of money they had to pay for their aged care.

It is im­por­tant you find out up­front how much you will be re­quired to pay if you leave.

The Re­tire­ment Vil­lages leg­is­la­tion re­quires po­ten­tial res­i­dents to be pro­vided with a dis­clo­sure doc­u­ment which clearly sets out all of the fees payable to en­ter, live in and leave a par­tic­u­lar re­tire­ment vil­lage.

The types of ini­tial and on­go­ing fees may in­clude:

An en­try pay­ment called a “pre­mium”. The pre­mium is of­ten de­scribed as an in­ter­est-free loan and is usu­ally equal to, or above, the mar­ket value, of an equivalent unit if you were to pur­chase as a res­i­den­tial owner. Many peo­ple do not un­der­stand that in most in­stances they are pur­chas­ing a right to live in premises — and not the prop­erty it­self.

Spe­cial levies charged to res­i­dents to cover pe­ri­odic ex­penses.

Re­cur­rent weekly or fort­nightly fees charged by vil­lage op­er­a­tors.

Main­te­nance fees for re­pair­ing or re­plac­ing things like ovens.

Some of the exit fees may in­clude:

De­ferred man­age­ment fee which av­er­ages 30 per cent of the en­try pay­ment. Re­fur­bish­ment charges. Sales and mar­ket­ing fees of some­thing like 3-5 per cent, to on-sell the lease.

Some re­tire­ment vil­lage con­tracts grant sole mar­ket­ing rights to the owner/op­er­a­tor giv­ing res­i­dents lit­tle con­trol over the re­sale or re­leas­ing process.

Be­fore we even get to this point, we need to un­der­stand how any cap­i­tal growth of the unit is shared with the vil­lage owner and what time frames are likely to af­fect the pro­ceeds of the sale.

Be­fore you sign any con­tract, ob­tain le­gal and fi­nan­cial ad­vice or talk to the trained Se­niors Hous­ing Ad­vi­sory Cen­tre of­fi­cers at Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion on 1300 367 057 or email se­niors.hous­ing@com­ or com­ au/con­sumer-pro­tec­tion/ se­niors-hous­ing.

There is a seven-work­ing-day cool­ing-off pe­riod that starts once you have signed a res­i­dence con­tract.

If you can­cel the con­tract at any time af­ter you move in you will have to pay all fees spec­i­fied in the res­i­dence con­tract.

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