Do I own my Retirement Village accommodation?
When you move into a retirement village as a resident, you are most commonly buying a right to occupy and enjoy your accommodation and the use of communal facilities such as a community centre or clubhouse, BBQ areas, sporting facilities such as a bowling green, swimming pool and gymnasium, library, community gardens, internet lounges, meeting rooms, lounge and dining rooms and parking for visitors. Depending on the legal structure / contract you are agreeing to, you will either be entering into a leasing arrangement or an ownership title of varying kinds. The most common forms of retirement village accommodation contracts are loan, licence and leasehold. This means you do not ‘own’ a separate title that can be sold, transferred or bequeathed.
Freehold, unit trust, strata title and company share are on offer but are rare.
Rights of ownership will depend on the contract of each individual retirement village. All contracts on offer protect your rights as a resident, as does the Retirement Villages Act 1986 (Vic).
A legal counsel experienced in retirement living options will be able to help you understand the legal structure and implications of what you are considering buying.
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