Frequently Asked Questions

What communal or recreational facilities are offered?

Community areas are the hub of village life. These will generally include at least a community room for entertainment and activities or a multi-purpose centre with a range of facilities for your enjoyment and wellbeing.

Always ask to be shown the communal areas when inspecting the village and ask about the regular events and activities.

 

Can family and friends use the communal facilities while staying with us or visiting?

Of course! Friends and family are always welcome.

Each village has its own guidelines on the use of community facilities so it is best to make sure you know what you can do when your family visits. Respect for your neighbours is always important. 

If family or friends do plan on staying overnight or for an extended period, we ask that you advise the village manager. This is an important safeguard in case of an emergency or fire evacuation to ensure everyone within the village remains safe.

 

Are pets welcome?

It depends on the village and you should discuss this with the village manager before moving in. Some villages allow companion animals but not all villages can accommodate them.

You need to make sure any pet is registered and has regular health checks and immunisations. There will also be some rules in the villages who do allow pets and companion animals outside and on common property, as long as pets are leashed.

Carer with owner and pet

 

Is ongoing care or support available within the village?

The village manager is available to assist residents to access in home support and general assistance when required. Support can be one-off, short-term or ongoing (as required).

Residents are of course able to secure support services on their own if preferred. Residents who require assistance beyond what can be appropriately provided within the village will be supported to secure full-time residential care.

Many of our villages have an emergency call system monitored 24 hours a day, every day. Catholic Community Services specialise in supporting people to remain in their home independently. Our residents regularly receive information through the village newsletter about the services they provide.

 

Will I own the retirement village unit?

Our villages operate under a loan licence contract. This means that Catholic Healthcare retains ownership of the retirement village unit but provides the incoming resident with a ‘licence to occupy’. At the conclusion of the residency the ingoing contribution (up-front payment for the unit) will be refunded within 6 months, or earlier if a new resident enters the unit.

The exception is if the outgoing resident has a capital gain sharing arrangement in place. If a capital gain share arrangement is made then your resident contract will provide details of how refunds are made.

 

What is a ‘deferred management fee’ or ‘exit fee’ and how does it apply?

Departure fee is the term used to describe those funds deducted by the village at the time of settlement of the sale or the re-occupancy of your unit. The amount of the fee is variable and calculated in accordance with a formula that will involve a percentage of the ingoing contribution or new sale amount (depending on the terms outlined in your contract), multiplied by your years of occupancy.

Our village management team are happy to provide you with an explanation of our terms. It is essential that your family also understands the nature and terms of the fee to avoid any confusion on departure. The departure fee should be discussed with your legal advisors and it is important that you know what the financial arrangements are prior to signing your contract.

 

Can we reserve an Independent Living Unit against a refundable deposit?

Absolutely! A deposit will withdraw a unit from sale and hold it in your name while you settle the sale of your existing home. If you decide not to proceed your deposit is fully refundable. The deposit will be used towards the payment for the unit should you wish to proceed. If you are having difficulty selling your existing home or need to delay entry please contact your village manager who will discuss this with you.

 

As a Retirement Village Resident what are my rights?

The Retirement Villages Act sets clear standards for operation of retirement villages and seeks to put in place strong protections for residents. A copy of the retirement village’s legislation is available on the internet or from a Catholic Healthcare Village Manager. 

The Office of Fair Trading also provides a series of very useful fact sheets which can be downloaded from their website. Their general enquiry number is 133 220 if you would prefer a hard copy to be mailed to you.

 

What if I need to know more before I sign?

Speaking to your village manager is the first port of call. But you should always seek independent legal advice before making any decision to move into a retirement village.

Your solicitor can assist you with understanding the nuances of a village contract and disclosure statement. We do recommend you seek legal advice from a practitioner or firm with experience in retirement village law.

The Department of Fair Trading also provides information about retirement villages and they can be contacted on 133 220.

 

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