Moving out of a retirement village

There can be many reasons why you might wish to leave a village – you may need to move to aged care, you may find that the village has become unaffordable, you may not like the new management, your family may move and you wish to move nearer to them or you may simply find that retirement village living does not suit you.

If the operator wishes you to leave, they can’t terminate your contract without either your agreement or an application to the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) for a termination order. An operator may apply to the SAT when:

  • you have breached the residence contract or village rules;
  • you cause serious damage or injury to property or a person;
  • they consider that you are unable to live independently on medical grounds; or
  • the operator would suffer undue hardship if the contract were not terminated.

The village operator would have to persuade the SAT that any breach is serious enough to justify terminating the residence contract. The SAT can also order compensation for any termination due to operator hardship.  See Termination of a retirement village residence contract for more details. 

Whatever the reason for terminating your residence contract, its provisions regarding what fees you are to pay are likely to apply.

Exit fees and other expenses

Many retirement villages have a range of fees that are payable when you leave the village. These fees are known as exit fees and can include deferred management fees (DMF), reserve fund fees, selling and marketing fees and refurbishment fees. The amount you pay often depends upon how long you have been in the village.

Be aware – you may have to continue to pay ongoing charges for some time after you leave the village unless someone else takes over your lease/licence or buys your unit and takes over those charges.

For more information see On-going requirement to pay recurrent charges

Exit entitlements

This is the portion of the premium you paid that the village operator must refund to you if you want to move out of the village. It is the sum repayable to you after the operator has deducted all exit fees. It is important to find out at what point you are eligible to receive this money as you may need it if you have to move to a higher level of care. Your right to an exit entitlement will usually be dependent upon someone else first buying or leasing your unit, which could take some time. 

Last modified: