Retirement villages

What is the difference between “independent living, retirement village” and “Retirement village”. ? .Question is in relation to maintenance of unit


Welcome to the Community @384091

‘Independent living’ suggests the focus is social rather than aged or physical support services.

You would need to look at the terms and conditions of each ‘property’ and ‘aged care facility offering ‘independent living’’ you are considering.

‘Retirement Villages’ are commercial projects offering social benefits but have many pitfalls, some discussed in this linked topic as well as in a related topic linked therein. Simplistically one buys in, pays a monthly fee similar to a strata to fund community facilities (halls, tennis, pool, etc), maintenance, and management. When exiting the ‘Village’ usually requires what can be a substantial further investment to upgrade the unit to reflect their current offer - it could be new A/C, appliances, paint, carpet, anything and any profit from a sale is shared between the ‘owner’ and the ‘corporation’.

Aged care facilities offer nursing care, assisted living, and independent living in the same overall facility that makes it easy to transition as additional care is required. The level of support is reflected by ‘independent’, ‘assisted’, and ‘nursing’.


Thank you. A direct question is……I am living in a retirement village and have been told that repairs, such as….replacement of fly screens, broken window pane, sky lite, taps, security doors, etc. has to be done at the residents’ expense, even though they are part of the unit we purchased and, as management states, we ( the resident) are leasing the unit, and do not own it. In my mind, is this not the same, or similiar, to renting a property where the owner is responsible for such maintenance?


Hi @384091, welcome to the community.

In relation to responsibilities of a resident or the retirement village owner, these should be clearly defined in the contract you would have entered into prior to occupation of the unit you reside. It will be important for you to review the contract to see what iit says. Retirement villages are different to a unit complex or a renter of a residential dwelling such as a house or unit/apartment.

The ACCC has some general information on retirement villages which might also be useful background for you…


As much as we sometimes might think something should be so, it’s what is in the lease agreement that matters. You have not mentioned which state or territory applies to your situation. It’s unlikely your agreement is in the same form as a standard residential tenancy agreement. These are regulated. It’s most likely you have an independent lease agreement. This will follow legal principles of a contract where the terms and conditions are all defined by the document signed for the lease.

Perhaps your legal representative who assisted with review of the lease agreement can clarify what is required if you don’t have ready access to a copy?

A standard residential tenancy agreement has an agreed minimum period of occupancy, typically 6 or 12 months. Rents are subject to change in accordance with the market and tenancy is not assured, subject to agreement with the landlord. The landlord can always say no and you need to look elsewhere.

The types of lease agreements offered for retirement villages provide for continued occupancy and a fixed or inflation adjusted regular payment. These types of agreements fall outside the standard regulated agreements for residential tenancies. This may explain why they are often the cause for complaint and misunderstanding.

EG NSW more than one option.

Our rental tenancy market is averse to offering long term occupancy subject to regulation. The other discussions in the community reflect the desire/need of consumers for more standardised and regulated agreements for both longer term residencies and retirement facilities.


My mother pays a separate monthly maintenance charge as part of her residency in a retirement village that covers this type of routine task. Do you have a similar charge, if so you may need to refer to the coverage it provides rather than the lease which may not cover these situations and puts reliance of the maintenance on the occupier as others have noted above.

You may also be able to access maintenance services through a MyAged Care package that reduces or removes any cost for you to carry out these tasks if they are not covered by any current lease or agreement with the Village that you have. The following link lists the areas that a package can cover. Please note that the link is to a provider of these packages and should not be taken as a recommendation of the business, it is purely provided for information about what packages can include and what s excluded.:

There is also the Commonwealth Home Support programme that is similar to the MyAged Care packages (at the basic level) and are part of the MyAged Care programmes