Retirement Villages

The lifestyle options and benefits offered by retirement villages can start to look very appealing to many retirees. The services offered can become necessary when failing health or changes in family circumstances force people to need more help during their day-to-day routines.

What do I need to know before I buy into a retirement village?

Before you decide to make the move it’s very important to consider that buying into a retirement village is different from buying a new home. For example, you may have to agree that you, or your heirs, will sell the property back to the operator at a later date at a specified price, or, more typically, instead of purchasing property within the village, you are purchasing a licence to occupy a unit. The process of purchasing a licence to occupy will also require you to sign an ‘occupation right agreement’.

A licence to occupy, and the occupation right agreement, result in financial rights and obligations for both the resident and the organisation that owns and operates the retirement village. It is crucial that you understand what you are signing before entering into such an agreement. New Zealand law recognises the importance of this, and the Retirement Villages Act 2003 requires all those intending to become residents in a retirement village to receive independent legal advice before signing an occupation right agreement.

Regardless of the legal and financial structure of any retirement village you may be considering we, at Wakefields Lawyers, have the experience to help you and make sure you understand all the benefits and potential disadvantages before you decide. We regularly help clients in this way, offering a free initial consultation, and a competitive fee structure, for our resulting advice and services.