Competition in the marketplace is the invariable driver of continuous improvement to products and service, and the Retirement Village industry is an example of that principle in action.

The traditional options for Retirement Living accommodation usually came down to two choices – a unit/semi-detached home in a Retirement Village, or a stand alone house in a Manufactured Home park. Each option is governed by its own legislation.

A Retirement Village Unit usually involves the “purchase” of a Lease or Licence to reside for an indefinite time. The normal model has a reduced entry payment, and an exit payment at the end. Even that model is being reviewed, and some operators (Aveo, Lendlease) offer a no exit fee option, but with a greater initial payment on entry. The offerings may vary as to Capital Gain being available, or not, renovation payments being required, or not, as well as a myriad of other payments or conditions.

The Manufactured Home option involves buying a (theoretically) relocatable home in a land lease home park. Under this option the retiree purchases the home but pays rent for the land. Capital Gain is available because the home is owned. Historically one of the criticisms of the land lease park option has been that they are a lower market option, but that too is changing, with some very stylish parks coming online in recent years.

These two choices remain by far the most popular retirement models across the industry, but to meet changing demographics, and to cover alternate lifestyles, some alternatives that have recently come into the market include:

  1. In Sydney, and recently on the Sunshine Coast (Aura Maroochydore), an option to have a relative/carer live with the retiree, either in the home, or in an adjoining residence, has been offered.
  2. A model whereby single women of limited means have a small individual unit, with a common shared area for the group (lounge, dining, entertainment) to jointly access.
  3. “Relocatable” homes that in any real sense are immovable, built on a concrete base. The purchaser can even have input in relation to the construction of the home prior to completion and moving in.
  4. Some operators are offering a limited number of rental agreements for a period of time. Generally under this model the weekly outgoing overall is higher, and there is no guarantee of long term residence, but this option may suit some people based on their financial circumstances.

Operators are also attuned to cultural issues, and newer constructions focus on such things as sustainability, energy efficiency, and obtaining a 5 Star Green rating.

The Retirement Industry is constantly evolving and improving, driven by competition between operators. That means that the contracts involved also are changing, and contain a vast array of clauses, promises, and requirements specific to each operator, and each model they operate.

Brisbane Elder Law are experts in relation to all forms of Retirement Accommodation Contracts. Contact them on 1800961622 or visit