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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Tourism and Fair Trading
    The Honourable Peter Lawlor

    Make the right choices in retirement

    Minister for Tourism and Fair Trading
    The Honourable Peter Lawlor

    Thursday, August 19, 2010

    Make the right choices in retirement

    Minister for Fair Trading Peter Lawlor has used Seniors Week to remind people to seek independent legal and financial advice before signing up to a retirement village scheme.

    “Queensland has more than 250 registered retirement village schemes and they can be a great place to unwind and enjoy retired life,” Mr Lawlor said.

    “But you need to remember there are different types of retirement village schemes, each with its own set of pros and cons - so it is important to pick the right one.

    “Unfortunately many people moving into these schemes don’t read the fine print on contracts and find themselves with an arrangement that may not suit their needs,” he said.

    “You may be living in a retirement village for a long time, so it’s vital to do your research and seek independent legal and financial advice.”

    Different types of accommodation in retirement village schemes include:
    • freehold - where the resident holds freehold title to the accommodation unit;
    • leasehold - where the resident’s lease is registered on the title to the retirement village land; and
    • licence - an unregistered contract between the resident and the operator, where the right is secured by a statutory charge over the retirement village land.

    “Many people don’t understand the differences between these, or the rights and obligations which arise under each scheme,” he said.

    As village operators tend to make their profit on the resale of the right to reside, Mr Lawlor said it was important for those moving into a retirement scheme to ensure they were clear about fees and expenses they may incur.

    “You don’t what to find yourself in a situation where you’re paying out fees and expenses which you didn’t expect,” he said.

    “Make sure you know what the entry and ongoing fees are. Most importantly, find out what fees are payable if you leave the scheme as exit fees may be quite substantial.

    “Shop around and take into consideration any circumstances which may require you to leave the retirement village and move into alternative accommodation earlier then expected.”

    Mr Lawlor said regardless of retirement village type, operators in Queensland must comply with the Retirement Villages Act 1999 which provided protection to residents.

    “The Act seeks to promote fair trading practices and is the regulatory framework in the retirement village industry. It provides protections relating to services provided to residents by retirement village operators.

    “If disputes occur between retirement village residents and operators, a dispute resolution process exists under the Act.”

    For a free copy of Retire Smart visit or call 13 13 04.

    For more information about retirement villages visit or Association of Residents of Queensland Retirement Villages:

    Media contact: 3225 1005

    19 August 2010