You’re in good hands with CM Lawyers
That is not just a slogan; at CM Lawyers, we take those words very seriously. In practice for 15 years, CM Lawyers provides compassionate, practical, and people-oriented legal services and advice. Our practice is located in Marrickville, with plenty of off-street parking for the convenience of our clients. Our clients are our top priority; our solicitors, public notary, and conveyancer work hard to ensure that we provide the most sound advice, effective solutions, and positive outcomes for each client. This philosophy applies to all of our specialties, including retirement village law. As with all of our clients, we work hard to ensure that our retired clients receive all that they are entitled to under a retirement village home purchase agreement.
Retirement. After a long, satisfying career, you deserve a reward, and that’s retirement. A time to relax and enjoy life, without the pressure and stress of working full-time. You now have the time to sit back, admire the view, and pursue the hobbies and pastimes that you had no time for while you were working. Travel, buy a boat or an RV (or both), play golf, spend time with family and friends, have fun! Or…just relax at home, reading, gardening, redecorating. Do whatever you desire; this is a time when you should be dealing with nothing complicated or stressful.
But you still need that home base, that home where you are able to relax. Ideally, this would be a place without all the work of maintaining a home like the one you lived in as you raised your family. No mowing, shovelling, or raking. But where do you find such a place? Where is this wonderful retirement spot?
We suggest that you check into retirement villages. You might conjure up the image of an institutional setting with lots of Bingo, wheelchairs, and walkers, but this is not necessarily a true picture. A retirement village is a community where residents enter into contracts with operators to purchase their own dwellings. Rather than leasing a space, the retiree is the owner of the home, while common areas such as foyers, gardens, and corridors are owned by all of the residents as a group. The actual homes are typically apartments or townhouses. Residents are required to be 55 years of age or older, and no longer working full-time. In Sydney, retirement village purchases account for half of all residential sales and leases.
While living in a retirement village greatly simplifies life, the process of purchasing space in one can be complicated by rules, regulations, laws, fees, and the rights and responsibilities of both parties entering into the contract. Villages are strictly regulated, according to the Retirement Villages Act, which came into effect in New South Wales in 1999. The act sets rules for structuring a retirement village, for how payments are made, and for the obligations, rights, and responsibilities of all involved in the transaction. To add to the confusion, operators must also meet the requirements of the Fair Trading Act of 1987 and the Competition and Consumer Act of 2010.
At CM Lawyers, we strongly encourage our retirement-age clients to consult us when looking for the ideal retirement home. We are highly dedicated to our clients, and will perform due diligence, research all of the details, and make every effort to help you sort through all of the information, regulations, and requirements you will encounter. All CM Lawyers practitioners and staff have a strong dedication to our clients. At CM Lawyers, our goal is to protect you and ensure that your transaction goes smoothly, so that you can have the relaxing, trouble-free retirement that any worker dreams of.
To illustrate how complicated the process of purchasing a home in a retirement village can be, there are five separate structures for retirement villages. Specifically, the retiree may purchase a lot (apartment or townhouse) in a strata or community; buy shares in the company that owns the property; sign a long-term (up to the tenant’s lifetime) lease; live on the property as a licensee; or sign a lease as a tenant.
The documents involved are just as varied as the structures. These include inquiries, disclosures, contracts in regard to residency and services, and a long list of other necessary legal papers. It’s also important that the client is made aware of all services and facilities that will be available at the retirement village. The operator is required to make such documents available to the resident, free of charge, upon request. These documents are loaded with detail and legal language that require the expertise of a lawyer. Also, while a good portion of the terms and requirements are not negotiable, it is still vital for the purchaser to be aware of the details and his or her responsibilities and rights, yet another reason to protect yourself by hiring a lawyer with experience in this field.
And then, of course, there are the fees. There are fees to be placed on a waiting list for a property to become available; fees that are charged if you move away; deposits, title fees, and even a fee for preparing the contract that stipulates the fees.
The professionals at CM Lawyers are focused on protecting our clients and making sure that all of the numerous details are covered when helping them wade through the process of purchasing a retirement village property. This includes all of the items listed above, plus ensuring that all fees and costs are fair and in compliance with the Retirement Villages Act. So protect your interests and your retirement, so that when you do retire, you are able to enjoy it. Contact us before you put your signature on any contract or agreement – it will be well worth the time spent.