Laws on Retirement Villages in Queensland

Retirement Villages in Queensland are controlled by the Retirement Villages Act 1999.

Guides to Retirement Living

The Queensland Government Office of Fair Trading have a PDF guide called Easing into Village life for potential retirement homes residents. I think this contains the easiest introduction to the various concepts involved in retirement villages.

There is a Retirement Village Handbook prepared by a lawyer for It's Your Life. It costs $50 for Seniors Card holders. The Retirement Village Handbook table of contents seem reasonably comprehensive. However I have not read it.

Retirement Villages Act

Retirement Villages in Queensland are controlled by the Retirement Villages Act 1999. In my view, for reading Australian law, the Austlii version I have linked to is a little easier to read online. Or at least, less overwhelming than grabbing the whole act.

The Retirement Villages Act was modified in 2006 by Retirement Villages Amendment Act 2006 No. 6 to give increased clarity and rights to residents of retirement villages.

The comments in Hansard by Members of the Queensland Parliament provide an interesting coverage of the background of these retirement villages amendments.

Public Information Document

The Office of Fair Trading make available their Form 1, a generic version of the Public Information Document required to be completed by each retirement village.

The retirement village have to develop a specific Public Information Document (PID) for each village. They must include more financial information in the PID, including details about future costs and timeframes for expected village improvements. (Section 45) This PID is an early part of the large slab of documents you are handed when you start to look seriously at buying into a retirement village.

Right To Reside

A scheme operator may terminate a resident's right to reside in the retirement village (Section 53). One cause is the scheme operator and a person who has assessed the resident's care needs under the Aged Care Act 1997 (Cwlth), section 22.414 reasonably believe the resident's type of accommodation is now unsuitable for the resident. In short, if you go non-compos, you can be chucked out of the retirement village.

This means that if you can no longer live independently, due to frailty or illness, then the residential scheme operator can organise for you to be removed from the village.

A right to reside in an accommodation unit in a retirement village held by a resident terminates on the death of the resident. If there are two leaseholders, on the death of the last resident.

Under leasehold, if the scheme operator must pay the cost of reinstatement work, it must be paid out of the scheme operator's capital replacement fund. (Section 62). You can expect operators will try to dodge this.

A right to reside in an independent living unit such as a house, does not automatically confer a right to move to assisted living or a nursing home in the same village. If you leave the original house, you would have to buy into the assisted living or other alternate residence, if they are available. In short, it costs you to move to assisted living. It costs you again to move to a nursing home, if one is available on site.

Other Commentary

A teleconference on retirement villages law by a solicitor. Characteristics of retirement villages. Easy to join, hard to leave, due to exit fee. It is a dissipating asset. Loss of some independence relative to living in your own home. This was one of the most useful documents I found.

The Operator is a commercial property developer. Offers residents a leasehold interest in the unit occupied by the resident. The village is run by a Manager who is responsible not only for the maintenance and administration of the village and its facilities, but also the fulfilment of certain legal responsibilities towards the residents of the village.

Two themes that emerged from focus group discussions in 12 different retirement villages were sense of belonging and new lease of life. The residents argued that the lifestyle within a retirement village provided a supportive and invigorating environment that resonated with their changing circumstances and offered a chance for self-contentment and self-fulfilment in a way that prompted a new lease of life. Grant, B. (2004). A new sense of self and a new lease of life: Leisure in a retirement village. Annals of Leisure Research, 7(3-4), 222-237.

Who Owns What?

According to the colourful brochure, Carlyle Gardens Retirement Resort is one of many (around 47) properties owned by the Prime Retirement and Aged Care Property Trust (Prime Trust) ARSN 097 514 746.

Prime Trust is a public Property Trust formed in 2001, and listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in 2007. The Board of Directors preside over Prime Trust via the Responsible Entity.

According to the stock market listing documents, the Responsible Entity seems to be Australian Property Custodians Holdings Limited (APCH). A.B.N. 74 095 474 436, AFSL 226692

The Responsible Entity has secured various loan facilities to assist with the purchase of the Properties. As security for their loans, Prime Trust's lenders obtain registered first mortgages over the Properties. Under the terms of the mortgages, if a default occurs, the lenders will be entitled to enforce their security and sell the Properties. Prime Trust's lenders, however, have no right of recourse against Unitholders.

On 29 April 2008 Kidder Williams acquired Prime Trust Responsible Entity Australian Property Custodians Holdings Limited (APCH), according to APCH Chairman The Hon. Dr Michael Wooldridge. All APCH shares associated with current Managing Director of APCH, Mr Bill Lewski, were acquired by Kidder Communities Pty Ltd. This is a wholly owned subsidiary of Kidder Williams Ltd, a Melbourne based investment and advisory group. Mr Philip Powell of Kidder Williams will take over APCH as Managing Director.

All of Prime Trust's Properties are operated by experienced parties under long-term arrangements. Those I can find listed are Primelife, Village Life Ltd, and The Retirement Guide Group

Primelife are under long-term (20 years plus a further option of 10 years) agreement. An announcement on 30 May 2007 listed restructuring of Primelife to create the Babcock & Brown Communities Group. In September 2008, Prime Trust announced a script offer for Babcock & Brown Communities Group.

SVC. On 24 April 2007, the shareholders of Village Life Ltd approved the sale of these agreements to SVC. These 25 year Wholesale Management Services Agreements continue with SCV Group Ltd.

The Retirement Guide Group are associated with the Responsible Entity. Under various options in 2007 there was a sale of the operating subsidiaries in the Retirement Guide Group to Babcock & Brown Pty Ltd's subsidiary, Retirement Management Pty Ltd. The term of the management rights will be 25 years. This is the group operating Carlyle Gardens.

According to the Queensland Land Registry, Carlyle Gardens is operated by Carlyle Villages Pty Ltd A.C.N. 075 243 800.


Subsidiaries of Australian Property Custodian Holdings Limited as at 2008.

APCH Aged Care Services Pty Ltd ACN 113 934 400

Hibiscus RV Properties Pty Ltd ACN 115 176 960

Buderim Meadows Retirement Village Pty Ltd ACN 052 895 244

Chancellor Park Retirement Village Pty Ltd ACN 061 399 139

Nambour Retirement Village Pty Ltd ACN 069 358 701

Noosa Outlook Retirement Village Pty Ltd ACN 010 860 394

BACH Unit Trust ACN 091 506 044

APCH Investments Pty Ltd ACN 122 104 009

Hibiscus Retirement Resort MP Pty Ltd ACN 092 042 487

Hibiscus Retirement Resort DM Pty Ltd ACN 098 535 874

Cater Corporation Pty Ltd ACN 084 718 552

Carlyle RV Properties Pty Ltd ACN 123 627 805

Argyle Gardens Village Pty Ltd ACN 010 502 879

Carlyle Villages Pty Ltd ACN 075 243 800

Lindfield RV Properties Pty Ltd ACN 127 111 586