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Changing homes within a village

At a glance

It is not uncommon for a resident to change homes within a retirement village. For example, from one unit to another, or from a unit to a serviced apartment. Here are some things to keep in mind.

Most retirement villages include a mix of independent living (e.g., villas, townhouses, and apartments) and assisted living (e.g., serviced apartments, care rooms).

Many residents move from independent living to assisted living. However, moving between independent homes is a possibility too.

Here are some key things to consider before you move.


In some villages, there may be a waitlist for serviced apartments or a room within their care home. Village operators may even have an eligibility system in place to ensure those who have the highest need for assisted living get to move first.

There may also be a waitlist for other independent properties, especially if your village is in high demand.

If you think you might like to move one day, it’s a good idea to start that conversation with the sales manager as soon as possible so they can keep you informed of available properties.

You will need to understand the basis on which your proposed new accommodation is being offered, so if it is also under a licence to occupy or, in the case of a care room, under an admission agreement. In some situations both a licence to occupy and an admission agreement may apply.

Changes to fees

Moving within a retirement village usually results in a change in fees. The sales manager will be able to provide you with a breakdown of costs for moving to different accommodation, as well as outline any transfer and exit fees associated with leaving your current unit.

Note: if you move into a serviced apartment, many of the costs you were paying independently may now be absorbed into your weekly fee. For example, power, food, phone, and internet.

New Licence to Occupy

Depending on the approach adopted by the village, it may be that you will need to terminate the licence to occupy for the unit you wish to leave, and start a new licence to occupy for the unit you wish to move into.

Questions to ask your village sales manager

  • Is there a waitlist for serviced apartments or a room within the care home? If yes, how long?
  • What is the basis on which the care rooms are offered - so under an admission agreement entered into with the operator, or will a licence to occupy also apply?
  • Will my weekly fees be different? If yes, can you please inform me of the new weekly fees and any changes to what this weekly fee includes?
  • Will moving homes in the village incur any additional charges I need to be aware of?
  • How will my deferred management fee be handled?
  • Will I need to wait for my current home to be re-licensed before I can move into the new home?
  • Who is responsible for selling or re-licencing the property that I leave?

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