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22 February 2023

Retirement village residents rights after a natural disaster

What to do if you, or a loved one, must evacuate.

Retirement flood

Talk to the village operator

The village operator needs to communicate clearly with residents about the next steps if you need to evacuate the dwelling, said John Collyns, executive director of the Retirement Villages Association.

What if I have to be relocated?

Residents who need to be moved will be done so at the village operator’s cost. It could mean you’re moved to another unit in the same village, the same city or further afield, depending on availability.

What about my contents?

Residents should have their own contents insurance. Collyns said that some insurance policies have no excess because villages are generally considered safe places.

The village operator is responsible for the insurance obligations of the units and dwellings.

Will I still have to keep paying my weekly fee?

Collyns said that if you’ve been relocated to another apartment within the same village, you’ll likely continue paying the weekly fee.

If you’ve been relocated to another unit in a different village, it will be up to the two village operators to negotiate the rate.

What if my unit can’t be repaired?

The operator of the village must consult with you about the practicalities of repairing or replacing the unit. There are a few options to consider:

  • repair or replace the dwelling;
  • transfer to another dwelling in the village, or to a sister village (owned by the same operator);
  • terminate the occupation right agreement and leave the village.

While the operator has to consider your views during consultation, it’s not obliged to agree with you. Once consultation has finished, the operator must set out the terms of its decisions in writing and provide you with a copy.

Consumer advice line.

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