Retirement villages are run by for-profit and not-for-profit companies and vary greatly in what they offer residents, their cost and the conditions laid out in individual contracts.

A Retirement Village is defined by law as a place where:

  • a majority of residents are 55 and over and retired from full-time work,
  • residents receive accommodation and services, but not residential aged care services, and;
  • at least one of the residents paid an 'ingoing fee'.

For profit retirement villages are privately owned and offer a variety of unit sizes and communal facilities. Their costs are dependent on location and size, and eligibility is based on age and whether you are able to afford the costs.

Not-for-profit retirement villages may also be known as Independent Living Units (ILUs). They are found throughout Victoria and are managed by hundreds of different non-profit and charitable organisations. They are comprised mainly of self-contained, one bedroom and bedsitter units. 

Eligibility for Independent Living Units is as varied as the number of organisations that manage them. Generally, they are available for people over 60 years of age who have retired from full-time employment. The vast majority of residents are on the aged pension.

There are many different costs involved when entering a retirement village or ILU such as;

  • an ingoing fee,
  • ongoing charges, and;
  • exit fees.

In some cases an ingoing payment is not required where not-for-profit providers focus on the needs of older people on low incomes.

Retirement villages are covered by the Retirement Villages Act 1986.

ILUs though may be covered by either the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 or the Retirement Villages Act 1986.

For more information on your rights in Retirement Villages call HAAG's Retirement Housing Advice Service on 9654 7389

USEFUL RESOURCES – retirement villages

 The Macquarie Retirement Village Fees Calculator

This can be found at www.rvcalculator.org

This is useful if you are considering self-funded retirement villages. The application works by taking a number of different fees (such as entry fee, ongoing fee, exit fee) and calculates a simple ‘equivalent monthly rent’ for the years of residence, allowing older Australians to easily compare the cost of different retirement villages; and the cost of a retirement village against renting independently.

Consumer Affairs Website  https://www.consumer.vic.gov.au/housing/retirement-villages(link is external)

COTA Victoria's Retirement Housing Checklist http://cotavic.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Retirement-Villages-Checklist.pdf

-HAAG's ILUs (including Retirement Villages) Checklist

USEFUL RESOURCES – Independent Living Units

To search for ILUs in your area:

Seniors Information Victoria Online Directory

With this directory, you can search for listings and information on not-for-profit retirement villages. Please note, some of this information is out of date, so please call each village for current information.

While this directory also provides information on self-funded retirement villages and residential parks, the information is incomplete and there are a number of mistakes and misinformation. Therefore, we recommend you use this site to search for not-for-profit retirement villages only.

Instructions for access:

  • Go to www.cotavic.org.au
  • Place the cursor on the ‘information’ tab and a drop down menu will appear.
  • Drag the cursor down to ‘Seniors Information Victoria – Online Directory’ and click.
  • Click below, again on ‘Seniors Information Victoria – Online Directory’ (it is underlined where you have to click).
  • Under the heading ‘Directory contents’ (to the left) click on ‘Accommodation’.
  • Under the heading ‘Directory Section’ (to the right) click on ‘independent Living Units’.
  • Under the heading ‘Directory Topic’ you can search Independent Living Units by name or location or contact HAAG's Retirement Housing Service for assistance. 

Before entering into an ILU contract, view HAAG's ILUs Checklist