What information do I need when planning to downsize?

Retirement is an exciting new chapter in your life but it can also be a challenging one. This is especially true if you choose to sell the family home and are thinking about downsizing your house. However, with the right help and advice, downsizing your home and moving to a retirement lifestyle village can be a smooth and enjoyable process, opening the door to the rest of your life.

Here we offer some essential downsizing tips for seniors, including everything you need to ask for from your potential retirement village to help your decision. With the right information, retiring and selling a home doesn’t have to be daunting.

Your retirement village questions answered


A common question we hear is, “What do I need from the retirement village before moving I make a decision?”

If you are interested in moving to a retirement village, the operators of the village are legally obliged to provide you with two documents:

1. General inquiry document


If you enquire about becoming a resident at a retirement village, the operators must provide you with a general inquiry document within 14 days. This document contains general information about the village, such as the types of properties available there, the services and facilities provided, and a general idea of the costs.

2. Disclosure statement


Retirement village disclosure statements are much more detailed than general inquiry documents. If you express an interest in moving into a village, or you request a copy of the document, it has to be provided to you at least 14 days before any contracts are signed. A copy of the disclosure statement also has to be attached to the retirement village contract when you sign it.

This document contains detailed information about the size, location and development history of the village, the facilities available, and the safety and security measures in place. It must also contain current contact details for the operators and full financial management information, as well as demonstrating how the village complies with current legislation.

How to use these documents to compare retirement villages


Before you take any action to sell your home or make a decision about downsizing, you should always request these documents from a number of different retirement villages within the area where you want to live. This will enable you to compare the types of dwellings and services on offer, as well as finding a village which suits your budget.

You should then visit all the villages you’re interested in and take a look at all the available units to ensure you are happy with the standards. While you are there, take the time to talk to current residents about what life is like in the village and how happy they are living there.

Finally, before you sign any contract, you must read the retirement village disclosures fully and get appropriate legal advice from a conveyancing firm that specialises in downsizing.

Other compulsory disclosures retirement villages need to make


There is a wide range of information which retirement village operators legally have to provide to prospective residents. These cover a variety of subjects including:

  • Site safety inspections and insurance details
  • Financial accounts and budgets
  • Management information including minutes of meetings

Your conveyancing firm will be able to advise you further on the range of information available to you, and what it means for you.

Find out more about how to downsize your house


Moving to a retirement village can be an exciting new start, as long as you have the right help and advice. At East Coast Law, we aim to answer all your questions in our ebook offering tips on downsizing and conveyancing for seniors. You can download the ebook here.

If you would like any more support, please contact us and we will be happy to help you.

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