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Before you move in

Who is Oak Tree?

The “Oak Tree Group” or “Oak Tree” is a private company group that develops and operates retirement villages. The founders of Oak Tree first started to develop (and operate) retirement villages in about 2004 and those founders are still directors and owners of the Oak Tree Group.

Our villages offer a safe, community-focused and low maintenance lifestyle that allows you to savour the finer things in life and get more out of your retirement.

What is the contract structure for our villages?

We offer an affordable entry model that will help simplify the transition to your new home and lifestyle.

You will acquire a right to reside in the Village by entering into a Lease (also known as a residence contract). The loan/lease model is the most common contract structure in the retirement living sector.

There are multiple benefits to Oak Tree's loan/lease contracts, including:

  • no stamp duty or GST will be payable by you on the up-front entry price of your villa;
  • your exit fee will be deducted from your exit entitlement, and therefore is only payable once your villa has been re-leased to a new resident or when we are required to make payment to you under your contract (generally 5 years after you leave the village, if your villa is not re-leased sooner);
  • we will maintain your villa and the village facilities and grounds;
  • we will promote the village to new residents;
  • Oak Tree will not charge any commission if appointed by you to re-lease your villa; and
  • the reinstatement or refurbishment costs payable by you are limited in accordance with the Retirement Villages Act 1999 (NSW).
Are there restrictions to enter the village?

Our communities are designed for like-minded individuals who are at a similar stage in their lives.

New residents are generally required to be over 55 years of age or retired, or if there is more than one resident acquiring the right to reside, one of them is required to be over 55 years of age. Many of our residents have retired from working full or part time, however this is not a requirement.

Oak Tree offers independent living units. Accordingly, it is a requirement under our Lease that you be able to live independently. Please do not hesitate to contact your Village Manager if you would like to discuss whether the community is suitable for you.

Does the legislation protect me in any way?

Oak Tree is a member of the Property Council of Australia and the Retirement Living Council.

We are a signatory to the Code of Conduct set by the Retirement Living Council and adhere to the high standards required to be a member.

The retirement villages legislation protects you in other ways, including:

  • disclosure, cooling-off and settling-in periods during the contracting and moving in process;
  • restrictions on the process to determine (or vary) the recurrent charges payable by you;
  • rights in relation to the re-leasing of your villa;
  • limits on the reinstatement and refurbishment costs payable by you when you exit the village; and
  • limits on your obligation to pay for ongoing fees after you leave the village.

Moving in Oak Tree Retirement Village

What are the costs that I need to pay to enter the village?
You are required to pay the following costs when you decide to proceed with entering a village:
  • a $1,000 deposit for your selected villa;
  • your legal costs for an independent review of your Lease and any ancillary documents by your solicitor of your choosing;
  • the lease registration fee (reviewed annually by the Land Registry Service);
  • your Ingoing Contribution (entry price), which is payable on the commencement of your Lease (less your deposit); and
  • the costs of any variations to your selected villa that you have agreed to pay.

Your deposit is fully refundable if you tell us if you have decided not to proceed with your contract and your cooling-off period has not yet ended. If you withdraw after your cooling-off period ends, we will only deduct the cost of any variations we have made to the villa that you agreed to pay for. 

I’m ready to make the move and I’ve paid my deposit. What is next?

Once the deposit is paid, Oak Tree Group will coordinate the preparation of your Lease and any ancillary documents to be provided to your solicitor.

We understand that you may need to sell your existing property before you can settle your lease of your Oak Tree villa. Accordingly, if required by you, Oak Tree will make your Lease conditional on the sale of your home and agree with you on a suitable time frame (normally 3 months) for that to occur. After the documents have been finalised, we will make all settlement arrangements with your solicitor.

If you do not need to sell your property prior to settling your Lease of your Oak Tree villa and have the necessary funds available, you can complete the process sooner, however your settlement date will still be subject to the expiry of the statutory disclosure and cooling-off periods as required under the Retirement Villages Act 1999 (NSW).

While it is not a requirement, we suggest that you obtain independent legal advice regarding your Lease and the ancillary documents before you sign them. 

A Certificate of Independent Advice will be included in the document package if you choose to engage a solicitor to advise you about the documents.

I'm preparing to move into my new home, what is next?

Your Village Manager will help coordinate your move into the village to make the transition easier by assisting with the following:

  • completion of an entry condition report for your new home;
  • providing you with manuals for your appliances and keys for your villa and the village;
  • completion of relevant paperwork so that, for example, we have a record of your next of kin and contact details for your emergency contact; and
  • helping you to complete the paperwork for your fortnightly recurrent charges.

Living In Oak Tree Retirement Village

What are my weekly fees and what do they pay for?

A major benefit of living in an Oak Tree retirement village is the hassle-free lifestyle and the range of services you can enjoy, from the community centre to the gardens and recreational facilities.

As a resident, you will pay a weekly recurrent charge to cover the costs associated with the lifestyle you enjoy in the village. Having the convenience of one easy payment means you don’t have to worry about a multitude of bills coming in each week.

The services funded from the recurrent charges include:

  • management and administration of the Village;
  • maintenance and repair of the common areas of the Village;
  • maintenance and repair of the units in the Village and any contents provided by Oak Tree;
  • provision for Village transport (if any);
  • control and eradication of pests in the common property; and
  • payment of village property costs including rates, water, insurance and waste management.

Please contact us for further information regarding the funds that Oak Tree is required to maintain and the services that are funded from your weekly fees. Operational documents including the annual budget can be requested from your Village Manager.

What is not funded by my weekly fee?

Your recurrent charges do not cover your own personal utilities (telephone, electricity, gas – if applicable), contents and vehicle insurance policies or personal care services, or any government rates or taxes that are levied separately on your villa. 

Oak Tree as the village operator will cover any costs that we are responsible for under the Retirement Villages Act 1999 (NSW).

Will my weekly fee change?

Yes, unfortunately the retirement sector is not exempt from increases in the costs of living.

Each year we will review the village expenditure and provide residents with an annual budget showing the budgeted expenditure for the next financial year and any change to your recurrent charges.

In general, and subject to some limited exceptions, Oak Tree cannot increase the recurrent charges by more than the CPI increase for the previous financial year without residents’ approval under the Retirement Villages Act 1999 (NSW). 

Oak Tree will provide the proposed annual budget to the residents at least 60 days prior to the start of the new financial year (which runs from 1 July to 30 June each year).

Different fee arrangements apply if your village is still undergoing development. For details, please contact your Village Manager.

Further information regarding the calculation of your weekly recurrent charges can be found in the Lease. Please contact your Village Manager if you would like to request a copy of any operational documents for the Village.

Who is responsible for the insurance of my villa and the village?

The village has an extensive policy which ensures that all buildings, including communal facilities and accommodation units, are covered in the event of disaster. Residents contribute to the cost of this insurance as part of the recurrent charges. 

You will be responsible for your villa contents that you own in your villa, and for your vehicle. You will also be responsible for any accidental or deliberate damage to the villa. 

Can I bring my pet to the village?

We know how important pets are and how much more enjoyment you’ll get out of your lifestyle with your pet at your side.

In the interests of other residents and their right to reside peacefully, you must complete a Pet Application Form prior to your pet moving in. We will also provide you with our Pet Policy and Agreement to read and sign prior to the approval of your pets.

Can I have visitors come to stay with me?

Of course! We encourage friends and family to visit and stay for a short time period. In the interests of the safety and security of our residents and to help visitors get more from their stay, all visitors and residents must comply with our visitor policy.

Are there any village rules that I need to follow?

Our villages are community focused places that offer a relaxed, active and fun lifestyle for residents.

To ensure every resident continues to enjoy more from their new lifestyle, we have developed village rules which cover:

  • alterations to village property;
  • bullying and harassment;
  • car parking;
  • the use of communal facilities;
  • entry into villas;
  • fire and emergency procedures;
  • gardening;
  • mobility scooter guidelines;
  • noise;
  • resident absence;
  • smoking in the village; and
  • visitor policy.
Your Village Manager will walk you through your village’s rules when you move in.
Can I make any modifications to my villa?

Our villas are contemporary, sophisticated and inviting, with modern fixtures and fittings throughout. While most of our residents enjoy our villas as they come, there is the option to make alterations to your new home. Any alteration is subject to our approval and will be at your cost to install and maintain.

What is the role of the Village Manager?

Your Village Manager is a friendly face who will help make your time enjoyable and stress-free, and will oversee the daily running of the village, including:

  • coordinating contractors for services and repairs to the village;
  • managing residents moving into and out of the village;
  • managing the village budget;
  • managing the preventative maintenance program for the village assets;
  • management reporting; and
  • coordination of village activities.
Can I take a long holiday away from the village?

Of course! Oak Tree is all about getting more out of your retirement years. One of the best things about living in an Oak Tree community is the peace-of-mind that comes from knowing that your home will be as you left it when you return.

As your recurrent charge payments continue, we will continue to care for and maintain the village and the outside of your villa. If maintenance is required inside, we’ll make those arrangements with you before you leave.

For emergency purposes, we will ask that you inform your Village Manager of your time away.

Can I access support services while I live in my villa?

Your health and wellbeing are important to us! Many of our residents require the services of visiting healthcare professionals, such as care providers, general practitioners, physiotherapists and podiatrists.

While we do not provide those services, you are able to access the services of external providers at your own cost.

Please note that any services provided by healthcare professionals are not funded by the ingoing contribution or the recurrent charges payable to Oak Tree.

Can I tend to my garden?

The maintenance of village gardens is coordinated by your Village Manager and funded from the village budget.

If you have a green thumb and would like to tend to or add new plantings to your front or rear garden, we ask that you first have these approved by your Village Manager. Factors such as drainage and access for maintenance staff will be considered in the approval process.

What do I do if there is an emergency after office hours?

Our residents’ wellbeing is our priority. In the case of an extreme emergency, you should contact the local emergency services by dialling 000.

In the rare circumstance that you require urgent repairs to your villa outside of the Village Manager’s office hours, we will provide you with a list of Oak Tree approved trades people who can assist you.

Departing In Oak Tree Retirement Village

What happens if I can no longer live independently?

We understand that our residents’ needs change. If living independently is no longer an option and you require the care of a nursing home or aged care facility, your Village Manager will work with your family and chosen healthcare professionals to help make your transition smoother.

Upon your request, we can support your transition to an aged care facility by paying the daily accommodation payment to your nominated aged care provider. The payments will be deducted from your exit entitlement and will cease once your villa has been resold or 85% of your exit entitlement has been used.

 

What happens if I decide to leave the village?

We understand that sometimes circumstances change. If you choose to leave your villa, you may move out at any time. We ask that you give appropriate notice (at least one month) to Oak Tree so that we can coordinate with you to make suitable arrangements for your exit from the village.

What happens if I pass away?

Your Lease will terminate automatically if you pass away (or if there are two of you named on the Lease for your villa, when the last of your passes away). If this occurs, our objective is to make the process easy for your family. We will deal with your executors in relation to the re-leasing of your villa and the payment of your exit entitlement to your estate.

Will I have to continue paying my weekly fee once I leave the Village?

Your Your direct debit payments for the weekly recurrent charges will cease after you vacate. Further recurrent charges for your villa will accrue for a maximum of 42 days (after you exit) and this accrued amount (plus any outstanding arrears) will be deducted from the exit entitlement payable to you (or your estate) when your villa is re-leased.

If your villa is re-leased before the 42-day period passes, your recurrent charges will only accrue up until the date that the new resident pays his/her ingoing contribution for the villa.

How is the new entry price for my villa set?

We will recommend a price based on recent sales in the village and the current market conditions at that time. You may set the new entry price for your villa or you may allow us to do so during the termination process.

Will you keep me up-to-date on how the re-leasing of my villa is going?

If you appoint us as your agent to re-lease your villa, we will keep you informed of any progress. We will notify you of any offers to lease the villa and if you request, provide you with monthly updates covering:

  • price comparisons and comparable re-leasing of villas within the village;
  • the status of any reinstatement or refurbishment work and the estimated completion date;
  • details of the marketing program (including details of all advertising of the villa or the village);
  • the number of enquiries and tours completed through the villa; 
  • the names and contact details of the people who have made inquiries about your villa (if known to us); and
  • advice on the current new entry price and any recommendations to update it.
When is my exit entitlement payable?

When you vacate the village, you will be entitled to a payment which is referred to as your exit entitlement.

Your exit entitlement is generally calculated as the amount you paid when you entered the village (your ingoing contribution), less the exit fee payable by you.

However, your exit entitlement may be increased (or decreased) if you are entitled to share in any capital gain (or loss) in the value of your villa. That will depend on the terms of your Lease (because Oak Tree may offer different contract options in different villages). There may be further deductions from your exit entitlement for outstanding costs. Please refer to the Disclosure Statement or Lease for further details.

Your exit entitlement is normally payable within 14 days of the date on which the re-leasing of your villa to a new resident is settled. If your villa remains unsold after 6 months in the metropolitan area or 12 months in other areas, you may apply to the Department of Customer Service for an exit entitlement order to receive your exit entitlement. 

You may only apply for an exit entitlement order if you have received an estimate exit entitlement calculation at least 30 days before making the application. 

In the event of your death, your exit entitlement will be paid to your estate. In order to make this payment to your personal representatives, we will require a certified copy of the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration.

What is my Exit Fee?

You may have to pay a depature fee when you leave this village. Your exit fee is calculated on a daily basis in accordance with the terms of your Lease. The Exit Fee is normally payable when your Villa is re-leased to a new resident and is then deducted from your exit entitlement.

Will I be entitled to any Capital Gain when the right to reside in my villa has been resold?

You may have to share any capital gains received with the operator of this village. This will depend on the terms of your Lease. For further information please contact your Village Manager.

Will I have to pay to reinstate or refurbish my villa when I leave?

You will be required to leave your villa in the condition that it was in when you commenced your lease (fair wear and tear excepted). We will cover the costs of refurbishing your villa.