Before you move in

Who is Oak Tree?

The Oak Tree Group is a private company which specialises in constructing and operating independent living retirement villages in the Eastern States of Australia.

What is the ownership structure for residents?

Residents will acquire a right to reside in the Village by entering into the Loan and Lease Agreement or Loan and Licence Agreement. This is the most common purchase structure in the retirement village industry. In exchange for a right to reside in the Village, the resident will pay an Ingoing Contribution to Oak Tree. The primary benefits of this purchase structure are:

  • no Stamp Duty or GST will be payable;
  • the Deferred Management Fee is only payable once the Villa is resold to a new resident;
  • Oak Tree remains motivated to maintain and improve the Village;
  • Oak Tree continues to promote the Village;
  • Oak Tree does not charge any commissions to resell the residents Villa; and
  • reinstatement costs are limited in accordance with the Retirement Villages Act 1999 (NSW).
What are the costs payable by the resident to enter the Village?
  • The resident will pay a refundable $1,000 holding deposit to secure their interest in their chosen Villa.
  • Before the commencement date of the Lease or Licence the Ingoing Contribution (also referred to as the Purchase Price) is payable to Oak Tree, less the deposit paid.
  • The resident does not pay a contribution towards Oak Tree’s legal expenses to prepare the Residence Contracts.
  • Any costs incurred by the resident to obtain independent legal advice prior to signing the Residence Contracts are payable by the resident.
  • The fee to register the Lease is payable by the resident (this amount varies each financial year). There is no registration fee for a Licence Agreement.
  • Any approved variations to the Villa that are requested by the resident will be payable by the resident.
Are there age restrictions to enter the Village?

In accordance with the Retirement Villages Act 1999 (NSW), residents are required to be over 55 years of age. It is not a requirement that residents be retired from working full or part time while living in the Village.

If there is more than one resident acquiring a right to reside in the Villa, only one resident is required to be over 55 years of age.

How does the New South Wales legislation protect residents?

In New South Wales the retirement village legislation provides the following protections:

  • Cooling-off and settling-in periods during the contracting process;
  • restrictions on the Recurrent Charges payable by residents;
  • rights for the resident and Oak Tree in setting the resale price of the Villa;
  • limits to reinstatement costs payable by the resident when leaving the Village; and
  • limits on the liability for ongoing fees after vacating the Village.

The Oak Tree Group is a member of the Property Council of Australia and the Retirement Living Council. Oak Tree are committed to the Code of Conduct set by the Council and the high standards required to be a member.

How does a resident purchase a right to reside in the Village?

After a deposit is paid to Oak Tree, our legal team will complete the document package and send it to your solicitor, or in accordance with your directions.

Most commonly, the resident needs to sell their existing property to secure the funds to settle on the Villa with Oak Tree. The Residence Contracts will then be contingent on the sale of the resident’s existing property and will provide a period of three (3) months for the resident to sell their property.

Residents who don’t need to sell their property, and have the ready funds to settle with Oak Tree, can complete the process sooner. A period must still be allowed for cooling off periods to be satisfied and all documents to be exchanged and executed, in accordance with the provisions of the legislation.

Oak Tree requires all residents to obtain independent legal advice regarding the Residence Contracts provided to them. A Certificate of Independent Legal Advice will be included in the document package for the resident’s solicitor to complete and return with the executed Residence Contracts.

Once the Residence Contracts have been executed and returned to our legal team, a settlement date suitable to both Oak Tree and the resident will be confirmed. Oak Tree’s legal team will return a copy of the Residence Contracts to the resident and arrange for the settlement of the Villa with the resident’s solicitor.

Living in an Oak Tree Retirement Village

Moving into the Village

The Village Manager will help coordinate the resident’s move into the Village, ensuring a smooth transition from the resident’s previous home. The Village Manager will induct the new residents to the Village and assist them to:

  • complete the Villa entry condition report for the Villa;
  • provide the resident with all appliance manuals and keys to the Villa and Village;
  • complete a registration form to record the resident’s next of kin and emergency contact details; and
  • complete the direct debit authority for the payment of the Recurrent Charges.
What is the weekly Recurrent Charge and what does it pay for?

The cost to operate the Village is funded by the residents through the payment of a weekly Recurrent Charge. The Recurrent Charges fund the costs associated with the day-to-day management and maintenance of the Village.

The Total Operating Costs funded by the Recurrent Charges include (but are not limited to):

  • council rates, water, waste and sewerage services;
  • external pest control (annually);
  • air conditioning servicing (annually);
  • external pressure cleaning of all buildings and common areas (annually);
  • garden maintenance for all common areas and yards;
  • insurance of the Village’s community facilities and the structural components of the Villas;
  • lights and power costs for common areas and the Village Centre;
  • management costs including the Village Manager and support team salaries;
  • administration costs including postage, printing, stationery and IT costs; and
  • taxes and statutory costs.
For details of other expenses funded by the Recurrent Charges, please refer to the Residence Contract. The annual budget for the Village can be requested from the Village Manager. Refer to page 2 of the General Inquiry document for the current weekly Recurrent Charge payable.

A contribution to the Capital Works Fund for the Village is also levied from the residents’ Recurrent Charges. This fund provides for ongoing maintenance and repair of the Village’s capital items. The necessary contribution is determined by a quantity surveyors report conducted annually, to ensure that there are sufficient funds available to pay for repairs and maintenance works as required.

What is not included in the weekly Recurrent Charge payable by the residents?

The resident is personally responsible for payment of their electricity bills, telephone bills, contents insurance and any personal care services in their Villa.

The Oak Tree Group is responsible for the following costs:

  • any fees for the Village Operator’s membership of industrial or professional associations;
  • overseas travel by the Village Operator or their agent or employees;
  • the costs of marketing vacant Villas;
  • some payroll tax amounts;
  • head office costs that do not relate to services provided to the residents of the Village; and
  • any other items for which the Village Operator is financially liable for under the legislation.
How and when do the Recurrent Charges change?

It is compulsory for an annual budget to be provided for each Village where residents pay Recurrent Charges. This ensures that residents know how their Recurrent Charges are being spent within the Village for the next financial year and that any increase to the Recurrent Charge is shown. In some circumstances, the Village Operator will be required to obtain the residents’ consent to the proposed annual budget including any increases to the Recurrent Charge.

Oak Tree will provide the proposed annual budget including the Recurrent Charge amount payable to the residents at least 60 days prior to the start of the new financial year (which runs from 1 January to 31 December each year).

During the development phase of the Village, the Recurrent Charge is varied by a fixed formula.

At the completion of the development phase, the Recurrent Charge payable by the resident will be the resident’s contribution to the estimated Total Operating Costs (as estimated by the Village Operator) for the Village.

Who is responsible for the Insurance of the Village and Villas?

The residents are responsible for insuring the contents of their Villa excluding the structural components and fixtures and fittings owned by Oak Tree.

Under the Residence Contract, the resident is responsible for insuring:

  • the contents of their Villa;
  • any vehicle owned by the resident and stored in the Village; and
  • against loss, theft, damage or destruction for not less than their insurable value with a reputable insurer.

Oak Tree must insure and keep insured for the full replacement value as follows:

  • the Village;
  • all Villas; and
  • the Village Centre including any associated facilities such as the bowling green or the pool table.
Example Responsibility
- There is cyclone damage to the village and the Villa requires to be rebuilt. - Oak Tree insurance policy
- Fire burns down a Villa occupied by the resident. - Oak Tree insurance policy (building and fixtures)
- Resident insurance policy (contents of the Villa)
- The resident slips over in the community centre and breaks their leg. - Oak Tree insurance policy
- Resident burns a hole in the carpet of their Villa – only replacement required. - Resident insurance policy
- Residents drops a large pot on the stove top in their Kitchen and it results in a large crack to the stove top – replacement required. - Resident insurance policy
Can residents bring their pets to the Village?

Pets are part of your family and welcomed at all Oak Tree Retirement Villages. To ensure that all residents live happily in a community environment, it is a requirement that a Pet Application Form is completed prior to the pet moving in. The Village Manager will provide a detailed copy of the Oak Tree Pet Policy and Agreement for your consideration and execution.

Residents with pets are required to nominate an alternative carer for their pet in the case of an emergency or a residents unplanned absence from the Village. During any planned absences from the Village, alternative accommodation for the pet must be arranged by the resident.

Can residents have visitors come to stay?

Oak Tree encourages friends and family to visit for short periods. In the interests of safety and security of all the residents, all visitors and residents must comply with Oak Tree’s Visitor Policy.

The Visitor Policy requires that:

  • visitors cannot stay overnight in the Village if the responsible resident is absent for any reason;
  • the resident must notify the Village Manager in advance if intending to host a visitor for stays of more than two days in the Village;
  • if the intended visitor is under 18 years of age and staying for a period longer than two days, the resident must obtain the prior consent of the Village Manager;
  • if the resident intends for any visitor to stay for a period of more than 14 days the resident must obtain the prior written consent of the Village Manager; and
  • the hosting resident must ensure that visitors comply with the rules of the Village and not interfere with the rights and enjoyment of other residents of the Village.

The Village Rules that visitors must observe include (but are not limited to):

  • Visitors must be hosted by the responsible resident at Village events and when using Village facilities. This includes the Village Centre, bowling green, swimming pool and any other communal area in the Village;
  • Foul language or aggressive behaviour directed toward residents, Oak Tree staff or others will result in an immediate request for the offending visitor to leave the Village;
  • Damage caused by a visitor must be reported immediately to the Village Manager and repairs will be at the visitor’s cost. Responsibility will revert to the hosting resident if damage by visitors is not reported. This includes, but is not limited to, oil staining on concrete and damage to any Village structure or landscaping.
What are the Village Rules?

To ensure that all residents in the Village live comfortably in a community environment, it is important to have Village Rules. Generally, the Village Rules provide guidance regarding:

  • alterations to Village property;
  • bullying and harassment;
  • car parking;
  • the use of communal facilities;
  • complaints resolution procedure;
  • entry into Villas;
  • fire and emergency;
  • gardening;
  • mobility scooter guidelines;
  • noise;
  • resident absence;
  • smoking in the Village; and
  • visitor policy.
Can residents make alterations to their Villa?

All Villas have been designed to provide a functional and practical living space. Subsequent alterations and variations by residents are subject to Oak Tree’s approval and will be at the resident’s cost to install and maintain. As the Villa remains the property of the Village Operator, some requests may have an impact on maintenance and insurance for the broader community or on the future value of the dwelling.

The resident can make a request to alter their Villa by obtaining prior written approval from the Village Manager.

What is the role of the Village Manager?

The Village Manager is employed to oversee the daily running of the Village in the interest of all residents.

The role of the Village Manager includes (but is not limited to) the following responsibilities:

  • coordinating contractors for Village services and repairs;
  • managing incoming and outgoing residents;
  • managing the Village annual budget and Village expenditure;
  • managing the preventative maintenance program for the Village assets;
  • management reporting; and
  • assisting residents to coordinate social activities and events.
Can residents take extended holidays away from the Village?

One of the key benefits to living in a secure gated community is the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your home will be as you left it on your return. Maintenance programmes will continue while the resident is away from the Village as will the payment of Recurrent Charges.

Any scheduled maintenance requiring access to the Villa will be coordinated with the Village Manager prior to the resident’s departure.

To aid Oak Tree in the event of an emergency, residents are requested to inform the Village Manager if they intend to be away from the Village for a period of more than a week.

Can residents pay for support services while residing in their Villa?
Many Oak Tree residents require the services of visiting healthcare professionals, such as care providers, general practitioners, physiotherapists and podiatrists. Oak Tree does not provide these services directly to residents or facilitate the residents’ access to healthcare professionals. Residents can choose to employ the services of external providers and at their own cost. The services provided by healthcare professionals are not funded by the Ingoing Contribution or Recurrent Charges payable to Oak Tree.
What happens if a resident can no longer live independently and needs to go into a nursing home or aged care?
If the time comes that a resident can no longer live independently in the Village, the Village Manager will communicate with the resident’s family and healthcare professionals to transition the resident into a nursing home or aged care facility.
Can residents attend to their own gardens?

Oak Tree provide landscaped gardens, lawns and pathways for the enjoyment of all residents and visitors.

The landscape plans for the Village are approved by local authorities. Water usage and ongoing maintenance requirements are considered during the planning stages to limit the impact on the Village budget and the residents’ Recurrent Charges payable.

Garden maintenance is the responsibility of the Village Manager who oversees the contractors to complete the work required. If residents are aware of problems with gardens, paths or lawns they can inform the Village Manager by using a Maintenance Request Form.

Residents should not remove existing plants, but are free to enhance their front and rear gardens with additional plantings that are approved by the Village Manager. Additional plantings approved by the Village Manager become the full responsibility of the resident and assistance should not be requested from the gardening staff in establishing or maintaining the approved plantings. Factors such as drainage and access for maintenance staff are considered in the approvals process.

Residents may relinquish all or part of their enhanced garden area and the Village Manager will return it to the garden maintenance schedule. Oak Tree reserves the right to reclaim neglected gardens for restoration in a similar manner.

Potted plants on patios or in planter boxes are also the responsibility of the resident and approvals should also be sought from the Village Manager.

Who is responsible for the security of the Village and the Villas?

Residents are responsible for their own security and should lock their Villas and vehicles appropriately. Breaches of security during office hours are to be reported to the Village Manager as a matter of urgency.

Should a breach of security occur outside the Village Manager’s hours, residents should contact the local Police or in the case of an extreme emergency dial 000. Breaches after hours should be reported to the Village Manager when the office reopens so that the matter can be followed up as and when appropriate.

Residents may choose to give a spare key for their Villa with a trusted neighbour or have a personal lock box installed to ensure that they can access the Villa if locked out.

The Village Manager must be made aware of any event causing injury or representing a threat to residents’ safety. Incident Report forms are available from your Village Manager.

How are emergencies managed after office hours?

In the case of an extreme emergency residents should contact the local emergency services by dialling 000.

In circumstances where the resident requires urgent repairs to their Villa outside the Village Manager’s office hours, the resident can contact a list of preferred trades to assist with the repair. Examples of urgent repairs which may be required after hours may include:

  • burst water service;
  • serious roof leak;
  • dangerous electrical fault;
  • serious flood damage; and
  • serious storm or fire damage.

Departing In Oak Tree Retirement Village

What happens when the resident decides to leave the Village?

There are many reasons why residents may need to move from their Villa, including changing health, family or financial circumstances.

To start the departure process, the resident is required to complete the Notice of Termination form provided by the Village Manager. The Notice of Termination must include the date the resident intends to vacate the Villa with a minimum of 30 days’ notice required to be provided by the resident to the Village Manager.

What happens if the resident passes away?

On the date of passing, the contract is automatically terminated. Oak Tree will be in contact with the family to complete the appropriate departure documentation.

What happens to the weekly Recurrent Charge when the resident departs?

When the resident vacates the Village, the direct debit payment for the Recurrent Charges will cease on the termination date (death or vacant possession provided to Oak Tree) of the Lease or Licence. The Recurrent Charge will then accrue for a maximum of 90 days and this accrued debt will be deducted from the Ingoing Contribution repayment payable to you when the Villa is resold.

After the termination date the Recurrent Charge will accrue as follows:

100% of Weekly Fees 50% of Weekly Fees No Weekly Fees
Day 1 to Day 42 Day 43 to Day 90 Day 91 onwards

If the Villa is resold before the 90 days has passed, the Recurrent Charges will only accrue to the date that the New Resident pays the Ingoing Contribution on for the Villa.

Who can resell the resident’s Villa after termination?

The resident may appoint an external real estate agent (“selling agent”) or Oak Tree to resell the Villa on their behalf. If the resident engages a selling agent other than Oak Tree, the resident must provide Oak Tree with the following information:

  • the name and contact details of the person appointed;
  • the asking price for the Villa; and
  • any changes made to the agent and asking price as they occur.

Any commission and marketing costs charged by the external real estate agent is payable by the resident. Oak Tree will not interfere with the resale of the Villa if the resident engages an external real estate agent. The external real estate agent engaged by a resident must comply with all the Village Rules and the Resale of Villa by External Agent Rules. The Village Manager can provide you and the agent with a copy of these Rules as required.

If the resident engages Oak Tree to resell the Villa the resident will not be charged any commissions or marketing costs to resell the Villa. As the selling agent, Oak Tree will use the following tools to resell the Villa:

  • the Village website;
  • the resident waiting list;
  • Village Events or Open Days; and
  • a database of historic enquiries.
How is the resale price set?
The resident (or the resident’s estate) may set the resale price of the Villa. Oak Tree can recommend a price based on recent sales in the Village and the current market conditions at that time.
Will Oak Tree keep the resident up to date during the re-sale process if elected to resell the Villa for the resident?

Oak Tree commits to keeping the resident (or their estate) up to date during the resale process. If Oak Tree is the selling agent, Oak Tree will provide a written monthly update of the resale progress including the following:

  • price comparisons and comparable resales within the Village;
  • status of the reinstatement work and estimated completion date;
  • details of the marketing program (including details of all advertising of the premises or the Village);
  • the number of enquiries and tours completed through the Villa; and
  • advice on the current resale price and any recommendations to update it.
What is the Departure Fee?

The Departure Fee or Exit Fee (sometimes referred to as a ‘Deferred Management Fee’) is calculated on the Ingoing Contribution the resident paid when they entered the Village and the time spent living in the Village (this is calculated on a daily basis). The Departure Fee is payable when the right to reside in the Villa is resold to a new resident and is then deducted from the repayment of the Ingoing Contribution payable to the resident by Oak Tree.

The calculation of the Departure Fee is contained in the Residence Contract.

When is the Ingoing Contribution repayable to the resident?

Once the Villa is resold to a new resident, the repayment of the Ingoing Contribution is payable to the former resident within 14 days after the date on which Oak Tree receives the full payment of the Ingoing Contribution from the new resident.

The repayment of the Ingoing Contribution to the resident may include the following deductions:

  • the Departure Fee;
  • the costs (if any) the resident must pay in respect of reinstatement work and other work required under the Residence Contract;
  • the residents share of any capital gain;
  • the residents share of any capital loss;
  • the accrued amount of Recurrent Charges;
  • legal fees (including the surrender of lease fee);
  • any other amounts the resident owes Oak Tree under any other agreement for the provision of goods or services provided to the resident; and
  • any other amounts payable under the Residence Contract.
How is the capital gain (if any) shared?

Any capital gain in the Villa will be shared as follows:

  • 50% payable to Oak Tree; and
  • 50% payable to the resident.
How is the capital loss (if any) shared?

Any capital loss in the Villa will be shared as follows:

  • 50% payable by Oak Tree; and
  • 50% payable by the resident.
What is refurbishment and who pays these costs?

When the resident vacates their Villa, it will need to be refurbished to a marketable condition.

The refurbishment costs are funded by Oak Tree and works may typically include:

  • Internal painting of the Villa;
  • Replacement of floor coverings;
  • Replacement of aged appliances; and
  • Replacement of worn plumbing or electrical fittings.

The outgoing resident may be required to fund reinstatement of the Villa made necessary by additions or damage caused during residency. If such reinstatement work is required, it will be agreed in writing prior to the work proceeding.

If you have any further questions regarding Oak Tree Retirement Villages please contact the Village Manager who will be only too happy to assist.

Disclaimer: While great care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of all information provided, the Oak Tree Group reserves the right to adjust the information contained within this document to account for circumstances beyond our control. This information is true and correct as at the time of printing October 2017.