Retirement villages

A retirement village is a residential complex where the majority of residents are retired persons aged 55 years and older.  These residents have entered into a contract with the owner or operator of the village for the provision of certain services.

Most retirement villages consist of self-contained premises for those who can live independently.  Serviced premises or assisted living are also available in some retirement villages.

NCAT can resolve disputes about retirement villages in NSW under the Retirement Villages Act 1999.  The Act does not apply to private nursing homes, respite care premises, boarding houses, group homes or Housing NSW accommodation for older people.



NCAT can hear and determine applications from retirement village residents and owners or operators.

PDF icon Download a Retirement Villages Application Form [PDF, 162kB]

After lodging your application you can expect a first hearing within 6 weeks.


NCAT hears disputes between a retirement village owner or operator and one or more residents.  Matters dealt with include disputes about :

  • Village contracts
  • Village rules
  • Capital maintenance and replacement
  • Recurrent charges
  • Annual budgets and accounts
  • Payment of money and compensation
  • Termination and vacant possession
  • Security and safety
  • Sale or letting of premises.

Common terms 

The following terms are commonly used in retirement village matters:

Capital maintenance means repairs or maintenance of an item of capital and includes works prescribed by the regulations as being capital maintenance, but does not include works that are prescribed by the regulations as not being capital maintenance.

Capital replacement means works to replace an item of capital, but does not include capital maintenance.

Former occupant of a retirement village means a resident or former resident of the village who has permanently vacated the village

Operator of a retirement village means the person who manages or controls the retirement village

Owner resident means a resident of the village who owns the land that the resident occupies as a private residence in the village

Non-owner resident means a person who is a resident of the village, but who does not own the land the person occupies as a private residence in the village

Recurrent charge means a regular recurring charge (including rent) payable by a resident of a retirement village.

Resident of a retirement village means a retired person who has a residence right in respect of residential premises in the village may include a spouse, de-facto partner and former occupant.

Village rules are provisions relating to the use, enjoyment, control and management of the village.