What does Licence to Occupy mean?

It is important for intending residents of independent living units to be fully aware of the nature of their occupation and ownership of their Villa.  A Licence to Occupy is the most common form of occupation right in retirement villages in New Zealand.  A Licence to Occupy gives residents the exclusive right to live in their Villa and enjoy and use the Village facilities according to the terms of the Licence. While residents occupy their Villa under a Licence to Occupy contract, the title to the land and building remains with St Andrew’s Village and the Licence does not carry an entitlement to capital gain on termination of the Licence.

All Villages are governed by the Retirement Villages Act 2003 and its regulations.  The Act requires the appointment of a Statutory Supervisor whose role it is to protect the rights of the Village residents, particularly so in the event of the Village operator failing to honour its obligations under the Act.

We recommend you get your solicitor to review the Disclosure Statement and the Licence to Occupy documentation and explain it to you if you have any queries – most solicitors are familiar with this type of contract as it is typical in the retirement village industry.

What payment do I make when I leave the village?

Payments to make on termination of the Licence to Occupy Agreement are:

  • The Capital Levy (also known as the Deferred Management Fee): this finances the village capital expenditure and costs not covered by the village levy.   It is deducted on termination as a percentage of your original purchase price. It is calculated over 4 years to a maximum of 28%.
  • The Village Levy: charged for three months after you leave the village or until your villa is resold and settlement has been received, whichever comes first.
  • Any outstanding amounts owed to the Village.

When will the Licence Fee be repaid?

Within five working days of the Villa being re-licensed.

Can I bequeath my Licence to Occupy to a family member?

No. The Licence to Occupy is not transferable.

Can a Family Trust purchase a Licence to Occupy?

The Licence to Occupy Agreement can only be issued in the names of the residents occupying the dwelling.  However, the funds used to purchase the Licence can come from a Family Trust.  In this case it is recommended that you have a separate Deed drawn up between parties involved, to legally identify where the funds came from and where they are later to be distributed on termination of the Licence.

Will my independence and privacy be respected?

Your independence is encouraged, however assistance is available if needed via the Village Nurse.  You will live in a community of like-minded people, of similar age with lots of different personal situations and personalities.  A range of activities will be available within the Village – which you can choose to be involved in if you wish.  If however, you simply wish to choose the quiet privacy of your own Villa; that is fine too.  The choice is yours.

Am I able to have my pets living with me?

With the consent of St Andrew’s Village management suitable pets will probably be welcome.  The only limitation to this is the possibility that your pet could become a nuisance to others in the Village and it may have to be removed.  Pets are not able to be replaced.

What happens if I have an accident or get sick?

If you have an accident and need immediate attention, simply press one of the strategically placed emergency call buttons in your Villa.  This will be received by a dedicated call centre.

Where an illness is of a temporary nature – nursing, housekeeping and meals can be arranged by outside services to make your situation easier.  These services are on a “user pays” basis and can be an enormous relief to your family if they are unable to be with you.

If your health deteriorates significantly, the Village Management will work with you and your family to help you gain access to community services.  If you need to move out to a rest home or hospital for a higher level of care, then the Village Management will again work with your family to ensure this transition is as easy as possible.  As a resident you will have priority for entry to St Andrew’s Village residential aged Care Facility subject to a care support Needs Assessment by an independent Geriatrician approving your eligibility and to the availability of a bed at that time.

Who is responsible for insurance?

St Andrew’s Village insure the buildings (including carpets and floor coverings, drapes and fixed chattels).  You are responsible for insuring your own contents and personal effects, as well as your private motor vehicle.  You will also be responsible for the repair costs or excess on any insurance claim arising out of any damage done by yourself or your guests to the dwelling or Village buildings.

Who is responsible for maintenance and repairs?

St Andrew’s Village will be responsible for the costs of maintaining the interior and exterior of your Villa and the chattels provided.

What if I want to redecorate my Villa?

This can only be done in consultation with the Village Management.

Under the Licence to Occupy what payments will I need to make?

The payment you make when you move in:

  • Licence fee or Licence to Occupy Payment.  This is the full amount you pay for your Villa as agreed with St Andrew’s Village.

Payments you will have to make while living in the Village:

  • Village Levy – this fee is charged monthly on a per dwelling basis and covers your share of all costs, expenses and other outgoings incurred by the Manager in operating the Village.
  • Service charges as incurred.
  • Your normal living expenses e.g. food, electricity and contents insurance.

What is the Village Levy and what does it cover?

The Village Levy (monthly fee) contributes towards the cost of providing the following services and charges:

  • Exterior and interior building maintenance on your Villa
  • Rates
  • Utility costs not separately charged (e.g. water)
  • Building insurance for your Villa
  • Lighting to common areas, both inside and outside
  • 24 hour security coverage
  • 24 hour emergency fixed point call systems
  • Maintenance of gardens and lawns of all units
  • External maintenance of the Village’s walls and security fencing
  • Rubbish removal
  • Administration and management
  • Use and enjoyment of all Village amenities

It does not include:

  • Insurance on your furniture, clothes, appliances and personal belongings
  • Utility costs (electricity and gas charged separately)
  • Telephone charges
  • Purchase of personal pendants for emergency call system

Can the Monthly Fee change?

The Monthly Fee is a fixed amount advised to the Resident prior to entry in to the licence, and will not change during the term of the licence (unless additional taxes become payable on that amount).

Who looks after the interests of the residents?

Under the terms of the Retirement Villages Act, a Statutory Supervisor is appointed who represents the interests of the residents.  The Village Management will discuss with you any issues or concerns you may have.  St Andrew’s Village is registered under the Retirement Villages Act and is required to comply with the statutory Code of Practice designed to protect the needs/rights of residents.

Can my family and friends come to stay?

Of course, this is your home.  With the consent of the Village Management any member of your family, grandchildren and friends are welcome to stay with you for short periods of time, but may not move in on a permanent basis.

Is the Village safe and secure?

Your personal and general security is imperative to us.  Our services include strategically placed emergency call buttons provided in each Villa and monitored 24 hours a day.  A mobile security patrol visits every night.

Do I have to maintain my lawns and gardens?

No. The grounds are beautifully landscaped to harmonise with the environment of the Village.  There is no requirement that you participate in gardening unless you wish to do so.

What happens when I go on Holiday?

One of the great advantages of a Retirement Village is that there are always people to look after your Villa. Whether you go away for a week or a few months the Village Management team will care for your Villa and grounds.