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Retirement Villages

Retirement villages are complexes of residential units on common land.

They do not receive government funding. Retirement villages are regulated by the Retirement Villages Act 1987. The Act defines a ‘retirement village scheme’ as one that is established (predominantly), for ‘retired persons and their spouses or domestic partners’. A ‘retired person’ is defined as being aged over 55 years and no longer in full time employment.

In South Australia the Office for the Ageing (OFTA) has responsibility for the administration of the Act.

It is important that prospective retirement village residents, existing residents, residents’ committees, owners &/or administering authorities understand their rights and responsibilities under the Act and its Regulations.

The information we provide is aimed at helping prospective residents understand their options and make informed decisions about retirement villages or other housing options.

Information for print or download (pdf)

Retirement Village Housing

Financial and Contractual Arrangements in Retirement Villages

Occupancy Rights and Other Legal Structures in Retirement Housing

Retirement Housing Types - Definitions

Retirement housing with residential aged care on site or adjacent 

To Move or Not to Move - Lifestyle Accommodation Choices

Packing Up and Moving

What is not a retirement village?

Retirement villages are not aged care facilities (formerly known as nursing homes and hostels). These are facilities administered and operated under the Aged Care Act and are funded by the Australian Government. An aged care assessment is required to gain entry to these facilities.

For information on aged care facilities follow this link

Retirement villages are not Supported Residential Facilities (SRFs) (formerly known as rest homes). However some retirement villages offer serviced apartments that are also licensed as Supported Residential Facilities.

Supported Residential Facilities are regulated by the South Australian Supported Residential Facilities Act 1992. They are privately operated and do not receive government funding. 

For information on ‘pension only’ SRFs (i.e. for those who cannot afford serviced apartments) follow this link.

Retirement Village Seminars

These seminars are conducted monthly at our office in Adelaide and have proven to be very popular. For information about our next seminar please contact us on (08) 8168 8776 or by email. Bookings are essential.

Useful resources and contacts

Online housing directory  
Search for retirement villages or for rental independent living units by area and check for vacancies

Office for the Ageing (OFTA) 
Administers the South Australia Retirement Villages Act and provides information and advice to residents, residents committees, administering authorities and the public on matters referring to retirement villages; mediation and conciliation of contractual disputes and investigation of breaches of the Act. It publishes information sheets and booklets that can be accessed by clicking here.

Retirement Village Act 1987 and Retirement Villages Regulations 2006 

The South Australian Civil Administrative Tribunal (SACAT) (taking the roles formally performed by the Residential Tenancies Tribunal) has the power to resolve disputes between retirement villages and residents, including breaches of the residence contract or breaches of the Act.

South Australian Retirement Village Resident's Association (SARVRA)
Provide advocacy and lobbying on behalf of retirement village residents; information for people considering moving into a retirement village and advice on dispute resolution procedures. Tel. 8232 0422, 1800 182 324 (SA country callers).

Aged Rights Advocacy Service (ARAS)
assists residents understand their rights and responsibilities in relation to their occupancy as a retirement village resident, and provides referral, advice, support, or representation to a resident with matters relating to the resident's contract, the Retirement Village Act and Regulations 


Seniors Information Service is supported by the Australian Government Department of Social Services. Visit the Department of Social Services website ( for more information. Although funding for this service has been provided by the Australian Government, the material contained herein does not necessarily represent the views or policies of the Australian Government.