FAQs

  • Where is The Elms Retirement Estate?

    The Elms Retirement Estate is a Retirement Village for over 55s set on approximately 20 acres just 61 kilometres north of Melbourne at the base of the Great Dividing Range.  Nestled in beautiful Kilmore, one of Victoria’s oldest inland towns, The Elms provides access to an historic township with a busy commercial centre, wineries and flora and fauna reserves.

  • What age do I need to be to live at The Elms?

    The age of our residents range from age 55 onwards.  Whilst many of our residents are fully retired, others are still actively employed.

  • Is The Elms a registered retirement village?

    The Elms Retirement Estate is a registered retirement village under the Retirement Villages Act 1986 Vic., which is administered by Consumer Affairs Victoria. This is a State Government department which has responsibility for managing consumer protection and fair trading practices in the operation of retirement villages and the supply of services to residents. 

  • What are the benefits of becoming a resident of The Elms?

    There are many personal and practical reasons why you should consider becoming part of The Elms family.

    • Release from the burden of maintaining a larger home, with the freedom to pursue your own lifestyle, travel, holidays etc
    • Living in a friendly, safe and secure community while still retaining your independent lifestyle
    • Enjoying a wide range of leisure amenities and activities with transport available in the village bus for shopping trips and outings
    • The assistance of caring staff, with 24 hour emergency support at the press of a button
    • Professional—yet personal management and administration
    • Protection of your rights under the Retirement Villages Act 1986 Vic 
    • Architecturally designed accommodation
    • Generous sized homes with plenty of storage 
    • No stamp duty, GST or other hidden costs.
  • Do I have a say in village affairs?

    The Residents’ Representative Committee is elected by the residents and plays an essential role in the operation of the village and represents all residents.

    The Committee considers and, when appropriate, discusses with the manager or owner/operator, matters raised by residents and aspects of day to day life in the village.

  • What happens if I want to leave The Elms permanently?

    If you wish to leave The Elms permanently, you need to notify us so that arrangements can be made to find a new resident for your villa/apartment.

    When you leave permanently, your lease will be terminated and your exit entitlement will be paid to you when a new resident enters into a lease for your villa/apartment and pays the ingoing fee, or 2 years after the termination of your lease, whichever event occurs first.

  • How is a new resident for my villa found?

    You are free to search for a new resident to lease your villa or apartment if you wish, however our Village Manager or Sales Advisor will be happy to assist by doing this for you. They are specialists in lifestyle options for retirees and have a thorough knowledge of the village and its facilities. Generally, our staff also has a waiting list of interested prospective residents who wish to live at The Elms.  Acceptance of new residents is subject to the approval of the Village Manager and all new residents must be willing to enter into the occupancy documents being used by the owner at that time.  

    Alternatively, you may appoint a real estate agent that is acceptable to both the owner and yourself to find a new resident to enter into a lease of your villa or apartment. However, we do not permit any signs to be placed around the residence or at the boundary of the village. 

    The cost of refurbishing your villa or apartment and finding a new resident to enter into the lease will be to your account. 

  • How is the resale price determined?

    The resale price is determined by market comparisons. Ensuring the highest possible resale price is obtained is not only in the best interest of our residents, but also our village, as our long term success relies upon its continued growth.

    Irrespective of whether we market the residence for you or you appoint a real estate agent, we must jointly agree upon the price we both believe is attainable from a new resident based on market conditions. If you wish, you may obtain at your cost a second opinion from an independent valuer. 

  • What is my exit entitlement and how is it calculated?

    Your exit entitlement is the sum which is payable to you after you have permanently left The Elms and a new resident has paid the ingoing contribution to take occupancy of your villa or apartment.  It takes into account the ingoing contribution you paid when you entered into your lease plus any difference between the price you paid when you entered the village and the ingoing amount paid by the new resident. 

    The owner is entitled to deduct from this figure, a separate amount called a Deferred Fee, together with any refurbishment costs, selling costs or other amounts (such as Maintenance Service Fees) which are outstanding on your account. Our Sales Advisor will be able to explain this further to you.

  • What is a Deferred Fee?

    The deferred fee is payable according to the number of years you have lived at The Elms and is deducted by the owner before paying your exit entitlement. Deferring payment of this fee until you leave the village enables you to enjoy the extensive amenities and benefits of living at The Elms in exchange for an affordable ingoing price. Please consult our Sales Advisor for further explanation on the calculation of the deferred fee.

    The current DMF is calculated as follows:

    • If your occupation period is more than 3 years, an amount equal to 3% of the purchase price or the resale price, whichever is the greater, for every year and capped to a maximum of 12 years.  Should your villa or apartment be sold prior to the 12 year cap, the DMF is calculated on a pro-rata basis.

    • If your occupation period is 3 years or less the DMF is an amount equal to 10% of the purchase price or the resale price whichever is the greater.
  • What are reinstatement costs?

    When preparing your residence for marketing, it is important that the villa or apartment is presented in the best possible condition in order to attract new residents and to obtain the highest possible ingoing fee. Accordingly, it may be necessary to undertake maintenance works such as cleaning, painting, and so on to bring the residence to “as new” condition. 

    The owner will decide on what work is reasonable in the circumstances and will discuss that with you before commencement. The cost of the reinstatement work is to your account and is payable by deduction from your exit entitlement. 

  • What are the maintenance fees and what do they cover?

    Every month we collect a Service Maintenance Fee.  This fee is collected electronically as a direct debit on the first working day of every month.

    The Service Maintenance Fee covers the following:

    • All repairs and maintenance of the common property and the exterior of your villa/apartment
    • Maintenance of all common area lawns and gardens    
    • Maintenance of the Country Club facilities, including pool, spa, gymnasium and lifts
    • Cleaning and lighting of village facilities
    • Emergency call system operation and monitoring
    • Garbage and waste disposal from common property
    • Rates and taxes in respect of common property
    • Building insurance for your villa/apartment and the Country Club and communal facilities, public liability and workers compensation insurance, etc. but excluding insurance of your own contents, which you must separately cover yourself
    • Salaries and leave entitlements for the on-site staff
    • Management and administration expenses
    • All other costs incurred in operating the village.


    The budgeted Service Maintenance Fee for the period 1st July 2020 to the 30th June 2021 is $361.00 per calendar month.  ($83.30 per week)  This fee is collected by direct debit on a monthly basis and is per villa or per apartment.  The budget presented to the Residents for the current financial year is available upon request.

  • Will there be any increase to this charge?

    The Retirement Villages Act 1986 Vic determines the way in which the Service Maintenance Fee is calculated.  A budget is prepared every year and presented to the residents.  The Service Maintenance Fee cannot increase more than CPI without resident approval at a special meeting, except for increases in Council rates and charges (for common property), wages, salaries and insurance.   

  • What other costs will I pay when living at The Elms?

    You will be responsible for your normal living expenses and utilities costs (such as power/gas and telephone), plus Council and water rates for your villa or apartment and, if you require it, insurance of your contents. Each resident is also responsible for day to day maintenance of their villa or apartment and rear garden. 

    In order to provide you with 24 hour emergency call support, it is essential that you connect your telephone to our PABX system and ensure that the telephone service is maintained to your residence at all times.

  • Can I make any changes to my villa/apartment?

    Alterations to your residence may only be made after obtaining written approval from the Village Manager. However, it’s important to remember that if alterations are made, it may be necessary to return your villa or apartment to its original condition at your cost at the end of your lease. This might occur, for instance, if the changes are of a nature that impedes the resale of the lease at the best possible price. 

  • Will I own my villa or apartment at The Elms?

    At The Elms, you will occupy your residence under a 99 year lease and pay an ingoing contribution which is the equivalent of the purchase price. 

  • May I bring a pet to The Elms?

    We are a pet-friendly retirement Village; however for the peaceful occupancy of all residents, acceptance of pets is subject to approval by the village owner.  In most cases, depending upon the type and size of your pet, you will be able to bring one pet into the village with you. However, we will not be able to accept your pet if you wish to reside in an apartment. 

    Naturally, pets must be controlled and dogs must be on a leash at all times, not left to wander the village or create nuisance to other residents. Our Sales Advisor will be able to provide you with more information on requirements applicable to pets, one of which is that pets may not be replaced. 

  • How is my security protected in a leasehold arrangement if I am not registered on the title?

    The Retirement Villages Act 1986 Vic. protects the occupancy rights of all retirement village residents by requiring the owner of the village to lodge certain notices at the Land Titles Office. These notices are then attached to the title of the retirement village land and must be adhered to by any purchaser of the land or anyone from whom the owner might borrow money. 

    One of these documents – a Retirement Village Notice – ensures that the retirement village land cannot be used for other purposes if the land is sold. The other document – a Retirement Village Charge – protects the repayment to you of the refundable portion of your ingoing fee. 

  • May I have guests?

    Yes, of course! Your guests or your children and grandchildren are very welcome at The Elms and, provided they are in your company, may make use of the village grounds and facilities or participate in activities.  They may stay with you overnight or for periods of up to four weeks, provided you are also at home and have advised the Village Manager. Longer stays may also be arranged, subject to obtaining permission from the Village Manager.

  • What happens if I need to leave the Village temporarily?

    One of the many benefits of life at The Elms is peace of mind knowing that your home is in good hands should you choose to go on holidays or need to be away for a while – for instance, in hospital. Your monthly maintenance fee will, of course, be payable during your absence.

    To prevent unnecessary concern for your welfare, we ask that you advise the Village Manager if you intend or are likely to be absent from The Elms for more than 24 hours. While you are away, the Village Manager will watch over your home as best as possible and any external maintenance will be done, but suitable arrangements for the care of your pet must be made prior to your departure.

  • How do I reserve a villa or apartment?

    When you have chosen your new villa or apartment it can be reserved by lodging a fully refundable deposit of $1,000 with our Sales Advisor.   Upon receiving your deposit we will provide you with a full set of Residence Documents containing the legal agreements pertaining to the lease of your villa or apartment plus further detailed information about The Elms Retirement Estate. 

    We encourage you to review the documents carefully and seek advice from your lawyer or accountant, and perhaps other family members, before making your decision on whether to join us at The Elms.

    The Retirement Village Act 1986 Vic. prevents us from entering into any residence contracts, such as the lease agreement, with you until 21 days after we have issued the Residence Documents to you. This is known as the “disclosure period”.  Later, after you sign the formal contracts, there is a further period of 3 days during which you may opt out of the contract. This is called the “cooling off period”. A notice concerning the cooling off period can be found on the front page of the Lease contained within the Residence Documents package.

  • What happens if I need care or assistance?

    Mitchell Shire along with Nexus Primary Health and other numerous independent Care Providers can deliver Home Care Packages to eligible residents.  These services are provided in your own home and tailored to your individual needs.  Please do not hesitate to ask our Village Manager for more information regarding these services.  As the village grows it is anticipated that care packages will be available through the village management. 

  • Where can I obtain more information?

    We understand this is a very big step in your life as you move to secure the lifestyle you have worked so hard to achieve.  It is important that any decision you make should be a well informed one.  Please do not hesitate to contact our Sales Advisors should you have any queries regarding The Elms Retirement Estate.

    We actively encourage you to seek advice from either a legal representative or from the below list of useful contacts:

    Consumer Affairs Victoria

    113 Exhibition Street
    Melbourne VIC 3000            Tel: 1300 558 181   

    Website: www.consumer.vic.gov.au

    Property Council of Australia - VIC Division

    Level 7, 136 Exhibition Street, Melbourne VIC 3000                                                    

    Tel: 03 9650 8300   Fax: 03 9650 8693                               

    Email: vic@propertyoz.com.au

  • Will I incur any legal costs in entering The Elms?

    We do not charge any legal fees for preparing your residency documents, however there will be legal costs to consider as you will no doubt seek independent legal advice.

  • When will I gain access to my villa or apartment?

    We will provide you with keys and access to your villa or apartment upon receipt of your ingoing contribution.  The settlement date may be determined by factors such as settlement of the sale of your current residence or completion of your villa or apartment if it is still under construction.