Retirement Living in the Northern Territory
Frequently Asked Questions
We understand that choosing the right retirement living option can be a difficult process. In order to help with this decision, please peruse the frequently asked questions below.
If you require any additional information or have any other questions, please contact us or call our Village Manager on 1300 669 755.
Why should I choose Greenfields Living?
Tiwi Gardens has a very strong community feel, with established gardens and open, yet private surroundings. The grounds are designed to be idyllic, so that residents can enjoy the peace and relaxation of retirement.
Greenfields Living are very focused on providing a haven for residents and we work hard to ensure every residents needs are met and their time on site is an enjoyable one.
Can you explain what an Independent Living Community is?
An Independent Living Community is a community of residents who are able to live independent lives without the need for full time care. Most residents will enjoy a social life inside and outside of the community and be active participants in community events.
With this in mind we are more than accommodating with aging residents, and the Village Manager works closely with residents’ family members and carers to ensure that optimal care is being given to the resident.
We are fortunate to have a strong relationship with both of Darwin’s leading nursing care facility providers, so the move to higher care should often be considered a smooth one.
Why should I go into an Independent Living Unit and not rent or stay where I am?
The fundamental difference between renting a property, staying in your own home or living with a family member is that we remove the hassle out of home ownership, and the responsibility and financial burden of home maintenance, whilst still providing residents will full independence.
Residents have complete freedom of movement, and can live in our properties as if they were their own home.
Do you have to be retired to live in a retirement village?
A retirement village is a managed community for over-55s who are recently retired or considering retirement in the very near future. While the name might be confusing, you don’t need to be completely retired to be eligible for a retirement community. You could be working part-time as you transition to retirement, or working casually to keep busy and active while supplementing your retirement income.
What is the criteria in order to have to live on the site?
We are heavily guided by the Retirement Livings Act of the Northern Territory, in relation to who can live at our site on Tiwi Gardens.
Largely, as we are Independent Living Community, in-coming residents must be able to live independently, without the assistance of full time care and must be in sound mind to make life style and financial decisions. We do ask for evidence of a medical assessment for some in-coming residents.
All residents living on site must be aged 55 or over, and must not be in full time employment. Part time employment is acceptable.
What happens if you change my mind?
Your resident contract will accommodate your change of mind policy after settlement has occurred.
Security & Maintenance
What is the security like at the site?
Security on our site is one of our top priorities. We have secure outer perimeter fencing and electric gates to the entrance of the site. We ask that only close family friends, family members or carers have the gate code to enter the site, to save any breaches in security.
We believe that it is important to strike the right balance between active and passive security in our community, like any other.
Passive security is provided by the community itself – the fact that you are part of a living community where neighbours, family and friends come and go at all times.
The sense of a “neighbourhood watch” is ever present.
Active security is in a number of forms.
All new residents are provided with a personally monitored RAA emergency call system. This emergency system is incorporated within the fortnightly fee and provides 24 hour emergency verbal response with a real live local person at the RAA Central Control on the end of the “speaker”.
This is important as the locally based RAA operators know where you are and can get the right response to you as soon as possible. You might have had a little fright but do not need ambulance or police. The operator will talk you through the situation and can call your family member to come and assist if needed.
Like any community, the active support of fire, ambulance and police emergencies via 000 is available.
Who is responsible for the garden maintenance?
Greenfields Living is responsible for all common areas on site. Responsibility of garden maintenance to each individual villa varies; queries relating to garden maintenance of your villas should be directed to your Village Manager for clarification.
Who is responsible for maintaining the property and paying for repairs or replacement to appliances?
Greenfields Living are responsible for the maintenance of the Villa including internal and external repairs.
We are also responsible for the repair or replacement of all goods that were supplied with the property at the time of purchase. Day to day repairs include items like replacement of light globes, fan dials etc
How much are the maintenance fees and what do they cover?
Maintenance Fees are subject to change annually. Please refer to the individual Maintenance fee leaflet that has been handed to you in your sales brochure for up to date costs.
Are there any costs that aren't covered in the maintenance fee that I need to budget for?
The only costs that are not covered in the unit are individual electricity consumption and contents insurance.
Residents are responsible for insuring their own belongings and are also responsible for the cost of maintaining their own gardens.
How do I report maintenance?
Maintenance can be reported via email to our maintenance email address or by completing a maintenance request form in your community centre.
Can I make any alterations to the unit?
Residents must submit an alterations request form prior to commencing an alteration to the unit.
If I need to go to hospital, who will look over my unit?
In the event that you do need to go to hospital, the Village Manager should be informed as soon as possible so that we can ensure the property is left secured whilst you are away.
If you do not have family or a close friend who can look over the unit in your absence our Maintenance officer can do periodic checks on the property to make sure everything is in order.
What is the difference between buying a 'Life-time License' and buying a property?
The fundamental difference between purchasing a ‘Life-time License’ is that you are not purchasing the title deed of the villa you are occupying.
A ‘Life-time License’ gives a resident assurance that, providing there is no fundamental breach of the license contract, they may have the right to live in the villa for the duration of their life or when they so choose to leave the villa.
Greenfields Living retain ownership of the Villas throughout the license, with the resident becoming the licensee, not the owner.
Do I have to pay Stamp Duty?
Because a resident is not purchasing the title deed of the property, the sale is not subject to Stamp Duty.
Am I subject to any capital gains / loss?
Residents are subject to a gain or loss in value in the property at the end of the license, depending on the outgoing market valuation at the termination of the license.
What deposit do I need to put down if I want to make an offer on a property?
After attending an open inspection, if you feel confident in your decision to proceed with an offer on one of our Villas we ask that a $1000 deposit is placed in order to hold your selected Villa for approximately six weeks.
The deposit is fully refundable should you withdraw your offer for whatever reason before settlement occurs.
Social & Community
Could you give me an insight of the type of people that live on the site?
Under the terms of the Retirement Living Act, all community members must be aged over 55. We have residents of several different nationalities on site.
Do you vet incoming residents to ensure they fit in with the existing community members?
Whilst we are largely guided by the requirements as set out in the Retirement Living Act and Regulations, we do also make sure that the character of incoming residents suit the current make up of our community.
As we have three unique sites, we are confident that we can accommodate most personalities and ensure all members of the community integrate well.
Is it mostly couples living here or individuals?
We have a good ratio of single occupants to coupled occupants on site.
Can I bring my pet with me?
Greenfields Living understands and supports the positive benefits of responsible pet ownership. However, due to the nature of our sites at Tiwi Gardens we do not allow pets to live on site.
Durack Gardens, however, is a pet friendly site. There are certain rules and regulations by way of local government and also site policies relating to having your pet on site, which all residents must abide to.
What social activities are available on site?
Tiwi Villas and Tiwi Village both have separate social committees. The social committees are responsible for organising activities and events for residents on site.
The Village Manager will, on behalf of Greenfields Living, also organise events for all residents to attend to. We very much encourage residents to get involved and mingle at these social events, however events are not compulsory.
Can I hire the community centre hall for my own functions?
Yes you can! Free of charge! Please consult with the Village Manager and also your committee.
What is the policy on having friends or family stay and using the site facilities?
It is your home so friends and family are naturally welcome to stay with you in your home for an appropriate amount of time, and may use the communal facilities whilst in your company.
However, you should advise your Village Manager when you are expecting house guests so that staff and other residents do not have security concerns when they see strangers in the Village. We ask all residents to adhere to the terms found in the Residents Contract.
We do make exceptions to the terms of the contract, however we ask that individual residents speak with their Village Manager to discuss any extended stays that may be required by family or close family friend members.
Additional Care Services
What additional care services are available to me?
Whilst we are an independent Living site, we do have very strong relationships with a number of home care providers in Darwin and the Northern Suburbs.
Should you require additional home care services, please speak with our village Manager who can put you in touch with an organisation that best suits your needs.
What medical alarm systems are available?
Greenfields Living use RAA, one of the market leading personal medical alarm devices. Each unit is provided with a wireless RAA device and personal pendant or bracelet for each resident.
A full demonstration on how to operate the device will be given upon your move into the unit. The medical alarm is included in your maintenance fee, so there is no extra to pay for this service if you sign up to the service as soon as you move in.
Greenfields Living remain responsible for the servicing and maintenance of the unit throughout your time in the unit.
Can we access Regis Healthcare from here?
We are very fortunate to have a great professional relationship with Regis and they have allowed us to continue using our private pedestrian gates straight into their facility.
We have two gates from Tiwi Villas that takes residents straight into Regis and two gates from the rear of Tiwi Village.
Does Regis offer any preferential rates to the residents?
We are currently still in the process of negotiating a preferential package for our Tiwi and Durack residents. If successful the package will give all residents beneficial rates to most of their services at the rehabilitation and physiotherapy centre, as well as some home care packages and respite care.
For more information on this please speak to your Village Manager.
Are there any service packages available?
As we are an Independent Living Community we do not provide or sell any service packages. However, our Village Manager can pass on contact details of organisations who would be happy to assist with providing care packages for you.
What happens if only one of us needs to move onto higher care?
Unfortunately, if there is a surviving person who will remain living in the property, funds cannot be released early to assist with the cost of higher care.
What happens if I need to move onto higher care?
Our Residents Contract caters for this eventuality in a way which would cause the least amount of stress to you as a resident. If the sole surviving resident of a property moves into higher care, funds from the sale of their property can be released early in order to pay for higher care services.
What happens if one of us passes?
The Residents Contract will continue regardless of whether one licensee passes, the sole surviving licensee can remain living in the property.
What happens when the sole remaining resident passes?
When the sole remaining licensee passes, next of kin of the licensees or public trustee or executor to the estate should make contact with Greenfields Living so that the outgoing process can commence.
No Notice period needs to be given upon death of the remaining licensee, the license is immediately terminated. We usually allow 6-8 weeks for the property to be vacated, cleaned and keys returned to the Village Manager.
Support & Advice
Who can I go to if I need support or advice?
The Village Manager is on site during business hours and is also readily available after hours on the mobile and on email. If you wish to speak to Senior Management, our General Manager is also readily available to discuss any issues with you.
Outside of Greenfields Living management, the committee will be happy to listen to your concerns, as will many other residents on site, such as your neighbours.
Who do I call for an emergency over the weekend, public holidays or out of hours?
In an absolute emergency (eg fire, accident etc) call 000. Otherwise the Village Manager and the Maintenance Officer both have their mobiles on them for after hour emergency calls.
Additionally, all properties are installed with a personal medical alarm, which can be activated at any time if any residents requires immediate medical assistance. Activation of this medical alarm will connect you to a monitoring centre whereby your injury/ condition will be verbally assessed and an ambulance will be sent if required.
If the monitoring centre is unable to communicate with you an ambulance will automatically be sent to the unit.
Is there a committee and what do they do?
Tiwi Villas and Tiwi Village each have their own committee. This committee is a group of three residents who are elected in at their Residents Annual General Meeting every year.
Their purpose is to communicate resident issues or concerns to middle and senior management of Greenfields Living. A position on the committee should not been seen as a “job” and is no means any type of management position, it is merely an opportunity to represent other members of your community.
Whilst in previous years, the committee have developed and changed their name slightly in various forms, we do still refer to the group as a “committee”.
What does the Village Manager do and what hours are staff on site?
The Village Manager is the first point of contact for all residents, visitors and contractors on site. The Village manager is responsible for the smooth operational running of the site and all of its facilities.
Additionally, the Village Manager is responsible for selling vacant units and showing prospective residents around site. In addition, the Village Manager’s primary purpose is to ensure that all residents are safe, happy and enjoying their retirement.
Staff are on site Monday – Friday within normal business hours, however they are always available after hours on mobile and email.