These frequently asked questions (FAQs) respond to questions commonly asked when buying a home to live in a lifestyle village such as Middle Swan Village. If your questions are not addressed contact the Village management.
What is the residential site agreement?
Lifestyle villages incorporate the popular concept of owning your home and leasing the land on which it is located.
When you buy a home to be located at Middle Swan Village you must sign a lease or Fixed Term Site-Only Agreement. This agreement states the terms and conditions of the lease and describes the obligations on both you, as a tenant, and the Village operator.
The Fixed Term Site-Only Agreement allows you to occupy your site at Middle Swan Village and use the facilities for the term of the lease. In return for this you pay a small Weekly Fee that covers the lease of the site as well as statutory, administrative and maintenance costs.
By having a lease you don’t pay stamp duty or settlement fees and all the costs associated with land ownership.
Leasing the land also allows qualified pensioners to claim Government Rent Assistance to off-set against the Weekly Fees.
How long is the lease?
The first leases granted to our residents are for 40 years. However, the Government requires that all such leases have a common end date, and so subsequent buyers will have slightly reduced lease period.
This lease period reduces each time the home that occupies a site is sold. If your lease is for 39 years and you live in your home for 10 years, the next owner will have a term of 29 years. The Village owner must honour the lease with you for the full term, but you can exit the lease with just 60 days notice.
What happens at the end of the lease?
Five years before the end date the Village owner will advise current residents about the future of the property. In all likelihood the leases would all be extended for another 40 years.
What happens when the Village is sold?
Leases remain valid following any sale of the Village and any prospective buyer of the Village must acknowledge these leases in the purchase agreement.
What do weekly fees include?
Weekly fees include your home’s site rent (lease). They also cover your use of the shared facilities in the Village and the costs of:
- Water and sewerage rates, but not water consumption
- Council rates
- Rubbish collection
- Providing a secure and safe environment
- Maintaining a quiet and peaceful living within a community atmosphere
- Village facilities and maintenance
- Maintenance of roads, signage, street lights and common gardens including the front garden of your home
How and when are the weekly fees reviewed?
The weekly fee assessment is made on 1 July each year and will normally be determined on the basis of any Consumer Price Index (Perth) increase in addition to any increases in Council and water rates, and provision of new facilities. Any fee increase will be fully described.
How to pay weekly fees?
After signing your Fixed Term Site-Only Agreement, you also sign a direct debit authority. The fees are then deducted weekly from your bank account. For pensioners entitled to Rent Assistance, you pay the full weekly fee and the Government pays the subsidy directly to you.
Pensioner’s Rent Assistance
If you are on a pension, you are most likely entitled to Rent Assistance.
As at November 2015 the maximum Rent Assistance rebates (fortnightly) are $129.40 for singles and $121.80 for couples.
For more information on Rent Assistance visit the Centrelink website: http://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/services/centrelink/rent-assistance
The Village management is there to manage the Village, not the residents.
There will be regular meetings of the Park Liaison Committee (PLC) which is a representative group of elected residents and Village management. At these PLC meetings management provides updates on the stage of the development and discuss Village operations to keep things running smoothly.
If you have any questions or comments your input will be most welcome. You can contact the Village management 7 days a week.
Mail is delivered to your letterbox at the front gate entry.
At present the following facilities are available to residents: a work shed, heated spa-swimming pool, and a beautiful village green of flowering native plants with 2 gazebos and a fish pond. A heated spa and large community centre/BBQ area will be constructed soon.
Can friends stay?
Visitors are welcome to stay from time to time. There are restrictions on visitors staying for an extended period of time that are described in the Fixed Term Site-Only Agreement.
Can children stay in the Village?
Middle Swan Village is a lifestyle Village designed predominantly for people over 45 who do not have young children permanently living with them. Children are welcome as visitors but if you want them to reside permanently at the Village, discuss this with the Village management.
Are pets allowed?
Yes, provided they are approved by management. Generally, if pets are not a danger to local wildlife or other residents and is not causing a nuisance or annoying other residents your pets can stay.
Middle Swan Village takes security very seriously. The Village entrance has gates that can only be opened by remote control. CCTV cameras have been installed at key entry locations and are monitored, and residents are encouraged to install security systems in their homes.
We also encourage residents to look out for each other and to let the Village management know if you see anything untoward.
Can I make changes to my home?
Once your home is in place, what you do to the inside is up to you. However external changes require the approval of the Village management. This is to ensure it complies with applicable regulations and doesn’t detract from the visual amenity of the rest of the Village.
Re-selling my home
The Fixed Term Site-Only Agreement allows you to sell your own home at any time. However, almost every resale of a lifestyle village home is sold to a buyer who wishes to live in the home in its current location in the village. Village management can also sell your home for you, and we know best the conditions under which a prospective buyer would need to meet. These are outlined in the Fixed Term Site-Only Agreement.
Is the Lease transferrable to a new buyer?
A new buyer is granted a new lease for the remaining term of your lease. This will fully release you from all of your obligations in the lease, which gives you peace of mind.
Resale value of homes
Homes in lifestyle villages tend to appreciate in value. As the village grows, the number of vacant sites reduces and it becomes a matter of supply and demand. Eventually, the only way to get into the village is for someone to sell out.