FAQ's

St John’s Community Care is excited to provide information about our new residential aged care facility, St John’s Arlington Lifestyle Apartments, at Clifton Beach in the beautiful city of Cairns.

We have compiled the following list of FAQs, by category, to help address some of the questions you and your family members may have. Of course we would be happy to speak to anyone with additional questions, so please do not hesitate to contact us for any extra information or assistance.

This information is intended to provide general information to a range of potential purchasers, and we recommend that you discuss any intention to purchase an apartment with your solicitor or financial planner/advisor to ensure that this is right for your individual circumstances and requirements.

We look forward to welcoming residents to our latest example of luxury supported living apartments in a relaxed, caring environment.

Purchasing a new apartment

What is the ownership structure for apartments?

Residents can acquire a licence to occupy the home by entering into a Licence to Occupy Agreement (the Agreement), which facilitates an interest free loan and security of tenure under the Retirement Villages Act 1999 (Qld) (the Act). This also means that there is no title registration fee, GST, stamp duty, or council rates payable. Security of tenure is guaranteed as long as you reside in the home.

Are there additional protections under the legislation?

The Act also ensures:

  • There is a ‘cooling off’ period during the contract process
  • There are restrictions on varying the weekly payment amounts
  • There are limits on your obligation to pay for ongoing fees after you leave the complex
  • You have rights in regard to payment of your exit entitlement.

The cooling off period gives a minimum period of 21 days for prospective purchasers to review the relevant documents before signing the Agreement. We recommend that you review the documents with your solicitor or financial advisor.

What is a deferred management fee?

A deferred management fee (DMF) is also known as an exit or departure fee, and is payable when you permanently exit your apartment. The DMF provides you with the right to live in the apartment and enjoy the amenities of the complex, and is calculated as a part of the entry payment. This provides some flexibility with annual payments.

After purchase

What ongoing weekly fees will I be required to pay?

Weekly charges are required for the administration, upkeep, insurance, and maintenance of amenities and facilities. The general services charge pays for management, administration, and cleaning (for the complex common areas) staff, day to day maintenance of gardens and common areas, and council charges and rates. A maintenance reserve fund contribution is required to maintain and repair the common areas of the village, and includes pest control. Our staff will be on hand to assist residents with completing the paperwork for these charges, and to answer any questions or concerns. Residents will, of course, be responsible for the costs of electricity to their own apartments.

Will these payments increase?

Generally, the only increase will be in accordance with CPI increases.

Will I be responsible for insurance costs of my apartment?

While the complex has comprehensive insurance over all buildings and communal facilities and amenities, residents will be responsible for their own home contents and vehicle insurance. While fair wear and tear of homes is expected, any accident or deliberate damage to the apartment will be the resident’s responsibility. An entry report for each unit is undertaken before a resident moves in.

Enjoying the lifestyle at St John’s Arlington Lifestyle Apartments

Can I make changes and modifications to my apartment?

Our lifestyle apartments are designed and built to ensure safe and comfortable living conditions for older (over 65) residents, and they have wheelchair accessibility. Of course we want residents to enjoy their own home and to put their own ‘stamp’ on it with personal style and decorating, and we would be happy to consider any reasonable modifications and/or structural changes. However, if approved and carried out, we reserve the right to request reinstatement to the original condition and layout of the apartment when the resident exits. Any such modifications will be at the cost of the resident, which may also include architectural and engineering reports for structural changes.

Are pets allowed?

We are firm believers in the health and wellbeing benefits that many people experience with owning pets, and we want our residents to enjoy this. Of course there may be limits on the size and type of pets to ensure that there are no issues with other residents, but generally we will try to give approval to requests. We will provide pet owners with our policies that cover this option to ensure harmony for everyone!

Are there any requirements for visitors staying either short- or long-term?

We want residents to be able to welcome family and friends, but of course in community living there are certain guidelines that will apply – we will provide residents with this information on entry. We would also appreciate some notice before anyone new comes to stay, for reasons of security.

What will be payable if I decide to leave my apartment?

If residents wish to leave, we require at least one month’s notice. Payments for management and maintenance will stop when you leave, but any unpaid weekly amounts will be deducted from your exit entitlement.

What are exit fees and exit entitlements?

The exit fee is part of the conditions of purchase of your apartment under the Agreement, and is calculated on a daily basis. Your exit entitlement is calculated on the amount you paid on entering the complex, less the amount of the exit fee. These details will be explained more fully in the documentation provided when purchasing and apartment.

Thank you for your interest in our exciting new residential aged care development! Please contact us for additional information or to make an appointment to view one of our beautiful apartments!

Purchasing your Home at Estia on Arlington

What is the ownership structure of Estia on Arlington?

You will acquire a right to reside in the Retirement Village by entering into a “Licence to Occupy” Agreement.

What is a Loan-license Agreement?

Residents “purchase” a licence to occupy the home by way of an interest free loan to the operator. While you reside in the home, your tenure is fully secure in accordance with the Retirement Villages Act 1999 (QLD). There is no registration on title. You will not be required to pay GST, stamp duty or council rates.

How does the legislation protect my security of tenure?

The Retirement Villages Act 1999 (QLD) protects you with:

  • Disclosure and cooling-off period during the contracting process.
  • Restrictions on the process to determine (or vary) any weekly fees payable by you.
  • Rights in relation to the resale of your apartment.
  • Limits on your obligation to pay for ongoing fees after you leave the village; and
  • Rights for you in relation to payment of your exit entitlement

Is there a resident age eligibility to reside at Estia on Arlington?

Residents are required to be over 65 years of age, or if there is more than one resident acquiring the right to reside, one of them is required to be over 65 years of age.

Does Estia on Arlington offer flexible entry price options or have a fixed cost to purchase a home within the village?

Estia on Arlington offers flexible entry price options with the “Deferred Management Fee” (DMF) model.

You have a choice with how much Ingoing Contribution you wish to pay as Estia on Arlington offers individual tailored payment options to suit your personal circumstance.

Estia on Arlington offers a standard purchase price option with a DMF of 30% calculated on the Ingoing Contribution.

Alternatively, you can choose to pay a higher Ingoing Contribution and a reduced DMF or a lower Ingoing Contribution and a higher DMF, subject to St John’s Community Care approval.

The DMF is calculated as a percentage of your Ingoing Contribution. In the case of Estia on Arlington, the DMF based on the standard list price is calculated as follows:

  • 10% for the first year
  • 4% each year for the next 5 years
  • Nothing thereafter

What are the costs that I need to pay to secure my home at Estia on Arlington?

To secure your home you will pay a fully refundable holding deposit for your selected residence of

$5,000

You will not pay legal costs for drawing up the contract however we highly recommend that you get an independent review of the contract by your solicitor at your own cost.

Ingoing Contribution (purchase price) is payable at settlement.

What documentation is provided to me prior to making my purchase decision?

Under the Retirement Villages Act 1999 (QLD) you will be provided with a suite of legal documents for you to review prior to making a purchase decision.

There is a minimum period of 21-days for you to review the Prospective Costs documents prior to signing the Residence Agreement. Should you wish to enter the Residence Agreement before the 21-day period, you can sign the 7-day Precontractual Disclosure Waiver document, executed by your solicitor.

We recommend you seek independent advice from you solicitor and financial planner.

Following is the suite of legal documents you will receive prior to purchase:

Expression of Interest (EOI)

For you to review, sign and pay a fully refundable holding deposit into St John’s Community Care solicitor’s trust account to secure your residence at Estia on Arlington.

Residence Agreement (RA)

Estia on Arlington residence contract for you to sign and return 2 copies (after being in possession of and signed the Prospective Cost Document for a minimum of 21-days or 7-days if you have chosen to waiver the full term).

Village Comparison Document (VCD)

Includes standard information about the village making it easy for you to compare to other retirement villages.

Purchasing at the village

Who is responsible for the insurance of my home and the village?

The village has an extensive policy which ensures all buildings, including communal facilities and accommodation units, are covered in the event of disaster. Residents contribute to the cost of this insurance as part of the weekly fee.

You will be responsible for your private property, the contents of your home including fixtures and fittings. You will also be responsible for any accidental or deliberate damage to the home.

I need to sell my home before I can settle at Estia on Arlington?

We understand that you may need to sell your existing property before you can settle. Accordingly, if required, St John’s Community Care may make a Sunset Clause in the agreement, subject to such a sale and agree a suitable time frame to enable that to occur. After documents have been finalised, we will make all settlement arrangements with your solicitor.

I’m ready to move into my new home at Estia on Arlington, what is next?

Estia on Arlington will help coordinate your move into the village to make the transition easier by assisting with the following: Completion of the entry condition report for your new home.

Providing you with manuals for your appliances and keys for your apartment and the village.

Completion of relevant paperwork so that, for example, we have a record of your next of kin and contact details for your emergency contact; and

Helping you to complete the paperwork for your weekly fees.

Residing in your Home at Estia on Arlington

What are my weekly fees and what do they pay for?

As a resident, you will pay a weekly fee to cover the costs associated with the lifestyle. Your weekly fee will include two components:

  1. your General Services Charge; and
  2. your Maintenance Reserve Fund Contribution.

The General Service Charges includes:

  • Management and administration of the Village
  • Cleaning of common areas of the Village.
  • Day to day maintenance of Village gardens and facilities.
  • Council rates, building insurance and waste management.

The Maintenance Reserve Fund includes:

  • Maintenance and repair of the common areas of the Village.
  • Control and eradication of pests in the common property.

What is not funded by my weekly fee?

Your weekly fees do not cover your own or personal utilities (telephone, Wi-Fi and electricity), contents and vehicle insurance policies, personal alarms or personal care services.

Will my weekly fee change?

In general, and subject to some limited exceptions, St John’s Community Care cannot increase the general service charges by more than CPI – without residents’ approval in accordance with the Retirement Villages Act 1999 (Qld).

Estia on Arlington will provide the proposed annual budgets, including the general services charge and maintenance reserve fund contribution amounts payable.

Can I have visitors come to stay with me?

Yes of course! We encourage friends and family to visit and stay for a short time period. In the interest of safety and security of our residents and to help visitors get more from their stay, all visitors and residents must comply with our visitor policy.

Can I bring my pet?

Yes of course this is your home, so your pet companions are welcome to come too. However, you will need to get approval first from Village Management. Our policy is that small pets are preferred.

What ageing-in-place features does the home include?

At Estia on Arlington all main living areas, master bedrooms and bathrooms are built with Senior Living in mind. St John’s Community Care also offers private and government-funded community care support to assist residents to reside in-place within their own homes. If you choose to use St John’s Community Care home care services whilst living in Estia on Arlington the costs are separate to your retirement living costs.

Can I make any modifications to my apartment?

Our homes are contemporary, sophisticated and inviting, with modern fixtures and fittings throughout. While most of our residents enjoy our units as they come, there is the option to make alterations to your new home. Any alteration is subject to our approval and will be at your cost to install and maintain. Please note, reinstate conditions apply to modifications.

What is the role of the Village Contact Officer?

Your Village Contact Officer is a friendly face who will help make your time enjoyable, stress-free and will oversee the daily running of the village.

Can I take a long holiday away from the village?

Yes of course! While you’re away we will continue to care for and maintain the outside of your home and collect your post for you. For emergency purposes, we will ask that you inform your Village Manager of your time away.

Can I access support services while I live in my apartment?

Yes of course! Many residents may require the services of visiting healthcare professionals, such as care providers, general practitioners, physiotherapists and podiatrists. You can choose to bring your own support service provider or alternatively St John’s Community Care provides home support that can assist you with your home care needs. Please ask us about St John’s Community Care home support service. It’s good to know, St John’s Community Care is one of the largest and most qualified home care providers in Queensland and offers a discount for residents in St John’s Community Care retirement villages.

Leaving your Home at Estia on Arlington

What happens if I can no longer live independently?

We understand that our residents’ needs change. If living independently is no longer an option and you require the care of a residential aged care facility, village management will work with you and your family to help make your transition smoother. As a resident of Estia on Arlington you will have VIP access to St John’s Community Care services including home care.

What happens if I decide to leave the village?

We understand that sometimes circumstances change. If you choose to leave your home, you will need to give appropriate notice of a minimum of least one month to Estia on Arlington.

What happens if I pass away?

Our objective is to make the process as smooth as possible for your family. We will deal with your executors in relation to the termination of contractual agreements and exit entitlement.

Will I have to continue paying my weekly fee once I leave the Village?

Your direct debit payments for the maintenance and management of your village will cease after you vacate. Weekly fees will accrue for a maximum of 90 days (after you exit) and this accrued amount will be deducted from the exit entitlement payable to you (or your estate) when your home is resold. If your home is resold before the 90-day period passes, your weekly fees will only accrue up until the date that the new resident pays his/her ingoing contribution for the home.

When is my exit entitlement payable?

When you vacate the village, you will be entitled to a payment which is referred to as your exit entitlement. Your exit entitlement is calculated by reference to the amount you paid when you entered the village (your ingoing contribution), less the exit fee payable by you.

Your exit entitlement is payable within 14 days of the date on which sale of your home to a new resident is settled. If your home has not been re-sold within 18 months of you vacating, you will be paid the exit entitlement (minus your deferred management fee and any other costs you’ve accrued).

What are my responsibilities regarding the reinstatement and renovation of my home when I leave?

Before you vacate your apartment, you will need to reinstate it, which means that you will need to bring it back to the condition that it was in when you moved in minus fair wear and tear.

What is my Exit Fee?

Your exit fee is calculated on a daily basis in accordance with the terms of your Residence Contract.

Thank you for your interest in our exciting new residential aged care development! Please contact us for additional information or to make an appointment to view one of our beautiful apartments!