Considering the move into a retirement village, but don’t want to pay a DMF? Now you don’t have to

Our largest village operator Lendlease has announced they will be offering four different contracts across most of their 71 villages within the next 12 months. 

Incoming residents will still be able to pay the Deferred Management Fee (DMF) – where you pay an ingoing fee plus a DMF of around 30 to 35 per cent of the sale price and selling costs when you leave the village. 

But there will now be three new options:  

  • ‘Pre-paying’ an upfront management fee of around 18 per cent plus any selling and reinstatement costs. You receive 100 per cent of the sale price when you depart the village; 
  • Paying a higher ingoing fee and receiving a ‘money back guarantee’ on a set amount eg $550,000. This is then repaid within 60 days of leaving on top of a non-refundable establishment fee of three per cent upfront; and 
  • Paying as you go, where you pay ‘rent’ with no ingoing fee or DMF, plus the same weekly fees as other residents (this is currently only available on serviced apartments, but will be rolled out to the wider market). 

More choice for consumers 

They are not the first operator to offer an alternative to the DMF. As we covered here, Stockland has started building retirement villages where residents pay all their costs upfront, but own the home and land and keep any capital gains when they sell. 

But it’s great to see more choice coming onto the market. 

Interestingly, Lendlease says around 80 per cent of their residents taking up new contracts are still opting for a DMF. 

We can see why – you pay a smaller upfront fee plus a weekly fee to cover the cost of maintenance and access to the village’s community facilities, leaving you with more in the bank – and more time – to enjoy your retirement. 

Either way, it’s more options for everyone. 

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A special thanks to our contributors

Antonia Norris

Researcher and Contributor

Antonia has led the operations and growth of the and within the DCM Group in Australia and New Zealand for several years. This has included the research and creation agedcare101 in 2016, the creation of the DCM Institute and Te Ara Institute, the joint contribution of Care & Living with Mercer (CaLM) and the TV series, The Best 30 Years, screened on NINE nationally.



Caroline has a wealth of experience writing within the retirement and aged care sector and is a contributing journalist for the and agedcare101 blog and accompanying newsletters.

Ian Horswill


Ian is a journalist, writer and sub-editor for the aged care sector, working at The DCM Group. He writes for The Weekly Source, agedcare101, and the DCM Institute fortnightly newsletter Friday. Ian is in daily contact with CEOs of retirement living, land lease and the aged care operations and makes a new contact every week. He investigates media releases, LinkedIn and Facebook for a good source for ideas for stories.

Lauren Broomham

Retirement and Aged Care Journalist

Lauren is a journalist for, agedcare101 and The Donaldson Sisters. Growing up in a big family in small town communities, she has always had a love for the written word, joining her local library at the age of six months. With over eight years' experience in writing and editing, she is a keen follower of news and current affairs with a nose for a good story.

Jill Donaldson


Jill has been practicing as a clinical physiotherapist for 30 years. For the last 13 years she has worked solely in the Aged Care sector in more than 50 metropolitan and regional facilities. Jill has also toured care facilities in the US and Africa and is a passionate advocate for both the residents in aged care and the staff who care for them. She researches and writes for DCM Media.

Chris Baynes

DCM Media, agedcare101

Chris has been a journalist and publisher in the retirement village and aged care sectors for 11 years. He has visited over 250 retirement villages and 50 aged care facilities both within Australia and internationally. Chris is a regular speaker at industry conferences plus is a frequent radio commentator.

Annie Donaldson

Nurse and Carer

Annie has a long career in both nursing and the media. She has planned and co-ordinated the medical support from both international TV productions and major stadium events. In recent years she has been a primary family carer plus involved in structured carer support.