Also known as residential land lease communities, and most often marketed to the over-55 demographic, lifestyle communities are very similar on the surface to retirement villages. They also cater to independent seniors with low care needs and, like retirement village complexes, many offer a range of shared cultural and recreational facilities on-site for use by residents, set within beautifully landscaped grounds. The real difference comes in the types of accommodation available, the fees payable and the contractual arrangements involved in becoming a resident.
The occupancy arrangements in a lifestyle or land lease community are different to a retirement village. In this scenario, the resident purchases and owns the home but leases the land on which the home sits from the community operator. The home itself is usually a manufactured home or a moveable dwelling such as a caravan, and while some communities are exclusively for permanent residents, others also welcome short-term holiday-makers. Residents pay rent for the right to occupy the site, with the fees also covering services such as maintenance of common areas, operator costs and security. Given they do not own the land, residents may also be able to apply for rental assistance through Centrelink, but if they choose to leave a lifestyle community, they will need to either sell their home or somehow take it with them.