Retirement housing exit fees are currently unregulated and open to exploitation by operators. These fees appear to have no relationship to the value of the services provided. Exit fees must be reformed and regulated to prevent excessive price gouging, to provide greater clarity around pricing, and to ensure that residents can compare options.
There are different types of exit fees, including, deferred management fees (DMFs), refurbishment and reinstatement fees, legal costs, share of capital gain and long-term maintenance fees. One of the most problematic exit fees is the DMF. These exit fees are generally 20 to 40% of the sale price of a unit. DMFs are applied in both residential park and retirement village contracts. These fees may not be clear to residents when they move in, making informed choice and comparison difficult, if not impossible.