Are you thinking about downsizing? Is it time to hand over your home and garden maintenance and stop worrying about having to pay council rates, water rates and building insurance?

If the answer is yes, why not consider moving into an ECH retirement village?

ECH has 1,838 units in 110 independent retirement villages throughout metropolitan Adelaide, Adelaide Hills, Victor Harbor and Ardrossan located close to transport routes, shopping centres and recreational and medical facilities.

The typical ECH village has between eight and 12 units that feature contemporary décor, blinds, reverse-cycle air-conditioning and an energy-efficient washing machine and refrigerator.

The grounds and gardens of every village are well tended by a team of professionals and maintenance in and around the home is also included.

As an ECH retirement village resident, you will also have access to Independent Living Services (ILS). This is an additional service ECH provides which is included in your maintenance fees. ILS is committed to delivering a caring and responsive service to residents and their families so they can live the best life possible.

The ILS team provide information and support tailored specifically to you to enable you to make informed lifestyle choices so that you can remain living independently for as long as you choose to do so. They will also help navigate and facilitate access to any ECH services such as exercise classes, allied health services, domestic assistance, transport, carer support and social activities.

Pets in ECH Retirement Villages

What pets are allowed in ECH villages? 

All ECH units can accommodate one small, caged bird (to be kept indoors and occasionally outdoors in a location previously approved by ECH) or an indoor aquarium animal i.e. fish. 

Villages without any private rear yards may be considered pet friendly for indoor cats only, provided the village community has voted and the majority are in favour of it.

Only units within pet friendly villages with private rear yards are approved for dogs.  The housing of any pet within an ECH unit is subject to an application process. All animals approved to reside in ECH villages are subject to the conditions of a Pet Agreement.

Why are ECH villages treated differently when it comes to allowing pets? 

Historically ECH retirement villages were not of a suitable design to comfortably house larger domestic animals such as cats and dogs without negatively impacting on both the animal’s quality of life and the broader village community’s peaceful occupation of the village. 

Villages were predominantly small one or two-bedroom, interconnected dwellings with no private rear yard for an animal to safely roam without intruding on a neighbour’s space. As a result of this, ECH enforced a strict pet free policy across all villages until 2016. 

Around this time, ECH began to expand its village portfolio, investing in new purpose-built villages and acquiring villages from other providers. Additionally, we began a dedicated village upgrade program which saw many of our older units fitted with fenced private rear yards where space permitted. This created opportunities to re-consider our position on pets in villages. 

Each ECH village is unique (some villages continue to have no private outdoor areas) and many long-standing residents had chosen an ECH village specifically for its pet free status. 

ECH Fact Sheet – Pets in Villages

What else do I need to know?

Paying an affordable entry fee means you have a home for life. The entry fee covers a licence which means you can live in your ECH independent retirement living unit for the rest of your life or until you decide to leave. While you will not own the property you will have the security of knowing that it is your home for as long as you need or want it.

ECH can take you through the easy-to-understand financial arrangement as part of your Residence Agreement so that you are clear on the current and future position of your contract. Each agreement differs based on the location of the village and the financial option you choose, however ECH has homes to suit all budgets with a range of payment options available.

ECH also has some rental properties available and more information can be found here

What sets ECH apart?

ECH is proud to have been the first South Australian independent village operator to attain Quality Innovation Performance (QIP) accreditation, which means the organisation meets the standards set by the International Retirement Community Accreditation Scheme. These standards include high levels of safety and quality, good governance, environmental sustainability and a genuine commitment to continuous quality improvement across all retirement villages.

ECH Warradale Estate (2016), Penneys Hill Estate (2018) and Encore Apartments (2021) are also the only independent living villages in South Australia to be awarded the Livable Housing Design Australia (LHA) Gold Accreditation. LHA awards builders and designers that provide truly liveable homes that respond to the changing needs of people now and into the future.

As a resident of an ECH retirement village, you will also always have peace of mind that you are protected by the Retirement Villages Act.

How do I find out more?

If you would like to find out more about what life might be like for you at an ECH retirement village, contact ECH on 1300 275 324 or email

Contracts and Fees

Easy-to-understand contracts, affordable entry costs and low weekly maintenance fees are just some of the benefits of living in an ECH retirement village.


Living in an ECH retirement village gives you a range of benefits and the freedom to stay who you are, where you are.

Planning Your Move

If you are considering moving into a retirement village but do not know where to start, ECH is here to help.

Village Maintenance

As an ECH retirement village resident, you can say goodbye to the hassle of home and garden maintenance and spend more time doing what you enjoy.