Bond, rent and service charges in residential parks
Bond and bond claims
Bond in a residential park is up to four weeks' rent, and a receipt should be issued within 48 hours of being received by a park operator.
The bond is lodged with Consumer and Business Services within seven days of it being received by a park operator and is held until the end of the tenancy.
All or part of the bond can be claimed at the end of the tenancy. A bond may be claimed for:
- repairs or maintenance required
- cleaning bills
- any unpaid rent.
You can dispute a bond claim if you believe it is unfair or incorrect.
If a bond refund form is lodged with CBS and there are no claims made on the bond this will be returned to you or to Housing SA if they provided the bond on your behalf.
A park operator can't ask for money to:
- extend or renew an agreement
- provide 24 hour access to the park to a resident - eg an access card
- consider a request to sublet or assign.
Rent in advance
Up to two weeks' rent can be asked for at the start of a tenancy by the park operator. You are not required to pay any more rent for the first two weeks as this period is covered by the two weeks' rent in advance.
Receipts for rent must be given within 48 hours of payment unless money is paid directly into a bank account. The transaction records maintained by the bank are considered receipts but the park operator must still maintain a proper record of money paid.
Rent can only be increased once every 12 months. If the agreement is for a fixed term the park operator can make it a condition of the agreement that rent will be increased. This could be a sentence that the rent will increase after 60 days' written notice has been given. If the agreement shows the new rent amount and the date it applies from, the park operator doesn't need to give written notice of a rent increase.
Rent can be reduced on agreement of all parties and can occur on a temporary basis.
If you believe that a rent increase is excessive you can make an application to the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal to have the rent reduced. You must lodge this application within 30 days of receiving the written notice of the rent increase.
Charges for utilities and services
You can be charged for utilities and services - eg water, electricity, gas, if the site is individually metered and this is detailed on your lease agreement. You can ask for the details of these charges to be provided from the park operator.
The information provided should include:
- the period of time you are being charged for
- the amount used
- the amount being charged.
If this information is not provided on request you don't have to pay the charges.
If the site isn't individually metered, these charges can be included in your rent but you can't be charged separately for them.
You may be charged separately for bottled gas if this is supplied by the park operator. You can only be charged for what you use.
Concessions for residents
You may be eligible for concessions for water, energy bills, dog registration, telephone and other household bills. There is also a concession specifically for residential park residents.
To be eligible for a concession you must:
- be a pensioner and hold a Pensioner Concession Card or Department of Veterans Affairs Gold Card, or
- hold a Centrelink Low Income Health Care Card, or
- be able to demonstrate that you, your spouse or domestic partner are on a low income.
You can find out what State Government concessions you are eligible for using the Concessions finder. There are concessions specifically for residential park residents.
Fees for overnight visitors
A fee may apply for overnight visitors. This should be detailed in your lease agreement or in the park rules and should show the dollar amount charged.