Managing residential park bonds
The park operator can ask for up to four weeks' rent as a bond along with up to two weeks' rent in advance at the start of the residential park agreement. They can't ask for any other money to be paid at the start of an agreement.
A receipt must be given to the resident within 48 hours of receiving the bond even if this was paid directly into a bank account.
Lodging and managing a bond
All bonds must be lodged with Consumer and Business Services (CBS) within seven days using a Residential park bond lodgement form . CBS will hold the bond until the end of the tenancy.
If the bond is paid to the park operator in cash or cheque they can give authority to CBS to debit this amount directly from their bank account. This can be organised for a one-off transaction or as an ongoing arrangement for future bond payments.
To organise a direct debit transaction:
- Complete either an individual direct debit request authority or a multiple direct debit transactions form.
- Attach this to the bond lodgement form.
- Lodge all completed documents with CBS.
When to notify CBS
The park operator needs to notify CBS using the appropriate forms if there is been a change of:
- resident , usually if a residential park agreement has been assigned to another person
- park owner
- the person authorised to sign for bond transactions - if there's a new staff member.
Bond guarantees – help to pay the bond
A resident may be able to get some help to pay the bond through Housing SA.
A bond guarantee provided by Housing SA must be receipted and lodged within seven days and before the 'to be lodged by' date issued by Housing SA.
Housing SA will contact the tenant every 12 months – or at the end of the lease – if they have provided the bond. The tenant will need to confirm if it needs to remain lodged. The bond could be released if the tenant or the park operator does not respond to Housing SA.
The guarantee form must be signed by all parties. An unsigned guarantee form will not be accepted by CBS.
Claiming or refunding a bond
The park operator can claim all or part of a bond lodged with CBS or it can be released in full to the resident, or to Housing SA if they provided the bond, using the bond refund form .
If the resident disagrees with a claim on the bond and has lodged a dispute the operator must be able to provide proof of the claim, such as quotes or bills for repairs. Residents have the right to dispute any claim the park operator may make on a bond. Any dispute will be dealt with by the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (SACAT).
The park operator can claim the bond to cover things like :
- repairs and cleaning bills
- unpaid rent and service charges
- costs associated with re-advertising and re-letting a site or dwelling if a resident has left a fixed term agreement before the end date.
Money from any bond claims will usually be posted to the park operator in the form of a cheque or they can set up an EFT transaction with CBS to have any bond money transferred directly into a bank account. To organise this complete an EFT payment request and return this to CBS.