Residential parks

Ending a residential park agreement

How either the park operator or resident ends the residential park agreement will depend on:

  • the type of residential park agreement
  • how long the resident has lived in the park
  • the rental period.

Site only agreements

Fixed term agreements

If a resident has lived at the park for 5 years or more

  • the park operator cannot ask the resident to move out unless there is a reason for terminating the agreement, such as breach of the agreement.
  • If the resident wishes to move out, they must give at least 28 days’ written notice to end the agreement (32.2 KB PDF).

If neither terminates the agreement, it is automatically reissued with the same terms and conditions, and for the same amount of time. The resident gets a written copy of the reissued agreement within 28 days after the fixed term ends.

If either the park operator or the resident would like to vary the terms, 90 days’ written notice must be given. The agreement must be reviewed in consultation with the resident. A new agreement will be reissued if both parties agree on the new terms.

If you can’t agree, an application can be made to SACAT for a decision. If the review process is not finalised before the end of the fixed term, the agreement continues until the matter is resolved and the agreement reissued.

If a resident has lived at the park for less than 5 years

If neither terminates the agreement, it automatically continues with the same terms and conditions, except that it becomes a periodic agreement. The agreement must include the date, or approximate date when the resident was first granted the right to occupy the site.

Once a resident has lived in the park continually for more than five years, their agreement will be reviewed and reissued with the same terms and conditions.

Periodic agreements

If a resident has lived at the park for 5 years or more

  • the agreement is reviewed in consultation with the resident. It must be reissued for a fixed term, as agreed with the resident. The agreement must be in writing and include a further review date.
    If the resident wishes to continue with a periodic agreement, they must inform the park operator in writing. It must be the resident’s decision to continue with a periodic agreement.
  • If the resident wants to leave the park, they must give at least 28 days’ notice, unless the rent period is longer, for instance, if they pay rent monthly, they must give at least a month’s notice.

If a resident has lived at the park for less than 5 years

Tenancy agreements

Residents renting a site and a dwelling have a tenancy agreement.

Fixed term agreements

Periodic agreements

  • If the resident wishes to move out, they must give at least 21 days’ notice, unless the rent period is longer, for example, if they pay rent monthly, they must give at least a month’s notice.
  • If the park operator wants the resident to move out, they must give them at least 60 days’ written notice of termination (722.6 KB PDF), unless the rent period is longer, for example, at least 90 days’ notice if the rental period is 90 days.

Residents ending a residential park agreement

A resident can end an agreement after giving written notice if:

  • the park operator has breached the conditions of the agreement - this requires 14 days written notice to remedy the breach or the resident can leave the next day
  • they want to end a periodic agreement for no specific reason - written notice must be given and this should be:
    • For a site agreement – 28 days, unless the rent period is longer, for example, if rent is paid monthly then one month's notice must be given
    • For a tenancy agreement - 21 days, unless the rent period is longer, for example, if rent is paid monthly, a month’s notice is required
  • they don't want to renew a fixed term tenancy - written notice must be given 28 days before the end date specified on the residential park agreement.

If a resident wants to move out earlier

If a person wants to move out of the park before their agreement ends, they should discuss their intentions with the park operator. They will need to consider whether to end the agreement or hold the resident to the agreement. The decision to end an agreement early should be put in writing.

If the operator decides to end the agreement, the resident may be required to pay for:

  • the costs involved in finding a new resident
  • any loss of rent.

Undue hardship

If continuing the agreement would cause undue hardship for the resident, they can lodge an application with SACAT to terminate the agreement.

An example of undue hardship could be the need to move into supported accommodation. Generally ‘undue hardship’ does not include financial difficulties.

Ending an agreement early

Unpaid rent

To end an agreement for unpaid rent the resident must be at least seven days in arrears before the operator can issue the written notice.  The park operator can give the resident a notice to remedy the breach. The amount of notice is 28 days for a site agreement, and 14 days for a tenancy agreement. If the breach isn’t corrected, the resident will need to move out of the park.

If they don't think they have breached the agreement, or have already fixed the problem,they can contact Consumer and Business Services (CBS) for advice.

Breach by the park operator

If the park operator breaches the conditions of the agreement like not repairing the rented property or common areas of the park, the resident can give the park operator 14 days written notice to remedy breach of agreement (339.9 KB PDF). This form gives the park operator 14 days to remedy the breach.

If the park operator has breached the same agreement condition at least twice before, and the resident has issued a notice to remedy the breach of the agreement on both occasions, they can give them written notice of termination (722.6 KB PDF) on the third occasion. This form gives the park operator 14 days written notice that the resident will be ending the agreement and moving out.

If the breach isn't corrected, the agreement will end and the resident must move out on the date you have specified. Consider this carefully before giving this notice to a park operator.

Abandoned property

The residential park agreement will end if the resident has abandoned the property.

Death of a resident

Site agreement

If a resident dies, their estate may decide to sell the dwelling. They must inform the park operator and give them first option to purchase at market value. The estate is not bound in any way to accept an offer made.

If no agreement to purchase is reached with the park operator within 28 days of notice of the intention to sell, the dwelling may be offered for sale to another person.

Tenancy agreement

A dependant person who is living in the property can choose to:

  • Stay at the park under the existing agreement
  • Seek written approval from the operator for the agreement to be transferred to another person
  • Terminate the agreement.

If there is no dependant person living in the property at the time the resident dies, the agreement will end.

Property in uninhabitable condition

If the property has been destroyed and is uninhabitable, a written notice of frustrated agreement (134.1 KB PDF) can be given to the resident to end the agreement immediately.

If a rented property is subject to a housing improvement notice the operator must have a specific reason to end the agreement, such as rent arrears.

The park operator needs to apply to the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (SACAT) for authorisation to end the agreement unless it is a fixed term agreement that will end on a date specified in the agreement.

Sale of the park

Site agreement

  • The new owner must take on the obligations of the previous owner in relation to existing site agreements.
  • For a periodic agreement, the existing owner can give a resident 60 days’ notice to terminate the agreement, unless the resident has lived in the park for more than 5 years.
  • A fixed term agreement remains in force until the expiry date, but can be terminated after that if the resident has lived in the park for less than 5 years.

Tenancy agreement

  • The new owner may decide to keep an existing agreement with a resident.
  • For a periodic agreement, if the park operator sells the rental property and the contract requires them to give vacant possession to the new owner,  the resident must be given 28 days’ notice, unless their rental period is longer, for example, if rent is paid monthly then a month’s notice must be given.

Change in use of the park

This only applies to site agreements.

A resident can be asked to move if the park will no longer be a residential park, or it's being redeveloped and that can't be completed safely and efficiently with the resident staying at their site.

If a resident has a periodic agreement and has lived in the park for less than 5 years, they may be given 90 days’ notice.

Otherwise, they must be given at least 365 days’ notice, unless you both agree to a shorter period of time, or SACAT makes an order specifying a different timeframe.

An agreement can only be terminated if the operator has offered to do one of the following, and the resident agrees:

  • Give the resident another site agreement in either the same park or another park that the operator owns, and agree to cover their costs to relocate.
  • Purchase their dwelling.
  • Cover the cost to relocate their dwelling to another location.

If  the park operator and the resident cannot reach an agreement, either party can apply to SACAT for an order.

If the park operator gives a termination notice, the resident can choose to end the agreement sooner by giving you 28 days’ notice. No reason needs to be given.

When a resident moves out of the park

When the resident leaves the park to live somewhere else they must:

  • give the rented site back to the park operator in a reasonable condition
  • give your forwarding address to the park operator if they ask for it
  • leave any keys or devices that were provided by the park operator such as an access card to the park
  • take all their belongings with them, including their dwelling (if moveable) and personal items.

At the end of  the agreement, you should arrange for your bond to be refunded.

What to do if a resident has left property behind

If a resident has left belongings at a rented property there are certain steps to take before the park operator can dispose of them.

Perishables

Food can be disposed of immediately.

Personal documents

Photos, passports or other personal documents should be kept safe for at least 28 days. If they aren't reclaimed they should be destroyed in a secure manner.

Items of little value

Blankets, toys or other items of low value can be disposed of or donated immediately if their value is less than the cost to remove, store and sell them.

Valuable items

Antique furniture or other goods with a value greater than the cost to remove, store and sell them, must be stored for at least 28 days after written notice of valuable abandoned goods (147.3 KB PDF) has been given to the resident.

Abandoned dwellings

A caravan should be kept safely on the rented site and the park operator will need to apply to SACAT seeking an order for the vacant possession of the site. After this, the dwelling should be retained for at least 60 days after written notice of valuable abandoned goods (147.3 KB PDF) has been given to the owner of the dwelling.

If there's no forwarding address for the resident or you don't know of another person with interest in the property such as next of kin, this notice must be published in a newspaper circulated state-wide.

The owner of the abandoned property is liable to cover reasonable costs associated with reclaiming it. If the items are not reclaimed by the date specified on the notice they can be sold at public auction.

Any money made from the sale of the abandoned property can be used to cover the costs incurred for its removal, storage and sale, and for any other debt owed under the residential park agreement such as unpaid rent.

Any money left over should be either returned to the owner of the abandoned property or paid to Consumer and Business Services (CBS) to be held in a fund until it is claimed by the resident.

Problems with visitors

If a resident or their guest commits a serious act of violence or puts the safety of others at risk you can issue them a written notice of exclusion from the park (389.2 KB PDF). This notice states that the resident or their guest must immediately leave the park and can not re-enter until the date specified on the notice. The operator can make an urgent application to SACAT during this exclusion period to end the residential agreement.

If a resident has breached other conditions of the residential park agreement  The operator can end the agreement by giving them a written notice for a breach (403.1 KB PDF) and written notice for any further breaches (34.2 KB PDF).

If a visitor puts other people's safety at risk or they have caused, or are likely to cause, damage to property the park operator can issue a notice of exclusion of a visitor (34.2 KB PDF) as soon as possible to them. This means that the visitor must leave the park immediately and is not allowed to return until the date specified on the form.

If a visitor refuses to leave it is recommended that you contact the police on 131 444. A visitor refusing to comply with the notice can be fined.

The park operator can make an application to SACAT for a restraining order against a visitor if there is a risk of serious injury or damage occurring.

If a visitor breaches this restraining order it is considered an offence and can result in up to one year's imprisonment.

Residents refusing to leave

If a resident refuses to leave after the agreement has ended the operator can make an application to SACAT to request an order for eviction.

Managing disputes

If the park operator and a resident are having a dispute, there are a few options available to help resolve the problem.

  • Discuss the problem

    The park operator should discuss the problem with the resident to try to resolve the dispute. If an agreement cannot be reached, contact Consumer and Business Services (CBS) for advice.

  • Contact CBS

    CBS can provide free and independent advice, support and mediation to help you reach a mutually acceptable solution to the dispute.

  • Apply to SACAT

SACAT:

  • is an independent specialist tribunal that provides a prompt and informal way of determining disputes between park operator and residents.
  • may send your matter to mediation, where a mediator will help explore options for you to reach an agreement. A mediator has the power to make legally binding orders.
  • may also refer your matter to a hearing, they can make a decision and issue a binding order.

Contact CBS Tenancies

Email: ocbatenancyadvice@sa.gov.au

Phone: 131 882

In person:
91 Grenfell Street
Adelaide

Post:
GPO Box 965
Adelaide SA 5001


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Page last updated 12 August 2019

Provided by:
Attorney-General's Department
URL:
https://www.sa.gov.au/topics/housing/renting-and-letting/residential-park-tenancies/ending-a-residential-park-agreement
Last Updated:
12/08/19
Printed on:
20/09/19
Copyright statement:
SA.GOV.AU is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Licence. © Copyright 2019
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