Renting a site in a residential park

Residential parks include both mixed-use caravan parks and dedicated residential parks. This page is about renting a site where you own the dwelling or have your own caravan to move there.

When you rent a site you are a resident and the landlord is the park operator.

You will need to enter into a residential park site agreement with the park operator.

Your agreement may be for a fixed term or a periodic tenancy.

You have more protections if your agreement is for 5 years or more.

The Guide for residents – who rent only a site (2.5 MB PDF) provides more information about resident's rights and responsibilities.

Before an agreement is made

The park operator must provide certain documents before a new agreement is made or an existing agreement is reviewed.

These documents must  be given at least 14 days before a resident signs an agreement:

The resident can sign an agreement sooner than 14 days if:

  • the agreement is for a short term (90 days or less), and
  • they sign a waiver confirming it is their own choice to sign up sooner.

Fixed term agreements

Fixed term agreements are for a specific term, for example, 12 months, and include the date the agreement ends. The date can only be changed if the park operator and resident agree.

After an agreement is made

The resident must be given:

  • A copy of the agreement, including a copy of the park rules and a date when the agreement will be reviewed.
  • Instructions for using any appliance or device as part of the rented or common areas.

Rent can't be increased during a fixed term agreement unless a condition is included in the agreement allowing for an increase.

Moving out before the end of the agreement

If the resident moves out before the end of the agreement, they may need to pay for the costs involved in finding a new resident and loss of rent.

Ending a residential park agreement

Periodic agreements

Periodic agreements do not have an end date. They continue until either the resident or park operator gives written notice to end the agreement.

After an agreement is made

The resident must be given:

  • A copy of the agreement, including a copy of the park rules and a date when the agreement will be reviewed.
  • Instructions for using any appliance or device as part of the rented or common areas.

Breaching an agreement

The park operator may give a resident a termination notice if they breach their agreement. The notice will give a deadline for when the resident must have the problem fixed, otherwise, their agreement will end.

The resident will need to move out of the park by the date stated on the notice. Otherwise, the park operator can apply to the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (SACAT) for an ‘order of possession’.

Park rules

It's a condition of a residential park site agreement that you obey all of the park rules.

Park rules can cover things such as:

  • the use of common areas - such as the laundry
  • parking
  • rubbish disposal
  • pets
  • sub-letting
  • sporting and other recreational activities.

The prospective resident should receive a copy of the rules at least 14 days before they sign an agreement to live in the park.

Changing the rules

Before changing the park rules, the operator must consult with the park’s residents committee (if there is one) and consider their views. Park rules can be changed after the park operator gives 14 days’ written notice to all residents.

If you think a rule is unreasonable, you can apply to SACAT to have the rule changed or removed. A majority of site residents living in the park must make a joint application.

Buying or selling a dwelling

Buying an existing dwelling

If you want to buy an existing dwelling in the park, ask the park operator for the required documents (see the section above ‘Before an agreement is made’). The park operator must give these to you within seven days of your request.

If the site condition report or disclosure document have not been updated for some time, you may wish to ask the park operator to update the information.

Selling a dwelling

If a dwelling is portable, such as a caravan, the resident may sell it and buy a new one, without the park operator’s permission.

If the dwelling is a more permanent structure on the site and cannot be removed, the resident must notify the park operator in writing of their intention to sell the dwelling and transfer their agreement to the buyer. The park operator cannot unreasonably refuse to assign a site agreement.

If a resident dies, and their personal representative or anyone who inherits the property decides to sell the dwelling, they must inform the park operator and give them first option to purchase the dwelling at market value. If no agreement to purchase is reached within 28 days, the dwelling may be offered for sale to another person.

Right of entry

The park operator can only enter a rented site:

  • to prevent danger to life or valuable property
  • to read the meter if the resident is required to pay for certain charges such as water
  • to check that legal requirements are met for instance, distances between structures on neighbouring sites and to remove hazardous materials (entry must be at a reasonable time and on a reasonable number of occasions)
  • to maintain the lawn and grounds, if this is included in the agreement (entry must be at a reasonable time and on a reasonable number of occasions)
  • at any time with the resident's consent.

The operator does not have the right to enter a dwelling, unless the resident gives permission.

Repairs and maintenance

If damage occurs to a rented site or common areas, let the park operator know as soon as possible.

If you cause or allow damage to occur, it is your responsibility to repair it.

If repairs are needed due to normal wear and tear or circumstances beyond your control such as a severe storm, it is the park operator’s responsibility.

If you have been unable to contact the park operator, or if nothing has been done after letting the park operator know there is a problem, then you can do either of these:

  • have emergency repairs carried out by a licensed tradesperson - you must get a written report from the tradesperson who does the work.
  • apply to SACAT for the repairs to be carried out.

Residents committee

A residents committee represents the common interest of park residents.

If there are at least 20 fixed term site agreements in the park, there must be a residents committee. If there are fewer agreements, a residents committee is still recommended.

The park operator must consult the residents' committee and consider its views when changing park rules and reviewing the safety evacuation plan. The park operator must allow the use of a room for committee meetings.

The committee can advise and consult with the park operator about:

  • changes to park rules
  • guidelines for residents behaviour
  • the natural environment and amenities of the park
  • safety matters such as lighting and fencing within the park.

After a matter has been considered by the committee, it can be brought to the park operator’s attention. The operator must consider the matter and provide a written response to the committee within one month, or a longer period if agreed by the committee.

Committee members

Committee members must be elected by residents from at least five different sites in the park. Any resident can be a committee member unless they are employed by the park operator to help manage the park.

Committee confusion

If more than one group claims to be the park’s residents committee, either the park operator or a park resident can apply to SACAT so it is clear which group is the official residents' committee.

Tips to help things run smoothly.

Have a set of written rules (196.0 KB PDF).

Decide who can attend committee meetings – generally, only committee members should attend, unless guest speakers, friends or family members are invited by the committee to attend.

Appoint residents to be the chairperson and secretary to ensure that accurate records are kept and that meetings are run well.

Safety evacuation plan

There must be a safety evacuation plan for the park. The plan must be reviewed at least once a year. The park operator must make the plan available to view it or give the resident a copy.

Contact CBS Tenancies

Email: ocbatenancyadvice@sa.gov.au

Phone: 131 882

In person:
91 Grenfell Street
Adelaide

Post:
GPO Box 965
Adelaide SA 5001


Page last updated 27 August 2019

Provided by:
Government of South Australia
URL:
https://www.sa.gov.au/topics/housing/renting-and-letting/residential-park-tenancies/renting-a-site
Last Updated:
27/08/19
Printed on:
18/10/19
Copyright statement:
SA.GOV.AU is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Licence. © Copyright 2019
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