Renting a site or dwelling in a residential park
Residential parks include mobile home parks, residential villages and caravan parks. A site or a site with a dwelling can be rented as a person’s regular home. Dwellings can be fixed or mobile and include:
- motor homes
- transportable homes
Tenants are called residents, and the landlord is the park operator.
Living in a residential park means having some of the same rights and responsibilities as living in other private rental properties. The guide for residents provides more information about these rights and responsibilities.
There are two main types of residential park agreements, depending on whether you rent a dwelling and site (tenancy agreement) or rent only a site and own your own dwelling (site agreement).
These agreements may be for a fixed term or a periodic tenancy.
Fixed term agreements
Fixed term agreements are for a specific term, 12 months for example, and include the date the agreement ends. The date can only be changed if the park owner and resident agree.
- Fixed term site and dwelling agreement
- Fixed term site only agreement
- Short fixed term agreement (Form H)
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 a 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.
Periodic agreements do not have a date that the tenancy ends. They continue until either the resident or park owner gives written notice to end the agreement.
All residents need to follow park rules which are set by the park operator. Residents should receive a copy of these rules when they move in.
Park rules can cover:
- the use of common areas – eg laundry, bathroom facilities
- rubbish disposal
- age limit of residents – above 50 years old
- recreational activities.
Residents need to have 14 days’ written notice of changes to park rules.
South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (SACAT) can change unreasonable park rules. This type of request to SACAT must start with a group application by the majority of residents.
A residents committee can be set up to look after the residents interests. Members must be residents and include at least five people who rent different sites as their normal home. Park operators must discuss changes to the park rules with the committee.
Residents who work at the park cannot be members of the committee.
If possible, a room needs to be allocated by the park operator for committee meetings.
Subletting a site in a residential park
Residents can sublet if:
- it's permitted under the park rules and the lease agreement
- the park operator has given written consent
- they have an agreement with the park operator to manage the sub-tenancy.
The park operator can make a park rule that subletting is not permitted.
Assigning a lease agreement
Normally, the park operator starts a new lease agreement when someone buys a dwelling with an existing lease. Another option is to ‘assign the lease’ – the resident arranges for the purchaser to take over the existing lease. Written permission from the park operator is needed - Written notice requesting to assign an agreement .
A park operator must give a good reason if they won’t allow a resident to assign a lease. Residents can apply to SACAT to get permission if they feel a park operator is refusing without a good reason.
When the dwelling can’t be lived in
When a dwelling can’t be lived in due to something outside of the resident’s or park operator’s control it's called a frustrated agreement. Some reasons for a frustrated agreement could include:
- the property has been destroyed by fire
- the council has re-zoned the area
- the land is being claimed by government to build a highway.
Residents or park operators can give written notice and include the date they will move out by completing the relevant form below:
Charges for utilities and services
Individually metered sites
Residents are usually charged separately for utilities such as gas, water and electricity. The items need to be listed in the lease agreement. Residents can ask the park operator to provide details of the charges, including:
- time periods of the bill
- usage amounts
- list showing the amounts charged.
If this information isn’t provided when the resident asks for it, they don't have to pay the charges.
Sites on a shared meter
Charges can be included in the rent and cannot be billed separately with the exception of bottled gas supplied by the park operator.
Fees for overnight visitors
Overnight visitors may be charged a fee. The amount needs to be written on the lease agreement or in the park rules.