Residential park operator responsibilities
The responsibilities of a park operator include:
- providing details to be added to the residential parks register by completing the Register a residential park form
- having written agreements with residents
- providing residents with certain documents
- providing the property and all common areas in a clean and reasonable state
- allowing the resident to live in peace, comfort and privacy
- organising rubbish to be collected regularly
- maintaining and repairing the rented property and common areas
- maintaining trees so they aren't a risk to the safety of residents or their property
- providing and maintaining locks and other security devices to make sure the property is reasonably secure
- providing residents with 24-hour access to the park and rented property, including providing a key, opening device or information needed to access the park
- giving receipts and maintaining proper records for any money received from residents
- lodging bonds with Consumer and Business Services (CBS) within seven days of receipt.
- providing a place in the park, if reasonably possible, for residents committee meetings
- consulting with the residents' committee before changing the park rules or reviewing the safety evacuation plan for the park.
A park operator's right to enter a rented property
The right to enter a rented property depends on the residential park agreement and whether the resident is renting a site only or a site and dwelling.
In some cases, written notice of entry must be given to the resident. The amount of notice needed can vary depending on the situation, for example, no notice is required in an emergency.
Right to enter a property when a site and dwelling is rented
The park operator can only enter a rented site and dwelling:
- in the case of an emergency - no written notice is required
- to inspect the property - requires 7-14 days' written notice and can't be more frequent than once every three months
- to read the meters for services a resident is to pay for such as water meters
- to carry out necessary repairs at a reasonable time after giving at least 48 hours' written notice
- to collect rent no more than once a week at a time previously agreed to by the resident
- to show the rented property to prospective residents at a reasonable time on a reasonable number of occasions and only during the last 14 days of the agreement after giving reasonable notice
- to show the property to prospective buyers at a reasonable time on a reasonable number of occasions and after giving reasonable notice
- if they believe that the property has been abandoned
- at any time if the resident gives consent
- for any other purpose after giving the resident 7-14 days' written notice stating the purpose, date and time of the visit.
Right to enter a property when a site only is rented
The park operator can enter a rented site only:
- to avert danger to life or valuable property
- to read meters for services a resident is to pay for, for example, water
- to ensure compliance with statutory requirements relating to distances between structures at a reasonable time on a reasonable number of occasions
- to maintain the lawn or for other ground maintenance at a reasonable time on a reasonable number of occasions provided this has been included in the residential park agreement
- at any time with the resident's consent given immediately before entry.
They can't enter a rented property to take possession before or after the end of an agreement unless:
- it's been abandoned
- the resident has voluntarily given up possession
- an order of the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (SACAT) has been given.
Making and changing park rules
Park operators can make rules around the use, enjoyment and management of the park.
Rules may be about:
- the use of common areas and their operation, such as the laundry
- noise limits
- sporting and other recreational activities
- speed limits and parking for vehicles within the park
- disposal of rubbish
- maintenance standards for dwellings owned by residents
- landscaping and maintenance of sites for dwellings
- limiting who can become park residents to people over the age of 50
- guests and visitors of residents.
All park rules must be in writing and form part of a residential park agreement. Residents must obey park rules, or they will be in breach of their agreement.
The park operator must provide a copy of the park rules to each resident:
- for a site agreement, at least 14 days before an agreement is signed
- for a tenancy agreement, at the time a new agreement is made.
Changing the rules
Before changing the park rules, the park operator must consult with the park’s residents committee (if one exists) and consider their views.
Park rules can be changed after giving 14 days' written notice to all residents.
Residents can apply to SACAT if they believe a park rule is unreasonable. The majority of site residents living in the park must make a joint application.
A residents committee can be set up to represent the common interests of park residents.
There must be a residents committee if the park has at least 20 fixed term site agreements with residents.
If there are fewer agreements in place, a residents committee is still recommended.
If there's a residents committee, the park operator must consult the committee and consider its collective views when changing park rules and reviewing the safety evacuation plan each year.
Park operators must allow the use of a room for committee meetings.
After a matter has been considered by the residents committee, it can be brought to the park operator's attention. The park operator must consider the matter and provide a written response to the committee within one month, or a longer period if agreed.
Committee members must be elected by residents from at least five different sites in the park to form a residents committee.
All residents have a right to be a member of a residents committee, unless they're employed by the park operator to help with the management of the park.
If more than one group claims to be the residents committee for the park, SACAT can make a determination so it's clear which group is the official residents committee. Either party can apply to SACAT for an order of this kind.
Separate to this, residents may form other committees. For example, a social group to play cards each week, or a social committee to plan events and excursions for interested residents.