Resolving a dispute with a residential park operator
If you're having problems with the park operator it could be helpful to have a one-on-one discussion with them in a calm and courteous manner.
If an agreement can't be reached, independent advice and information is available from Consumer and Business Services (CBS). CBS can provide free impartial advice on how to manage a dispute and can recommend other options to help resolve the issue.
Raise the matter with the residents committee
Other residents could have similar concerns. If the committee raises an issue with the park operator, the operator must consider the matter and provide a written response to the committee within one month, or a longer period that's agreed by the committee.
If the dispute can't be resolved, either party can apply to South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (SACAT) for a determination.
Park operators breaching the residential park agreement
If the park operator breaches the conditions of the residential park agreement a resident can take steps to stop the operator's behaviour or end their agreement.
Park operators are breaching a residential park agreement if they:
- interfere with a resident's peace, comfort or privacy - for example don't give appropriate notice before entering the rented property, including gardens, yards or sheds included in the residential park agreement
- don't maintain the rented property to a reasonable standard
- don't make necessary repairs after being notified
- try to change, add or remove conditions to the residential park agreement without the resident's consent.
If a park operator breaches the conditions of the residential park agreement, the resident can give the park operator written notice to remedy breach of agreement . This form gives the park operator at least 14 days to remedy the breach. If the breach isn't remedied the form gives the park operator notice that the resident will leave the property before the end of the next day.
This is a legal notice to the park operator that states if the breach isn't remedied the agreement will legally end and the resident will move out. Before giving this notice a resident must be prepared to move out on the date stated in the form if the park operator doesn't remedy the breach.
If the park operator has breached the same agreement condition at least twice before, and has been issued a notice to remedy the breach of agreement on both occasions, a resident can give them written notice of termination for successive breaches on the third occasion. This form gives the park operator a minimum of 14 days written notice that the resident will be ending the agreement and moving out.
Park operators refusing to carry out repairs
If a resident verbally notifies the park operator of a necessary repairs and they refuse or fail to fix them, the resident can put the request in writing and include:
- details of the repairs needed
- a date they want the repairs completed by
- the action they will take if the repairs aren't completed in time, for example arrange for a contractor to carry out the repairs and send an itemised bill to the park operator.
If the park operator continues to refuse to carry out the repairs the resident can apply to SACAT who can order the park operator carry out the repairs.
Problems with bond and rent
A park operator can claim all or part of the bond at the end of a rental agreement.
The resident can dispute a claim on the bond if they believe it's unfair or incorrect.
If a resident believes a rent increase is excessive they can apply to SACAT within 30 days of receiving notice of the increase. If SACAT find the rent is excessive they can make a legal order determining the amount of rent and the length of time it must remain at that amount.
Rent can be reduced at any time with the park operator's consent. This can be on a temporary basis - make sure the park operator specifies the date the rent will revert back to the original amount.