New laws aimed at better supporting people who live in or own a residential park have come into effect today.
Attorney-General, Vickie Chapman said the new legislation provides stronger protections for people who rent a site but provide their own dwelling, with even greater protections now in place for long-term park residents, who have lived there for 5 years or more.
“Long-term residents are now protected from having their site agreements terminated without specific grounds,” Ms Chapman said.
“Previously, park owners had a lot of scope to end an agreement with long-term residents, leaving many residents in the lurch.
“These laws aim to protect those residents who have invested a lot of time and money into their homes and mean that park owners must provide advanced warning if they intend to redevelop or close the park.
“A lot of people who live in residential parks, are retirees and low-income South Australians, and I’m pleased to say they can now rest assured their homes will be better protected under the law.
“We’re also ensuring the safety of residents by making it mandatory for each park to have a safety evacuation plan, reviewed at least once a year.”
Ms Chapman said the changes also clarified the responsibilities of both park owners and residents while supporting the development and future growth of parks in South Australia.
“These new laws help to facilitate better communication and information sharing between park owners and residents – there are now legal requirements to provide certain documents within clear timeframes,” she said.
“There is also a requirement for larger parks to have a residents committee, where residents collaboratively represent the interests of the park, and park owners are required to respond to any matters raised within strict timeframes.
“Wherever possible, park owners and residents should try to resolve disputes between themselves. But in circumstances where this doesn’t happen, both park owners and residents can contact the South Australian Civil Administration Tribunal (SACAT) for a determination.
“Ultimately we want these laws to encourage ongoing conversations between owners and residents, and to continue building strong community ties within residential parks across the state.”
To help better inform potential park residents, Consumer and Business Services is establishing an online register, listing the details of all residential parks in South Australia. The Commissioner may also publish any disciplinary action taken against park owners.
“By making these details public, there’s greater transparency for residents and those considering the move into a residential park,” she said.
Visit the CBS website to see South Australia’s residential park details: www.cbs.sa.gov.au