Stronger protections for residential parks residents

People who live in residential parks will have greater protections available to them under legislation that has now passed State Parliament.

Attorney-General, Vickie Chapman, said the laws would give greater certainty to the estimated 2600 people currently living in residential parks.

“When a residential park closes, or when an owner seeks to end an agreement, residents can feel cheated – given the time and money they often invest in their homes,” Ms Chapman said.

“These laws ensure there are strict rules in place, should a park owner seek to terminate a site agreement with a long-term resident.

“If a person has been living in a park for more than five years or has signed an agreement for five years or more, the park owner will need to have a specific ground – for example, misconduct by the resident or a breach of an agreement –before an agreement can be terminated.”

In addition, the new laws will also provide greater clarity for park owners around their rights and responsibilities and provide them with increased security of income for site rentals for agreed periods.

Attorney-General Chapman said the new laws also give Consumer and Business Services the ability to publish details of any disciplinary action taken against owners of residential parks, with owners also required to ensure emergency evacuation plans are not only in place but also updated annually.

“A key aspect of the new laws is an attempt to facilitate greater communication between park owners and residents, to help resolve disputes before they escalate,” Ms Chapman said.

“In addition, it’s an acknowledgement of the investment that long-term residents have made in their homes, and the fact that they deserve to have a greater level of certainty.”

Collectively, the Government’s Bill strikes a fair balance between protecting the rights of residents and the investment in their homes, and the interests of park owners to support the growth of their parks.