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Standard fact sheet.

Rent and charges 

Applicable in residential parks 

Besides rent, other fees and costs you may have to pay include visitors fees, electricity, gas, telephone and water usage.

Rent and rent receipts 

Rent is your main, regular charge. This amount should be agreed upon before your tenancy begins. It should be indicated in the space provided on the front page of your agreement.

IMPORTANT - The rent that you pay is a set amount, and should not vary when the number of people living in your home changes.

The park owner must always give you a rent receipt if you pay the rent in person.

Receipts for rent must show:

  • the name and address of the park/estate
  • your site number
  • the amount of rent paid
  • the period the rent covers
  • the date you paid rent, and
  • whether you are in front or behind in rent on that date.

The park owner must keep copies of these receipts for at least 12 months.

IMPORTANT - Unless you agree, the park owner must not use rent payments to cover other charges such as water or electricity charges.

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Rent increases 

If the park owner wants to increase your rent, you must first be given at least 60 days' notice in writing. The notice must show the new rent amount you must pay and the day you must begin to pay it. The letter should say something like this: '...the rent increase is payable from 30 June, 2010'.

For rent to increase during the fixed term period, there must be an additional term in your agreement showing the amount and date of the increase or the method of calculating it. The method must be clear and not something like 'according to prevailing market values'. Otherwise the rent increase can only start after the fixed term has ended. Under these circumstances, 60 days' written notice must still be provided. For more information, go to the Rent increases in residential parks page on the Fair Trading website.

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Challenging rent increases 

If you think that a proposed rent increase is too high, consider the following options:

  • Negotiate with the park owner to reduce or withdraw the increase before it begins. If the park owner agrees on a lower amount, it must be put in writing. You must pay the agreed lower amount of increase from the day the higher amount was due.
  • If this doesn't work you may apply to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal to have the proposed increase reduced or withdrawn.

As of 10 April 2006, there is no right of application if the increase does not exceed the CPI for the period involved (except in a situation where a service or facility has been withdrawn). You must make your application within 30 days of receiving the rent increase notice. You have to prove that the increase is too much. The Tribunal may consider a number of issues including rents for similar sites and dwellings in your park and other parks, the frequency and amount of past rent increases, and a general price index such as the CPI.

IMPORTANT - Applications to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal must be made within 30 days of receiving the rent increase notice.

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Visitors fees 

You can only be charged visitors fees when a friend or relative visits if all of the following circumstances apply:

  • your dwelling does not have its own shower and toilet
  • the park’s bathroom facilities are not operated by coin or another 'user pays' method
  • your guest stays overnight
  • the visitors fee is reasonable
  • the fee charged is no more than the amount specified in the agreement.

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Electricity and gas charges 

Your agreement will usually require you to pay the park owner for electricity or gas if your site has its own meter.

In the case of electricity, the amount you pay should not be more than the regulated retail tariff of the local standard retail supplier, as required under the Electricity Supply Act 1995 (section 72(3)(b)). If your electricity is provided by the park owner, you must be given regular electricity accounts showing the amount payable, the number of days in the period, meter readings and the charge per unit of electricity used.

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Electricity supply 

A standard applies under the Residential Parks Act 1998 covering arrangements where a park owner supplies electricity to residents. Titled Customer service standards for the supply of electricity to permanent residents of residential parks, the standard deals with general consumer rights, account information, availability charges and disconnection issues.

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Water usage 

You can only be charged for water usage if:

  • your dwelling or site has its own meter which meets the prescribed standard
  • there is no minimum charge payable by you.

You may also be asked to pay a proportion of the water availability charges. The maximum charge per year will be $50.

Residents do not have to pay excess water charges unless the site is metered directly by the relevant supply authority.

IMPORTANT - Residents who have to pay for water separately from their rent for the first time are able to apply to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal for a rent reduction.

The park owner must give you regular accounts setting out the meter readings, the amount of water used and the charge per unit of water.

IMPORTANT - A park owner cannot charge you for the installation costs of water, gas, or electricity meters. 

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