Rent is the main cost payable on a regular basis by park residents. Rent may cover the cost of renting a dwelling on-site from the park owner or may be for renting a site for your manufactured home or moveable dwelling. Rents are usually based on the general market level of rents for comparable homes or sites. The amenities and services provided in a park also impact on rents.
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 and the date you must begin to pay it.
For rent to increase during the fixed term period of your agreement, there must be an additional term in the agreement showing the amount and date of the increase or the precise method of calculating it. You must also be given 60 days written notice before the increase takes effect.
The method of calculating the increase in the agreement must be clear so as to enable you to work out what the exact amount of the increase will be. Otherwise, the rent increase can only start after the fixed term has ended.
If you receive notice of a rent increase and believe it is too high, you should negotiate with the park owner. For example, there may be outstanding repairs or other matters that you think should be taken into account or the new rent may be a lot higher than other sites in the park or similar parks.
If the park owner agrees to a smaller increase, they need to give you a new notice but the increase will take effect on the same day as in the original notice.
If the park owner does not agree to a smaller increase, you can apply to the Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal for an order that the rent increase is excessive. The application must be made within 30 days of receiving the rent increase notice.
You will have to prove to the Tribunal that the rent increase is excessive, having regard to:
After making an application, the parties involved will receive a notice to attend the Tribunal at a particular time and place for conciliation, and if necessary, a hearing.
If conciliation is successful, the agreement reached between the parties will be documented as final and binding orders.
If conciliation is not successful, it will be up to you as the applicant to present your case to a Tribunal member in a hearing. You will need to have all of your evidence ready to present on the day.
More information about the Tribunal process is available in two fact sheets produced by the Tribunal, titled What happens at the Tribunal and Conciliation.
The Tribunal may:
If the Tribunal rules that a rent increase is excessive because the services, facilities or goods provided by the park owner have been reduced or withdrawn, it can:
In general, the Tribunal cannot make an order that a rent increase is excessive if the increase is less than the consumer price index (CPI) change since the last increase. However, this does not mean that any rent increase higher than the CPI will automatically be considered excessive. Market rents can depend on availability, demand, land value and other factors as well as the CPI.
The Tribunal can however consider an application for a rent increase of less than the CPI if there has also been a reduction in or withdrawal of goods, facilities or services by the park owner. In presenting your case, you would need to demonstrate to the Tribunal that the reduction or withdrawal is significant enough to impact on the level of rent you should be paying for your home or site.
For more information about living in a residential park, refer to Residential Park Living. For more information on preparing an application to the Tribunal, go to the Tribunal's website at www.cttt.nsw.gov.au
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