Residential park owners
Your main obligations to residents
Residential park owners have certain obligations under legislation to their residents. Listed below are the main obligations under the Residential Parks Act 1998. It pays for both owners and residents to know their rights and obligations, in order to be able to enjoy a more harmonious lifestyle in residential parks.
Register of residential parks
Under the Residential Parks Act 1998, residential parks in New South Wales must register their details with NSW Fair Trading. Residential park owners are also required, within 30 days, to advise of changes to:
• park name
• park owner/s
• park land owner/s
• park manager
• park manager contact details
• closure or opening of the park
• a significant change in the number of sites used for permanent occupancy at the park. A significant change occurs if the number of sites used for permanent occupation at the park increases or decreases by 10% or 10 during any calendar year (whichever is the greater) – calculated in reference to the number of permanent occupancy sites at the residential park as last notified.
To register a residential park, notify Fair Trading of a change of details or to declare that you are not operating as a residential park please download the relevant form below in PDF format:
• Residential Parks Registration Form (size: 31kb)
• Declaration Form: not operating a residential park (size: 18kb)
• Change in Residential Park details form (size: 36kb).
Completed and signed forms can be returned:
• by fax to (02) 9338 8918
• as a scanned attachment to an email addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org
• by post to:
Register of Parks
NSW Fair Trading
PO Box 972
PARRAMATTA NSW 2124
Before the tenancy begins
A park owner must:
- give the resident a copy of the mandatory information about the park (questions listed below)
- give the resident a statement of the cost of preparation of the residential tenancy agreement (maximum $15) and any other charges payable by the resident
- give the resident an advance copy of the tenancy agreement the parties will be entering into
- give the resident a copy of the park rules
- ensure that the site/dwelling can legally be used as a residence
- ensure that the site/dwelling is vacant when the resident begins the tenancy
- give copies of keys or opening devices to the resident to allow entry to the park
- send any bond taken from the resident to NSW Fair Trading within ten working days.
After the tenancy has begun
The park owner must:
- provide a signed copy of the tenancy agreement to the resident
- issue receipts when rent is paid and include the following details:
- name and address of park and site number
- whether the resident is in debit or credit
- the period covered by the payment
- the date the rent is received
- the amount of rent paid
- keep accurate rent records
- give at least 60 days written notice of any impending rent increase
- give 60 days notice of changes to park rules (seven days if the rule affects the use of recreational facilities)
- establish a park liaison committee if there are 20 or more sites occupied by permanent residents and the majority of residents want a committee
- provide and maintain a notice board
- ensure that trees are maintained so safety of residents and dwellings is protected
- notify residents if the park ownership or management changes
- take reasonable steps to ensure emergency service vehicles have access to the park at all times.
The park owner must not:
- mislead residents with any advertising about the park or interfere or allow interference in the peace, comfort and privacy of the resident
- apply rent payments to other charges (eg. water, gas and electricity) unless the tenancy agreement specifically allows it
- demand or require more than two weeks’ rent in advance if the rent is $300 per week or less
- demand a rental bond for a site that would exceed four weeks' rent
- require residents to make payments by post-dated cheques
- take possession of a site or dwelling which a resident has a tenancy over without first obtaining either a Court Order or Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal Order
- interfere in the sale of homes on-site by residents unless the tenancy agreement prevents or restricts sale on-site or the park is located on a Crown Reserve
- interfere with a resident's mail facilities without the prior consent of the resident
- unreasonably interfere with a resident's right to read the notice board or to place notices on it.
The following questions and their answers must be provided to prospective residents before a residential tenancy agreement is entered into:
- What restrictions are there on a resident in the use of his or her premises and the park facilities
- having someone else live in the premises
- having visitors, including overnight or short stay guests
- car parking
- any other matter?
- Is there any restriction on the type of moveable dwelling allowed at the park?
- What can the resident put on the residential site besides the moveable dwelling (such as a carport or garden shed)? The answer to this should take into account:
- what the park owner will permit
- what the local council will permit
- what regulations made under the Local Government Act 1993 will permit
- If the park is sold, what protection does a resident have against a loss of rights?
- Are residents liable for any additional or extraordinary charges (other than rent) and if so, for what purposes?
- Are there any restrictions on the resident regarding the sale of the residents’ moveable dwelling?
- Is the park currently authorised under the Local Government Act 1993 and if so, are there any restrictions?
- What facilities are there available for delivery of mail to the park residents?
- Are there restrictions on the use of common facilities? If so, what hours are the facilities available and who may use the facilities? Are there any other restrictions on the use of these facilities?
- Is the park owner aware of any arrangement or restriction on the resident's or the park owner's use of the residential site or the residential park, now or in the future?
- What is the size of the relevant residential site?
- Has any development application been made during the past five years under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 for the redevelopment of the park, or for a change of use of the land on which the park is situated?
- Have notices of termination been given to any residents during the past 12 months in connection with any proposed redevelopment of the park, or any proposed change of use of the land on which the park is situated?
- Would the park owner be prepared to buy the resident's moveable dwelling if the resident were to decide to live elsewhere?
- Is the park situated within a Crown Reserve, or a National Parks and Wildlife Reserve?
- What arrangements exist for the supply of energy to the residential site and at what cost to the resident will energy be supplied?
Safety and security
Most building fire fatalities occur while people are asleep. A smoke alarm is an effective early warning device designed to detect smoke and alert building occupants to the presence of a fire. Installed in the correct location, it increases the time available for safe escape.
Since 2006 when the Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Smoke Alarms) Regulation 2006 came into effect, smoke alarms have been mandatory in all homes and other shared accommodation buildings where people sleep.
The Smoke Alarms Regulation specifies which types of buildings need smoke alarms installed, the types of alarms, where they are to be located and other matters. For more information visit the Smoke alarm page on the Fire and Rescue NSW website or the Smoke alarm page on the Department of Planning website.
Responsibilities of park owners and residents under the Residential Parks Regulation are:
- Park owners who rent out on-site accommodation under tenancy agreements are responsible for installing smoke alarms in rented premises.
- Park owners have the right of access to rented premises to fit smoke alarms after giving the tenant at least 2 days notice.
- Neither the park owner nor the resident is, except with reasonable excuse, permitted to remove or interfere with the operation of a smoke alarm fitted in the rented premises.
- Where a smoke alarm is of the type that has a replaceable battery, the park owner must put a new battery in at the commencement of a tenancy.
- After the tenancy begins, the resident is responsible for replacing the battery if needed. However, if the resident is physically unable to change the battery the resident should notify the park owner as soon as practicable after becoming aware of the need for it to be replaced.
- The resident is not responsible for the replacement of batteries in 'hard-wired' smoke alarm systems that have battery back-up. This is the responsibility of the park owner.
- The condition report section of the tenancy agreement must include a specific reference to smoke alarms so that residents and park owners are able to note and comment on the presence of smoke alarms at the beginning and end of the tenancy.
The above obligations on park owners equally apply to residents who sub-let their moveable dwellings.
If your residential park has a swimming pool you need to ensure that the pool is fenced and meets pool fencing requirements. Please visit the Pool fencing requirements page for further information.
Additionally, in 2012 a number of amendments were made to the Swimming Pools Act 1992 to improve the safety of children around swimming pools in NSW. These changes provide that from 29 April 2013, pool owners register their swimming pool with the Division of Local Government. Registration must be done by 29 October 2013.
From 29 April 2014, all multi occupancy developments will require a valid compliance certificate. You should ensure that your pool complies with these new requirements. Please visit the Swimming pools page for further information.