From time to time disputes may arise between you and the park owner over matters such as park rules, rent, noise and repairs to name a few. Whenever possible it is best that you discuss the matter with the park owner first to see if the problem can be resolved.
Often the best way to solve a problem between you and the park owner is to discuss it in person and try to come to a solution you both agree to. Before you do this it is best to know your rights. In particular, you should carefully read the terms of your agreement.
If you are still unclear about them after reading the agreement and this information, you may get assistance from:
The Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal (Tribunal) is an independent decision making body which hears and decides on applications for orders from both residents and park owners. The Tribunal hears matters in a quick, cheap and relatively informal way.
During your hearing the Tribunal will try to get you and the park owner to settle your differences so that, if possible, you work out your own solution. If this cannot be done, the Tribunal will make a final decision (order) which is binding on both parties.
Among others, the Tribunal can make orders that:
The Tribunal can also hear disputes about the legal validity of existing park rules.
If you are in dispute with the park owner about electricity charges or electricity supply, you can also apply to have the matter resolved by the Energy and Water Ombudsman NSW (EWON).
The person who hears your case is called a Tribunal Member. You may be asked by the Tribunal Member hearing your case to talk to the park owner to try and reach a settlement before your hearing begins. The Tribunal may, with the consent of yourself and the park owner, refer the issue for alternative dispute resolution.
At the start of a Tribunal hearing, the Member will allow both of you, in turn, to tell your side of the story and present any supporting evidence. After all the information has been presented, the Member will make a decision, usually at the end of the hearing. In some cases the hearing may be adjourned (eg to allow more time for evidence to be presented) and a decision may be reserved (eg the Member needs more time to study all the evidence and information presented during the hearing). Any orders made by the Tribunal are legally binding on both parties.
Hearings are usually informal, however, formal hearings can be held on request. At formal hearings, witnesses can be called and evidence is given under oath.
If you break a term of your agreement, the park owner has the right to give you a termination notice. If the park owner does not want to end your tenancy they may apply to the Tribunal for an order that you stop breaking the term of the agreement.
If you have evidence that the park owner has broken one of the agreement terms, you should first try to resolve the matter by talking to the park owner. You should follow up your conversation in writing and clearly indicate any settlement you come to.
If this does not work, you could take the matter to the Park Liaison Committee if there is one, otherwise you may need to make an application to the Tribunal. The Tribunal has the power to order the owner to carry out the term/s of the agreement. Your other option is to serve a termination notice, however the circumstances must justify you terminating the agreement.
You should first approach the park owner and try to resolve the problem. If you come to a compromise you should check that the park owner has withdrawn the application. This is done by notifying the Registrar of the Tribunal in writing.
If you are unable to resolve the problem this way, you should prepare to attend the hearing.
Prepare for a Tribunal hearing by gathering as much information as you can which relates to the matter. You may need to present records, documents or statements to the Tribunal to help support your case. You should always take written proof of your tenancy such as a copy of your agreement, rent receipts etc.
It is important that you attend the hearing so you can present your case. If you cannot attend, you must inform the Tribunal Registry as soon as possible. This must be done in writing. Your letter should state the reason why and ask that the hearing be put back to a later date. You must have a very good reason to do this. If this is not accepted by the Registrar of the Tribunal or the Tribunal Member, the hearing may proceed without you and an order made in your absence.
Get a free copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader so you can access PDF versions of our information.