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Land lease community rules  

Local rules can play an important role in supporting a happy and harmonious lifestyle within a land lease community.

What can community rules be about? 

The operator can make community rules about anything to do with the use, enjoyment, control and management of the community. There is no longer a list limiting what rules a community can have.

By law, community rules must:

  • be fair, reasonable and clearly expressed
  • apply and be enforced equally to people within the community
  • not conflict with the Residential (Land Lease) Community laws or any other laws
  • not invalidate anything that has already occurred. For example, if a community rule is brought in banning pets this will not apply to any pets already in the community at the time the rule is made.

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Model community rules 

We have a set of model community rules that can be adopted by a community. Download a copy of the Model community rules in PDF format (size: 77kb) from the Forms page of the Fair Trading website.

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Who decides on the community rules? 

Community rules are put in place by the operator and are not set out under the laws. It is not compulsory to have community rules. They are similar to by-laws in a strata scheme. Community rules do not form part of your agreement and should be about matters not already covered by your agreement. If they conflict with anything in your agreement, then your agreement is what applies.

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How are community rules made or amended? 

The operator must give each resident at least 30 days’ notice in writing before introducing a new rule or changing or removing an existing rule. If the community has a residents committee, it must be advised and consulted about the proposed change in the rules before notice is given to each resident. If this process is not followed, the change will have no legal effect. Residents are not required to vote on or agree to a change in the community rules. However, it is a good idea for an operator to consider the views of the residents.

If a new land lease community is being established, the operator can make a set of rules before signing up any residents. Otherwise the operator must follow the process set out above to change any rules.

To suggest changes to the community rules, you should raise this with your residents committee (if you have one) or with the operator.

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Who do the community rules apply to? 

Community rules apply to:

  • all residents (including home owners and tenants)
  • any people living with you
  • the operator
  • any employees of the operator
  • the community owner
  • any people you or the operator invite into the community (such as guests or tradespeople).

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Prohibited community rules  

A community rule cannot be made requiring a home owner to replace or remove an older home or to make any upgrades or improvements to a home unless for health or safety reasons.

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What happens if I break a community rule? 

If the operator believes you have broken a community rule, you may be issued with a written notice to remedy the breach within a period of at least 30 days. The Notice to comply with community rules form in PDF format (size: 13kb) can be downloaded from the Forms page of the Fair Trading website.

If you fail to remedy the breach in that time, the operator can then apply to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (the Tribunal) within 30 days for an order. The Tribunal has the power to:

  • order that you comply with the rule 
  • if the Tribunal thinks that the breach is sufficient to justify, terminate your site agreement or tenancy agreement.

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What will the Tribunal consider if a rule is breached? 

If an application is made to the Tribunal it may consider anything relevant to the particular case, such as:

  • the nature of the breach
  • any previous breaches of the rules
  • any steps taken to remedy the breach
  • action taken by the operator about the breach
  • any relevant previous history regarding the matter
  • whether the community rule is being enforced and interpreted consistently and fairly.

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What if I see someone else breaking the rules? 

If you think somebody is breaching the rules, discuss it with the person directly or raise your concerns with the operator and ask them to take action. If the breach continues you may give a formal written notice to the operator asking them to take action over the breach within at least 30 days. The Notice to comply with community rules form in PDF format (size: 13kb) can be downloaded from the Forms page of the Fair Trading website.

If you believe after that time period that the breach continues, the next step is to apply to the Tribunal within 30 days for an order. The Tribunal can make any order it feels appropriate in the circumstances, such as requiring the operator to ensure the person concerned complies with the rule.

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Can I dispute a community rule? 

Yes. You can apply to the Tribunal if you believe a community rule does not comply with the Residential (Land Lease) Community laws or if you believe the procedure for making or changing a rule was not followed correctly. The Tribunal has the power to change or strike out the rule if it agrees with you.


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