Understanding manufactured homes and residential parks
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A manufactured home is also known as a mobile home. It is a structure that:
- has the character of a dwelling house
- is designed to be moved from one position to another
- is not permanently attached to the land.
Manufactured homes do not include caravans or tents.
A converted caravan is a structure that was designed as a caravan but is no longer a caravan due to a structural addition or alteration.
A converted caravan is not considered a manufactured home, except when:
- there is a pre-existing site agreement between a converted caravan owner and a residential park owner
- a residential park owner and a converted caravan owner voluntarily enter into a site agreement.
Manufactured home owners
A person is considered a manufactured home owner if:
- the manufactured home is their principal place of residence
- they obtain an interest in a site agreement as a personal representative or beneficiary of an estate
- they allow a tenant to occupy the home temporarily (if permitted under the site agreement).
Manufactured homes are found in various types of residential parks:
- mixed-use – the park may have a mixture of manufactured homes, caravan sites, tents and holiday cabins, offering short and long-term accommodation
- purpose-built – the park is made up of manufactured homes and is often targeted at the over-50s age group
- tourist – the park may have a mixture of permanent caravan tenants and holiday cabins, and has both rented and owner-occupied manufactured homes.
A park owner can include the personal representative of the residential park, the beneficiary of the estate of a deceased park owner, or another successor in title.
Manufactured Homes (Residential Parks) Act 2003
Manufactured homes in residential parks are legislated by the Manufactured Homes (Residential Parks) Act 2003.
Action can be taken against residential park owners or managers who breach the Act. This action may include:
- an infringement notice
- entering into an undertaking (written agreement that you will not continue to repeat any act or omission against the Act).
There are also provisions within the Act to initiate enforcement under the Justices Act 1886. However, the proceeding must start within 1 year after the offence is committed or within 6 months after the offence comes to the complainant's knowledge, but within 2 years after the offence is committed.
The Housing Legislation (Building Better Futures) Amendment Act 2017 amends the Manufactured Homes (Residential Parks) Act 2003 to improve consumer protections and better manage the relationship between park operators and manufactured home owners.