Running a residential park
A residential park can have 1 home owners' committee. The committee is formed by an election organised by home owners of the park.
If the home owners' committee at your park sends you a complaint or proposal, you must respond in writing to the committee within 21 days of receiving the written notice.
Find out more about home owners committees in residential parks.
As the residential park owner, you set the rent for each park site and must ensure rent details are clearly stated in the site agreement.
To increase or decrease rents, you must follow the process below as outlined in the Manufactured Homes (Residential Parks) Act 2003.
Rent can be paid by one of the following approved methods, at a place that must be stated in the site agreement.
- deposit to a financial institution account nominated by you
- credit card
- deduction from pay, pension or other benefit
- another method agreed on between the parties.
If a home owner pays by cash you must give them a rent receipt. You must also provide a rent receipt if the home owner requests one when paying by cheque.
If an electronic payment is made, you must give a site rent record within 7 days of a home owner's request.
Increasing site rent
When you enter into a site agreement, make sure you include the rent amount and the method of increasing the rent.
You can only increase the rent if:
- the home owner agrees to a 'market review of the site rent'
- this type of increase is provided for in the site agreement
- you apply to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) for an order increasing the site rent outside the terms of the site agreement. The increase may be needed to cover significant increases in operational costs, unforeseen significant repair costs and significant facility upgrades.
A 'market review of the site rent' includes comparing the home owner's rent with rent paid in other residential parks, or in other residential accommodation. You may, without the consent of the seller or buyer, include a market review clause in an existing site agreement if and when the current home owner sells their home.
You must not threaten, intimidate or pressure a home owner into agreeing to a proposed increase in site rent. You also must not try and prevent a home owner from making an application to QCAT seeking a review of the site rent.
Increases as agreed to in a site agreement
If you wish to increase the rent as stated in the site agreement, you must notify the home owner in writing at least 28 days before the increase is due.
The notice must state:
- the increased rent amount
- the date the home owner must pay the increase
- how you calculated the increase
- the procedure for home owners to follow if they think the increase is too much, including how to apply to QCAT for an order.
Increases outside the terms of a site agreement
If you wish to increase the rent outside of the site agreement terms, you must notify the home owner in writing at least 2 months before the proposed increase date.
The notice must state:
- the proposed increase amount
- the proposed date the homeowner is to start paying the increase
- the reason for the increase
- that the home owner must respond in writing within 28 days of receiving the notice indicating whether they agree or disagree with the proposed increase.
Within 28 days of receiving a notice of a rent increase, the home owner must give you a written response stating if they agree or disagree to the proposed increase.
If they do not agree to the proposed increase, you can apply to QCAT for an order related to the proposed increase.
QCAT may reduce, set aside or confirm the proposed increase, or make other orders.
Decreasing site rent
The home owner can apply to QCAT seeking a reduction in their rent when:
- the quality of your residential park's common areas and shared (communal) facilities have decreased substantially
- you remove a shared (communal) facility or service that you provided when the site agreement started
- a shared (communal) facility or service as described in advertising, or in another document made available to the home owner before they entered the site agreement, has not been provided in the residential park.
You may reduce a home owner's rent if:
- a utility charge included in the rent becomes separately metered and the home owner has to pay separately for the use of the utility
- a utility stops being available to the home owner through no fault of their own.
In most cases, utilities in residential parks are not included in the site rent. These are generally paid for separately by the home owner to the park owner.
You cannot charge more for the supply of a utility to residents than the actual cost charged to you by your supply authority.
In the case of electricity supply, only the actual cost of the electricity can be passed on to the home owner and no extra fees or charges can be added to their electricity bill. Park owners who charge in excess of the cost of a home owner's supplied electricity may be in breach of the Manufactured Homes (Residential Parks) Act 2003 and penalties may apply.
You can include a component cost in the site rent to cover the cost of providing electricity and maintaining the electricity network or other infrastructure charges. This should be explained in the site agreement.