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Rent for caravan residents

Information about rent and other charges caravan residents may be asked to pay, rent increases and overdue rent.

Rent payments for caravan residents often consist of 2 fees:

  • the charge for the site in a caravan park
  • the hire charges for a caravan.

Residents are often asked to pay one fee for both, which is the rent payment.

Caravan park owners must provide a receipt for all rent payments if the payment is made in person or if the resident asks for a receipt. If a receipt is not needed, the owner must keep records of all payments for 12 months.

Park owners cannot ask a resident to pay in a way that will mean extra charges for the resident, with the exception of bank fees. So, they must not require a resident to pay through a third party where this will mean additional charges. The owner also cannot ask the resident to pay by backdated check.

See ss. 150, 150A, 151—Residential Tenancies Act 1997 (Vic)(opens in a new window)

Other charges

Caravan park residents may also have to pay a fee for:

  • gaining access to the caravan park (a one-off fee)
  • having a visitor stay in the caravan
  • the storage or sale of a caravan
  • utilities.

Caravan park owners (not caravan owners) must pay the installation and initial connection costs to a site for electricity, gas, bottled gas or water.

However, residents pay electricity, gas, bottled gas, water, drainage and sewerage fees if the site has a separate metre to the caravan park.

In some cases the caravan park owner will pay the bills and then charge the resident—however, they cannot charge more than the original metered bill.

The caravan park owner must not charge a fee for supplying a key.

See ss. 161, 162, 163, 164, 165, 166—Residential Tenancies Act 1997 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Paying rent (or hiring charge) in advance

The caravan park owner cannot charge more than 14 days rent in advance for renting the site.

The caravan owner cannot charge more than 28 days in advance for the hire of the caravan.

Penalty

The penalty for:

  • asking for too much rent in advance is 60 penalty units
  • failing to give a valid receipt for rent is 25 penalty units.

See ss. 150, 151—Residential Tenancies Act 1997 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Rent increases

Caravan park owners must give residents a notice of a proposed rent or hiring increase at least 60 days before any increase. Rent or hiring charges can only be increased once in any 12-month period and must be notified separately.

Any notice must include a statement that informs the resident that they can apply to the Director of Consumer Affairs for an investigation into the increase.

The caravan park or caravan owner must use Form 15, Notice of rent/hiring charge increase to resident/s of caravan park, which can be downloaded from the Consumer Affairs Victoria site.

See s. 152—Residential Tenancies Act 1997 (Vic)(opens in a new window) and Form 15—Schedule 1—Residential Tenancies Regulations 2021 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Complaints to the Director

A resident can complain to the director if they think the rent or hiring charge increase is too much. They must do this within 30 days of being notified of the increase. The direct will investigate as soon as possible and will give a written report to the caravan park or caravan owner.

If, after getting the director's report, the resident can apply to VCAT for an order that declares the rent and or hiring charge is excessive. The resident must pay the increased rent or 110% of the current rent pending the outcome of the VCAT decision.

See ss. 153, 154, 155, 156—Residential Tenancies Act 1997 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Decrease in rent

Rent must be lowerd if the services provided are reduced. For, example if a communal activity room is demolished pending reconstruction, the resident cannot be charged the same amount of rent.

See s. 159—Residential Tenancies Act 1997 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Overdue rent or hiring charge

Residents must pay the rent as agreed and on the due date for the length of the tenancy agreement.

If a resident is at least 7 days behind in rent, the caravan park owner can give the resident a notice to vacate a site. The notice must give the date thhe residental agreement is terminated. This date must not be less than 7 days after the date the notice is given. The resident should get legal advice quickly if they get a notice to vacate.

See ss. 206AU, 206AV, Part 4, Division 9—Residential Tenancies Act 1997 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

The process for regaining possession for overdue rent is the same as it is for renters.

See Eviction for overdue rent in the Residential tenancy topic.

The van park owner is not allowed to take the residents goods because there is money owed in rent.

Penalty

The penalty for taking residents goods to make up for outstanding rent or hiring charge is 60 penalty units

See s. 160—Residential Tenancies Act 1997 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Family or personal violence

A resident may apply to VCAT to have their residency agreement ended and a new agreement made if they are victims of family or protected persons under the personal safety intervention order if the person using the violence is living in the caravan or occupying the site. The applicant need not have their name on the agreement, but must be able to show that they can reasonably afford the hiring charge and rent.

Part 4, Subdivision 2—Residential Tenancies Act 1997(opens in a new window)

Note: These provisions are similar to those for renters, see Protections from violence when renting.

More information

Legislation

Residential Tenancies Act 1997 (Vic)

  • Part 4, Div 3—Rents and hiring charges
  • s. 151—receipts for rent or hiring charge
  • s. 154—application to VCAT about excessive rent or hiring charge
  • s. 157—additional rent
  • s. 158—additional hiring charge
  • s. 160—resident's goods not to be taken to make up for outstanding rent
  • s. 162—resident's liability for electricity, gas and water charges
  • s. 163—caravan park owner's liability for electricity, gas and water charges
  • s. 165—reimbursement
  • s. 166—owner must not seek overpayment for utility charges
  • s. 206AU—non-payment of rent
  • s. 206AV—non-payment of hiring charge

See Residential Tenancies Act 1997 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Residential Tenancies Regulations 2021 (Vic)

  • r. 50—prescribes form 15 to be used for notying resident of increased rent or hire charge
  • Schedule 1—forms
    • Form 15—Notice of proposed rent or hiring charge increase to resident of caravan park

See Residential Tenancies Regulations 2021 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Tenants Victoria

This specialist community legal centre provides information and advice for renters, rooming house residents, caravan park residents and people living in site parks.

See Tenants Victoria—Caravan parks(opens in a new window).

Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV)

Consumer Affairs Victoria produce information to assist people living in caravan parks.

See Consumer Affairs Victoria—Caravan parks(opens in a new window).

The site also has copies of relevant forms for caravan park residents and owners of caravans or caravan parks.

  • Notice of rent/hiring charge increase to resident/s of caravan park

Scroll to Renting>Caravan park forms—Consumer Affairs Victoria—Forms and publications(opens in a new window).

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