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Starting a caravan park residency

Who is classed as a caravan park resident and what is a residency agreement.

The Residential Tenancies Act 1997 (Vic)(opens in a new window) sets out the rights and duties of caravan park owners and residents when starting a caravan park residency.

On this page:

Responsibilities of caravan park owners or managers

Documents that must be given

How to become a resident

A caravan park owner or manager must give notice in a prescribed form to a person who proposes to occupy a site in a caravan park as their main resident that:

  • they may enter into a written agreement with the caravan park owner to become a resident of the caravan park
  • if they decide not to enter into the agreement, they become a resident of the park after occupying the site for at least 60 days.

Prescribed information is set out in Form 12 of Schedule 1—Residential Tenancies Regulations 2021 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

The maximum penalty for failing to give this information is 25 penalty units. This matter may be dealt with as in infringement penalty. If this is the case, the fine will be 5 penalty units.

See s. 145—Residential Tenancies Act 1997 (Vic)(opens in a new window) and item 50—schedule 5—Residential Tenancies Regulations 2021 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Information about discrimination

Any agreement made must include information about discrimination what discrimination is, that discrimination is unlawful, some examples of what might be discriminatory in relation to caravan parks and where to get help.

This is set out in Form 13 of Schedule 1—Residential Tenancies Regulations 2021 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

The Act prohibits discrimination and refers to s. 52 Equal Opportunity Act 2010, which prohibits discrimination in offering to provide accommodation based on a protected attribute.

A person who suffered a loss because of discrimination may apply to VCAT for compensation.

See ss. 145A, 145B, 210AA—Residential Tenancies Act 1997 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Restrictions on the information that can be asked

A caravan park owner or caravan owner or their agent must not ask a prospective resident:

  • whether or not they have previously taken legal action, or have been a respondent to legal action, or had a dispute with an accommodation provider
  • for their rental bond history
  • anything relating to a protected attribute (or example their marital status or ethnicity).

Any personal information provided must not be used for anything but assessing a person's suitability or other purpose under the Act.

See ss. 145C, 145D—Residential Tenancies Act 1997 (Vic)(opens in a new window) and r. 56—Residential Tenancies Regulations 2021 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Information that must be disclosed to the prospective resident

Before a resident enters an agreement the caravan park owner must tell them in relation to the caravan park:

  • if they are planning to sell the caravan park
  • the nature of their interest in land and limitation on their ability to grant interests in the land to the resident (if not to freehold owner of the land)
  • if land is mortgaged, whether mortgagee has begun a proceeding to enforce the mortgage
  • details of any embedded network, if electricity is separately metered
  • whether the area is susceptible to flooding
  • how large the floor area of the site is
  • whether site or local area has a history of subsidence (collapse of the land surface)
  • if park is being operated under a lease.

Before moving in the resident must be given:

  • a copy of the caravan park rules
  • statement of rights
  • statement of scale of charges, fees and commissions
  • a list of amenities available for use
  • written notice of full name and address for service of documents and phone number of agent or themselves, in case of need for urgent repairs

Before moving into a caravan the caravan park owner must tell the prospective resident:

  • if caravan owner has plans to sell the caravan
  • if mortgagee has begun proceedings to enforce the mortgage over the caravan.

See ss. 145E, 182, 183, 184, 185—Residential Tenancies Act 1997 (Vic)(opens in a new window) and r. 57—Residential Tenancies Regulations 2021 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Limits on length of agreement

If a caravan part owner is operating subject to a lease, they must not enter into an agreement with a resident for a period of occupancy that is longer than the term of their own lease.

Penalty

The maximum penalty is 60 penalty units.

See s. 145F—Residential Tenancies Act 1997 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Utilities and services

Caravan park owners (not caravan owners) must:

  • pay the installation and initial connection costs to a site for electricity, gas, bottled gas or water
  • pay for all utility charges and services unless the caravan is separately metered
  • not make a profit from utility charges
  • keep the common property clean and maintain communal areas in good repair
  • replace, when necessary, appliances that are water efficient
  • provide 24 hour vehiclular access to all residents
  • not unreasonably interfere with a resident's quiet enjoyment of the site
  • maintain and repair rented caravans
  • pay for excessive usage caused by a fault

See ss. 163, 164, 166, 176, 177, 178, 178A, 179, 180, 180A, 181—Residential Tenancies Act 1997 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Bond

If there is a written agreement stating that the resident is allowed to live in the caravan park, the owner can ask for bond. The amount of bond must not be more than the equivalent of 28 days rent.

The owner must provide a completed and signed bond lodgement form. They must also send the bond money to the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority within 10 days of receiving bond money.

See Bonds for caravan park residents.

Rent

A caravan park owner must not require the resident to pay more than 14 days rent in advance. A caravan owner must not require a resident to pay more than 28 days in advance. They must provide written receipts for payments.

See Rent for caravan residents

Condition report

Caravan park residents should make sure they receive 2 copies of the condition report (or one electronic copy), signed by or on behalf of the caravan park owner or caravan owner.

The resident must return the signed report to either the caravan owner or caravan park owner within 5 business days of becoming a resident. If the owner does not provide a report, the resident may fill out a report and send it to the owner within 5 days of moving into the site.

The condition report sets out the condition of the caravan so that it can be used to assess any damage that the tenant has done to the caravan during their residence. The report can be used as evidence if there is a dispute over return of the bond at the end of the tenancy. It is important that the resident looks carefully at the condition report and makes a note of any points they disagree with. They should make sure that anything that is damaged or in disrepair has been noted in the report.

See s. 148—Residential Tenancies Act 1997 (Vic)(opens in a new window) and Form 14—schedule 1—Residential Tenancies Regulations 2021 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Responsibilities of residents

Residents also have responsibilities when they are renting a site, or a site and a caravan in a caravan park. The resident must:

  • use the site for residential purposes only
  • use the facilities properly and make sure their visitors do too
  • not use the site for illegal purposes
  • pay rent and hiring charge when due and as agreed
  • not do anything that interferes with the quiet enjoyment of other residents
  • keep the site reasonably clean, and when leaving in the same condition as when they arrived
  • get consent from the owner before making any modifications to the fixtures, or erecting any structures
  • let the owner know if there is any damage to the site and repair it or pay for the damage if caused by them or a visitor
  • not have more people living at the site than agreed to
  • observe caravan park rules

See ss. 167, 168, 169, 170, 171B, 173, 174, 175—Residential Tenancies Act 1997 (Vic)(opens in a new window)

More information

Legislation

Residential Tenancies Act 1997 (Vic)

  • s. 143—residency rights
  • s. 145—caravan park owner to notify prospective resident of rights to enter a residency agreement
  • s. 145B—prohibition on discrimination
  • s. 145C—restriction on use of personal information provided by prospective residents
  • s. 145D—information that cannot be asked
  • s. 145E—information that must be disclosed before agreeing to rent a caravan park site, or a caravan
  • s. 145F—offence to enter into agreements longer than a caravan park owner's own lease
  • s. 148—condition report
  • s. 149—condition report is evidence of the state of repair of the caravan
  • s. 163—caravan park owner's liability for electricty, gas and water charges
  • s. 164—if water, gas or electricity is supplied with inferior efficiency ratings (as set out in s.181),
  • s. 165—reimbursement within 28 days if either party pays for (any gas, electribity or water) the other is responsible for
  • s. 166—owner must not seek overpayment (not to profit from provision of gas, electricity or water)
  • s. 167—use for residential purposes only
  • s. 168—not to use site for illegal purposes
  • s. 169—payment for rent and hiring charge
  • s. 170—responsibility not to interfere with the quiet enjoyment by other residents
  • s. 171—resident to keep and leave site reasonably clean
  • s. 171A—must keep caravan in good repair
  • s. 171B—must not make modifications without consent
  • s. 173—must notify owner and pay for damage done by resident or their visitors
  • s. 174—must not exceed permitted number of people on the site
  • s. 175—resdient must ovserve caravan park rules
  • s. 176—owner must provide 24 hour access
  • s. 177—owner to provide quiet enjoyment, not interfere with residents privacy, peace and quiet, or proper use of the facilities
  • s. 178—owner must keep park clean
  • s. 178A—owner must keep caravan site in good repair
  • s. 179—duty to maintain common areas
  • s. 180—maintenance and repair of caravans
  • s. 181—replacement appliances must be water efficient
  • s. 182—statement of rights and park rules are to be given the day the resident arrives
  • s. 210AA—application to VCAT for a compensation order for discrimination

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

Residential Tenancies Regulations 2021 (Vic)

  • r. 53—prohibited terms
  • r. 54—notic e of prospective caravan park residency rights
  • r. 55—statement of information for occupancy application
  • r. 56—information caravan park owner must not ask prospective resident to disclose
  • r. 57—information that caravan park owner must disclose before agreement begins
  • r. 58—form of condition report
  • Schedule 1—Prescribed forms
    • Form 12—notification of prospective caravan park resident rights
    • Form 13—Information about caravan park applicants (discrimination)
    • Form 14—Condition report
  • Schedule 5—matters that can be dealt with by issue of an infringement penalty

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

Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic)

  • s. 6 —protected attributes
  • s. 52—discrimination on basis of a protected attributes

See Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic).(opens in a new window)

Forms

The following forms are avaialbel from the Consumer Affairs website:

  • Notice to prospective caravan park residents
  • Condition report
  • Notie of prospective caravan park resident rights
  • rights and duties of a site tenant
  • Statement of information for caravan park applicants

Scroll to Renting>Caravan park forms> Consumer Affairs Victoria—Forms and publications.

Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV)

Consumer Affairs Victoria produce a booklet which has full details of caravan park residency.

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

Tenants Victoria

Tenants Victoria produces information and advice for caravan park residents.

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

Updated