Legislation has been introduced into Parliament to amend the Residential Parks Act 2007 (the Act).
The Act regulates the relationship between residential park owners and people who live in parks as their principal place of residence. It was originally designed to address issues arising from people living in caravan parks in moveable, inexpensive structures on sites rented from the park owner.
The types of residential parks that have developed since the commencement of the Act are unlike those envisioned by the legislation. Some residential parks in South Australia offer purely long term living in constructed or manufactured homes, while others are a mix of tourist accommodation with dedicated areas for residential living. The types of dwellings in these parks range from caravans with annexes to transportable and manufactured homes.
The Government released a discussion paper in March 2016 to consult on ways to improve the current laws. Feedback from that discussion paper highlighted concerns around the insecurity of tenure, and absence of any legislative requirement for disclosure of information, or compensation for residents.
The Residential Parks (Miscellaneous) Amendment Bill 2017, introduced into Parliament on 28 September, would see a fairer and more transparent system for residential park residents and owners. The Bill aims to strike a balance between protecting the rights of residents and the investment in their homes, and the interests of park owners to support the growth of their parks.