Residential parks laws under review
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A review of the laws regulating the tenancy arrangements of about 29,000 people who live long-term in residential parks in WA is currently underway and Consumer Protection is seeking views from the community as part of the next round of the consultation process.
The Residential Parks (Long-stay Tenants) Act 2006 sets out the obligations of residential park operators when offering sites for rent with regard to disclosure of information, costs, contract requirements and notices of termination. Long-stay tenancy can involve living in a caravan, mobile home or park home located within a caravan park or lifestyle village.
Commissioner for Consumer Protection Anne Driscoll said some park residents were potentially in a vulnerable situation, as they own their home, but not the land on which it is located as this is rented from the park operator.
"Living in a residential park however provides an affordable housing option for many in our community who are looking for long-term, safe accommodation with a communal lifestyle," Ms Driscoll said.
So we must look at ways to address problems which can arise from time to time when people live in this type of accommodation, with the most difficult being the closure of a park which can potentially leave long-stay residents having to re-locate their home or having to find alternative housing that suits their needs and financial situation.
Therefore, key issues such as security of tenure, the costs of park living, the sale of a home, exit fees and park liaison committees are canvassed in the consultation paper which is now available. This is the second phase of our consultation process following an initial call in August 2012 for people to express any concerns they may have with current laws. This new consultation canvasses specific options for reform.
We want to ensure that the rights of tenants are protected and at same time ensure that the viability of the residential parks sector is maintained. I urge residents and the industry to provide us with their feedback during the consultation period, so that we can get the balance right and have an accurate picture of the needs and concerns of everyone involved."
The consultation paper is available for download from the Consumer Protection website:www.commerce.wa.gov.au/consultations. Those wishing to contribute to the review can also participate by completing an online survey. To receive the online submission survey, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The closing date for submissions is Friday, 12 September 2014 at 5pm.
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(Consumer Protection is a division of the Department of Commerce)
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