The Government today announced amendments to residential caravan park laws to provide extra protections for Western Australians.
Changes will be made to the Residential Parks (Long-stay Tenants) Act 2006, which regulates the relationship between park operators and long-stay tenants.
This will balance the interests of operators and tenants, and ensure fairer dealings between the parties.
Key reforms include:
- no ‘without grounds’ terminations of long-stay agreements;
- no termination of fixed-term agreements on the sale of a park; and
- no automatic termination if a park owner’s lender takes possession of the park.
The reforms give the State Administrative Tribunal extra powers, including being able to declare agreement provisions that are harsh or unconscionable void, and terminating leases on the grounds of hardship.
Park operators will continue to have flexibility in their business models, ensuring Western Australians have access to affordable and appropriate housing.
The proposed amendments are a result of extensive consultation with tenants, operators, the community and other stakeholders.
Industrial Relations Minister Bill Johnston said “Park residents, who are mostly seniors, are in a vulnerable situation.
Many own their home but not the land it’s located on.
“The Act currently doesn’t protect tenants when the park is sold or where the operator’s lender takes possession.
“The proposed changes will help address key issues, such as certainty of contract, costs of park living, sale of a home, exit fees, termination and park liaison committees.
“The amendments strike a fair balance between protecting the rights of tenants and ensuring the viability of the residential parks sector is maintained.”