Frequently Asked Questions – Residential Home Parks

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions that may help your new experience.

Over the years Residential Parks have become known by a variety different names such as Manufactured Home Park, Manufactured Housing Estate, Relocatable Home Park, Mobile Home Park and Lifestyle Community or Lifestyle Villages. In New South Wales under the current state legislation introduced in 2013 they are collectively known Residential Land Lease Communities.

Many caravan parks can also have permanent residential sites as well as their usual tourist and short term sites.

Generally residents own their home and lease the site from the park owners under the legislation applicable to the state the park is situated in and pay a weekly rental or site fee.

A “home” means a caravan or other van or other portable device (whether on wheels or not) other than a tent, used for human habitation, or a manufactured home as defined in legislation.

A manufactured home is one that prefabricated, generally built elsewhere is a factory or warehouse, then transported to the site often in two sections then completed and connected to all services ready for occupation.

Due to the demand for accommodation providing resort style lifestyle communities which cater solely for the over 50 or over 55 age group, Park Owners and Operators have met this by providing residents with many modern purpose built facilities.

This demand has also witnessed the development of new homes which provide all the mod cons that we like to see in our homes to the point where once you are inside you would not know that you are standing in a manufactured home compared to a suburban bricks and mortar home.

1. When you sell your home and terminate the site agreement or lease you do not pay Exit Fees or Deferred Management Fees (DMF)..

2. As you own the home you retain 100% of any capital gains. The park owners are not entitled to a share in your capital gain.

3. There is no stamp duty payable on the purchase contract of a manufactured or mobile home. This can be a significant saving when you are downsizing from a suburban home and save you many thousands of dollars.

4. Your home is your asset, therefore it is part of your estate and is a willable asset.

5. You may be entitled to claim rent assistance through Centrelink as you are paying rent in the form of site fees. You can discuss your eligibility with Centrelink to determine any entitlements you may receive.

6. As you own a home, generally you are able to decorate your home to seek your own tastes. You do not need to seek permission from the park operator to make internal changes.

There are many things that you should take into consideration before you decide if living in a residential park is for you and if a particular community is suited to your needs as all communities are not the same.

There is a wide choice of Residential Land Lease Communities to choose from particularly in coastal regions along the eastern seaboard and larger country towns

Things that you should take into consideration will depend upon your circumstances and what would like to achieve by purchasing a manufactured home in a Land Lease Community.

Location Do you wish to be near family and friends?

Do you wish to be in a coastal, regional or city area?

Do you wish to live in a cooler warmer environment?

Do you need to live near public transport, hospital or medical services?

Pets Do you own a pet and do the community rules allow you to keep and maintain a pet of your choice? Residential Parks that allow pets will normally have strict rules that need to be complied with. The purpose of this is unable the residents to live in harmony and comply with the relevant legislation.

Amenities and Facilities What amenities and facilities are provided for residents to use? Are these facilities all maintained? Do I have to do pay any fees or charges to users facilities?

Activities Are regular activities organised for residents to participate in? Are these activities things I am interested in?

Community Rules Have you been provided with a copy of the Community Rules? If not, you should ask for a copy and read them very carefully. The rules form part of your site agreement and must be complied with. You need to be sure that you are happy to live by the rules as they apply to everyone in the the community and are designed to assist in everyone living in harmony.

Visitors Are there restrictions on how many visitors can stay with you and how long that stay can be? This is particularly relevant if you like to have family and friends say with you on a regular basis, in particular grandchildren. Park rules and legislation may impose restrictions on your visitor

Once you’ve done your research and you have found a Residential Land Lease Community that this you would like to buy a home in, if you have not already done so make an appointment to meet with the manager who should be able to answer all your questions and provide you with the necessary Disclosure Statement so that you can proceed with purchasing the home of your choice.

It is a good idea to talk to existing residents to obtain their opinion of the community, management, how long they have lived there and if they are happy. If they are unhappy ask questions as to why this is the case. You can then make up your own mind as to how happy you will worry living in your new home.

In NSW it is entirely up to the homeowner how they sell their manufactured home. The homeowner can sell the home themselves or engages the services of a real estate agent. In some land lease communities the operator will offer a sale service charge an appropriate commission for this.

In some cases you may be required under the Park Rules and / or the Site Agreement to offer the home to the operator before you put it on the open market.

It is recommended that you talk to the manager who can provide information and guidance on selling your home.

Remember, Residential Land Lease Communities, Residential Home Parks, Manufactured Home Estates etc that when you sell your home, you do not pay Deferred Management or Exit Fees and you retain 100% of any capital gain.

The park owner is required to approve the purchaser of your home and cannot unreasonably withhold consent for the sale to proceed and the granting of a new Residential Site Agreement or Lease.

In New South Wales and operator can increase site rentals only once in a twelve month period. This can either be either by a fixed percentage increase or the by notice method. The details of how the operator manages the annual rate increase will be detailed in the Disclosure Statement which is provided to a potential resident at the time of making their enquiry to purchase a home. Specific details how site rents are increased and when will be explained in the full in the Residential Site Agreement or lease. Make sure you understand this before signing the Agreement.

With the fixed percentage increase method, this can be for either a fixed period of years or for the duration of the Residential Site Agreement. The operator can opt to impose a lesser percentage increase then stated in the agreement but the increase cannot be more than what is stated.

The operator must give residents a minimum of 60 days notice of a rent increase to comply with the provisions of the by notice method. The operator is required to state the reasons for the increase and be in a position to justify the increase if required. Residents can either agree with the increase or may apply to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal to review the increase and if agreement cannot be reached the can then apply to the Tribunal to determine the rent increase.

Generally, you will also need to pay for utilities such as power, water, gas and sewerage charges were applicable. You should ask questions relating to how the operator calculates the charges, how these charges are calculated and invoiced to the individual residents. Make sure you clearly understand how this is done how often invoices are done and how invoices must be paid. It is worthwhile also asking what the average invoice value is to give yourself an understanding of what you need to budget for those expenses.

When you purchase a home, you own the home but not the land or the site that the home is situated on. You lease or rent the site under a Residential Site Agreement.

The weekly rent or site fees covers the operational expenses of the park owners including local council rates, waste disposal, maintenance, management and administration of the residential home park.

When you purchase a home, you own the home but not the land or the site that the home is situated on. You lease or rent the site under a Residential Site Agreement.

Depending on your circumstances you may be eligible for rent assistance as the site fees you pay are considered as “rent”. To find out more about rent assistance you will need to discuss this with your local Centrelink office who will be able to determine your entitlements.

If you are eligible for rent assistance Centrelink will generally provide you with a declaration that needs to be signed by the park operator to verify the weekly rent that you are paying. When rent increase occur you may need to complete an updated declaration.

This link will take you to the Centrelink website and provide you with information and a calculator for rent assistance entitlements.

In NSW the state government provide energy rebates for electricity and gas ( including bottled LPG) to those on low income. If you are eligible you can apply for these each financial year through the NSW government agencies. Some energy providers also provide copies of the application form



Some communities do have rules that a resident must be over 50 or 55 years of age. This means that generally all occupants of the site must be in this age bracket. However, there may be circumstances where an operator will allow a homeowner to have a dependent child live with them even though the child is under the specified age.

These circumstances could include the fact that you are the full-time carer of your child or conversely the child could be your full-time care.

If this applies to you , you will need to discuss your personal situation with the park operator so that they can make an informed decision. The reason for this is that there is an expectation that all residents residing in the community will be of a certain age.

This is a very good question for those who enjoy a quiet lifestyle. It is entirely your choice as to how you live your life in the community environment that residential parks offer. In other words it is up to you whether you participate in none, some or all of the activities offered. Some people like to keep themselves very busy whilst others prefer to sit back, relax and enjoy a quiet life style.

If you enjoy having a lot of social contact with people, in most parks you only need to go for a walk and you’ll soon find someone to talk to. I have known residents to take a long time to walk only a short distance because they keep finding someone to have a friendly chat to. It can be very easy to find people with similar interests, but it is entirely up to you.