Residential Living – Residential Home Parks

Living In A Residential Park

Residential Home Parks are becoming increasingly popular with those members of our community who have reached or are nearing retirement age. Many parks cater specifically for the over 50 or 55 age group. There are many reasons for this, just as there can be many reasons why you may choose to make a residential home park your home.

Residential Home Parks are becoming increasingly popular with those members of our community who have reached or are nearing retirement age. Many parks cater specifically for the over 50 or over 55 age group. There are many reasons for this, just as there can be many reasons why you may choose to make a residential home park in a particular area your home.

Residential Home Parks over time can and do develop their own personality. The owners and the residents working together can create a great environment and  caring community for the residents to live a happy,  active, fruitful and healthy lifestyle for many years.

Residential Home Parks usually provide common area facilities and amenities for the residents to enjoy and create the lifestyle they are seeking. Whilst some parks will have basic facilities, others will provide an extensive range of the most modern  facilities including a community hall or club house, heated swimming pool either indoor or outdoor, library, theatre room, lawn bowls, tennis court and men’s shed.

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

Residents are responsible for maintaining their home and site whilst the park owners will maintain the common areas, roads, gardens and facilities.

Some parks will be exclusively for owner occupied homes, some will accommodate rentals and others might be a mix of permanent residents and tourist sites.

There are parks which cater solely for of the over 50 or 55 age group.

Residential Home Parks or villages are known by various names depending on where the park is located, when it was developed and how the owners wish to portray their asset. This can be very confusing for someone who is researching and considering what “type” of park will suit their needs.

In New South Wales the term Residential Parks was changed to Residential Land Lease Communities in 2013 when the state legislation was changed.

Residential Home Parks are known by various terms including

Lifestyle Parks, Manufactured Home Parks, Manufactured Housing Estates, Relocatable Home Parks, Mobile Home Parks, Permanent Residential Parks 

They are all governed by appropriate legislation and regulations relative to the state they are located in.

Caravan Parks can be a mix of both tourist sites and residential sites or just residential sites. Over the years many of what were tourist parks have been re- developed into residential parks.

Whatever the type of park and depending on whether the resident owns the home or is renting the home, the resident occupies the site either under a residential site agreement or lease and pay a weekly site rental to the park owner or a residential tenancy agreement paying a combined site rental and home rental. Generally, the resident is responsible for paying their utilities according to how these are provided to their site. In some parks, owners will read the individual water and electricity meters then invoice the resident. 

The rights and obligations of both park owners and residents who occupy and rent a site in a residential park in New South Wales are set out in the Residential (Land Lease) Communities Act 2013 and Regulations. In other states specific legislation can apply.

There are nearly 500 such communities in NSW catering for about 34,000 residents.

If a resident and park owner cannot reach agreement on a particular matter then either party may lodge an application with the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal to adjudicate the matter and make appropriate orders which both parties must comply with. 

In some parks rental properties are available. The occupant is a tenant, not a resident, so the home is occupied using a residential tenancy agreement under the NSW Residential Tenancy Act 2010 instead of a site agreement. The tenant must comply with the legislation governing both tenants and residents.

Some parks will allow residents to keep a pet. This may be a small dog, a cat or caged birds. Generally, the park rules and residential site agreement will stipulate what is necessary for a resident to gain approval to keep a pet. The rules are in place to ensure that the pet does not disturb the quiet enjoyment and comfort of other residents.

If you have a pet and wish to keep it in your new home you will need to ask the park owner for permission and to find out exactly what is required.


What is it about Residential Homes Parks that has made them a popular choice for the older members of our population, especially the over 50’s and 55’s to live in?

The answers will generally depend on the residents personal circumstances.

Security of living in a close knit community where residents are of a similar age, especially for those on their own and having someone close at hand if you need help.

The feeling of belonging and being able to socialise in a safe community environment. Many parks have a busy activities calendar which can become the focal point of residents enjoying an active lifestyle without having to leave the park.

There are a variety of options for accommodation depending in the park. Most are independent living where you own and maintain your home whilst some provide rental option and others may offer assisted living options to suit your requirements.

The site agreement and legislation requires that you maintain your home and site. The park owner is required to maintain all common areas and facilities including roads, common area lawns, gardens and all facilities provided such as swimming pools, community centres.

Some residents opt for residential park living when they are ready to downsize and decide that living in a manufactured home or mobile home is a better option than living in a suburban villa or unit. Downsizing means that you will be no longer be looking after and maintaining the typical suburban home, lawns and gardens giving you more time to develop the lifestyle you are seeking in your retirement years.

Downsizing can also be a financial choice allowing you to sell your suburban home, purchase a residential park home and invest the balance enabling you to retire or live the lifestyle you wish.

In New South Wales a purchaser does not pay stamp duty on the purchase contract for your park home. This is a considerable saving. 

There are no Deferred Management Fees (DMF) to pay when you sell your home. Unlike some retirement villages where you can pay sometimes up to 35% or more of the resale value of the unit plus a contribution to the renovation or reinstatement of the unit, you retain 100% of the sale price less any commission if you engage a selling agent.

When it is time to sell your home, you can choose to do it yourself or engage a real estate agent. Some parks offer a sales service on a fee for service basis.

There are no individual council rates for each site as these are included in the weekly site fees.