Residential parks and lifestyle communities
Residential parks provide sites upon which relocatable homes are placed. Residents either rent a home and a site, or rent a site only and own the home on the site. The home may be a caravan, cabin, park home or motor home. Whether you own the home or not, park living always involves renting the site.
In Western Australia, residential parks are generally either:
- 'mixed-use' parks: residential parks that cater for both long-stay tenants and holiday makers; or
- 'lifestyle villages': residential parks solely for long-stay tenants. Some lifestyle villages are specifically set up for people over 45.
Many types of housing can use the term 'lifestyle village' in their name or promotional materials. The term 'lifestyle village' will not tell you whether the housing option is a retirement village, a strata title complex, a residential tenancy, or a residential park. The table on the Housing Choices page may help with figuring out what type of housing you live in.
When considering any option, check with the operator or salesperson to see what type of accommodation is being offered and which laws will cover you as a resident.
The following information is based on a lifestyle village under the Residential Parks (Long-stay Tenants) Act 2006, because this is a common scenario.
Lifestyle villages generally offer a different experience than mixed-use parks. Lifestyle villages are often marketed to people over 45 and are designed specifically to cater to long-stay residents. Many provide amenities such as swimming pools, recreation centres and storage areas for boats or caravans.
Residential parks checklist
- Am I happy with the terms of the agreement? Are the terms negotiable?
- What happens if I change my mind after I sign a tenancy agreement?
- What are the up-front and ongoing charges?
- What is a security bond? Can I be asked to pay a bond if I own my home?
- If I want to go on holiday, can I rent the site or the home while I am away?
- Can I be asked to leave the park and under what circumstances? How much will it cost to move my home? Where else could I go? When am I entitled to compensation?
- Can I make improvements to the exterior of my home?
- Can I keep pets?
- What are the park rules? How are rules enforced? How van rules be changed?
- Can I have a say in the running of the park?
- Can the park operator enter my rented premises? Can I refuse entry?
- What shared facilities are available?
- How are utilities charged?
- Is there a charge for visitors?
- What are my rights if I want to sell my caravan or park home?
- What happens if the park operator wishes to sell?