Bonds and start up fees
What bond and start-up fees can be charged in a long-stay tenancy?
Start up fees
Park operators can only ask for money relating to rent and a bond at the start of a tenancy. There are no other upfront fees, apart from a refundable option fee, that can be charged prior to the tenancy.
No more than two weeks' rent in advance can be collected before or during the first two weeks of a tenancy.
Unless the rent is directly deposited into a financial institution, park operators must provide the tenant with a receipt for any payment of rent in advance and any bond money within three (3) working days.
The receipt should state:
- date the money was paid;
- total amount paid;
- the period for which the amount is paid;
- amount of the pet bond (if applicable);
- your name as the long-stay tenant; and
- details of the site.
Security bonds are limited to the cost of four weeks' rent.
An additional pet bond of up to $260 can be charged for keeping a pet capable of carrying parasites that can affect humans. This bond can be charged to meet fumigation costs but can't be charged. Tenants must not be charged a pet bond for an assistance dog.
The bond money cannot stay in the park operator’s bank account. It must be lodged with the Bond Administrator within 14 days of receiving the payment.
When a long‑stay tenant pays a security bond, the park operator must give the tenant a receipt showing:
- the amount paid;
- the date on which it is paid;
- if a pet bond is paid — the amount of the pet bond;
- the long-stay tenant's name; and
- particulars of the premises that the bond relates to.
A long-stay tenant can only be charged additional fees (other than rent or a bond) during the tenancy if the fees are permitted under the Residential Parks Act and regulations and are set out in the long-stay agreement.
The park operator is permitted to charge the following fees:
- an option fee - this is an amount of money that indicates the genuine intent of a person to enter into an agreement with the park operator. However, the option fee must be refunded or applied towards rent once the tenancy begins.
- visitor fees, but not for a carer;
- payment for consumption of utilities (water, electricity, gas and telephone), if separately metered;
- fees for internet access provided to the residential park;
- fees for any of these services – gardening, storage, cleaning of gutters on the tenant’s relocatable home, and servicing of the air conditioner;
- fees for additional parking spaces provided to the tenant; and
- the cost of a replacement key, remote control entry device or other security device, if required.
If the long-stay agreement has a voluntary sharing arrangement, then depending on the arrangement, the tenant may also be charged an exit fee at the end of the tenancy.
For a full list of additional permitted fees see the regulations.
Long-stay tenants have a cooling-off period if they have a site-only agreement and have yet to move in.
The tenant is entitled to withdraw the agreement:
- within five days if the disclosure documents were provided beforehand;
- within 10 days after receiving the documents if they were not provided; or
- at any time if the park operator has not provided the disclosure documents.
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