Ending a residential park tenancy
Information about ending a residential park tenancy
There are a number of circumstances where either the park operator or the tenant will want to end a long-stay agreement. Different rules apply depending on who is ending the agreement, their reason and the type of long-stay agreement involved.
The circumstances may include:
- where the tenant or park operator breaches the long-stay agreement;
- the tenant’s written agreement ends and there’s no arrangement to extend it;
- the tenant's fixed-term agreement ends;
- where the park operator and tenant mutually consent to ending the tenancy;
- the tenant chooses to end the periodic tenancy without having to provide a reason;
- the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) terminates the agreement;
- the tenant files a Notice of termination of tenant's interest in on-site home agreement on grounds of family violence (Division 4 form);
- the tenant abandons the premises; or
- a person or company claims ‘superior title’ over the property.
When the tenancy ends, certain legal requirements need to be met such as providing a written, signed and dated notice that clearly identifies not only the premises, but all the parties involved. Our default and termination notices contain all the standard information a park operator needs to supply to the tenant.
What if a tenant doesn’t pay their rent?
If a tenant falls behind in their rent it can addressed in two ways:
- A default notice issued to the tenant giving 14 days to pay the outstanding rent. If they don’t pay within that time, the park operator may issue a notice of termination, giving the tenant at least seven days to pay the rent in full. If the matter is not resolved and the notice period expires, park operators have 30 days to make an application to the SAT for a termination and eviction order; or
- A notice of termination can be issued to the tenant, without first issuing a default notice. The notice of termination must give the tenant at least seven days to pay the rent in full. If the tenant does not do this, the park operator has 30 days to apply to the SAT for a termination and eviction order. If the tenant pays the rent and the SAT's filing fee cost at least 24 hours before the SAT hearing, the park operator must withdraw their application.
What if a tenant pays the rent, but breaches the agreement in another way?
Park operators can issue a default notice if a tenant breaches their tenancy agreement. The default notice must include:
- a description of the breach;
- identification of the location of the premises/site;
- the day the breach occurred;
- the date by which the breach must be resolved (giving at least 14 days' notice);
- a statement that the park operator is entitled to terminate the agreement if the breach is not fixed; and
- the date when the notice is written and signature of the park operator.
If the breach isn’t resolved, a park operator can then issue a notice of termination, stating the grounds for the termination and indicating when they expect the tenant to leave the park (this must be at least seven days after they receive the park operator’s notice). If the tenant remains in the park after this date the park operator can apply to the SAT for an order terminating their tenancy.
Can the park operator terminate the long-stay tenancy for no reason?
If the park operator wants to terminate the long-stay agreement without giving a reason, this is known as “termination without grounds”. From 31 January 2022, a park operator can only terminate an on-site home agreement without grounds. If the tenant has a periodic on-site home agreement, the park operator can terminate the agreement without grounds by giving the tenant at least 60 days' notice. If it is a fixed-term on-site home agreement, the tenancy cannot be terminated before the end of the term without the tenant’s written consent.
Note: From 31 January 2022 a park operator cannot terminate a site-only agreement without grounds.
What if the park has been sold and tenants need to move out?
If a residential park is sold with 'vacant possession', the following notice periods apply:
- on-site home agreements – at least 60 days’ notice; and
- site-only home agreements – at least 180 days’ notice.
A periodic agreement may be terminated at any time, as long as the park operator complies with the notice requirements.
A fixed-term agreement entered into before 31 January 2022 may be terminated before the end of the fixed term and the tenant is entitled to compensation for the early termination.
A fixed-term agreement entered into on or after 31 January 2022 cannot be terminated before the end of the fixed term unless the tenant agrees in writing.
What if the park operator wants to redevelop the park or long-stay site?
The park operator may wish to terminate a long-stay agreement so they can:
- close the park or use the land for something other than a residential park;
- carry out works on the long-stay site; or
- use the long-stay site for a different purpose, such as a tourist site or for new amenities.
The following notice periods apply:
- on-site home agreements – at least 60 days’ notice; and
- site-only agreement – at least 180 days’ notice;
In this situation, a fixed-term agreement cannot be terminated before the end of the fixed term.
What if the premises become uninhabitable?
If the park is compulsorily acquired, or for some other reason it can’t legally be inhabited, this is called ‘frustration’ of the agreement. When the park operator provides the notice, they must give the tenants at least seven days’ notice to vacate the premises. If the tenant provides the notice, they must give the park operator at least two days' notice.
What if a tenant leaves things behind after they moved out?
If a park operator suspects on reasonable grounds that a long‑stay tenant has abandoned the premises, a new process under section 44B of the Parks Act entitles the park operator to issue of notice of abandonment to the tenant terminating the agreement. The notice gives the tenant seven days to take action, or the tenant will be seen to have abandoned the premises.
Park operators may find a long-stay tenant has left some of their possessions behind after a tenancy agreement has ended and may not be sure what to do with them. Information about how to handle any belongings left behind is available on our Abandoned goods at a rental property page
What if a park operator or tenant is experiencing significant hardship?
Park operators or tenants may apply to the SAT for an order terminating the long-stay agreement on the gounds of hardship. The SAT must be satisfied the park operator or tenant would in the circumstances suffer undue hardship if they were required to terminate the agreement under any other provision of the Parks Act. The SAT may also order the payment of compensation to the park operator or tenant for any loss caused to either of them.
Can tenants seek compensation if their agreement is terminated?
Tenants on a fixed term agreement can seek compensation from the park operator if the agreement has been terminated before the end of the fixed term due to:
- sale of the park;
- frustration of the agreement; or
- undue hardship of the park operator.
The park operator and tenant should negotiate the compensation. If they cannot reach an agreement, either the park operator or tenant can apply to the SAT for a decision on what compensation is reasonable in the circumstances.
Notices and counting days
Notices of termination, default notices and other forms can be found on the Residential Parks Publications webpage.
If you are serving a notice, you will find certain periods of notice are required for certain actions. It is important you allow the correct number of days for the delivery of a notice because a court may determine the notice is ineffective as it was not served correctly, see our page on counting days for more information.
The following flowcharts have been developed to assist with termination of agreements in the grounds of family and domestic violence:
On-site home tenants:
- On-site tenant chart 1 – Terminate your interest in a lease on grounds of family and domestic violence
- On-site tenant chart 2 – When your co-tenant has terminated their interest in a lease on grounds of family and domestic violence
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