If a caravan park or residential park is closing, the park owner must give residents sufficient notice. Residents may be eligible for compensation.
Park owners can read more about what they need to do when they close a caravan park or residential park.
Notice to vacate
When the park is closing, park owners must give all residents and part 4A site tenants a notice to vacate with end dates that are at least:
- 6 months after the notice is served, for residents
- 365 days after the notice is served, for site tenants.
For residents or site tenants with a fixed-term residency or site agreement, the end date on the notice to vacate must not be before the end of the agreement.
The notice to vacate must state that the reason notice is being given is that the park is being closed.
Park owners should complete either:
Compensation for residents and site tenants
Residents and site tenants may be eligible for compensation from the park operator if a park closes.
Residents will not be eligible for compensation if they:
- own a dwelling that can be registered with VicRoads
- rent a dwelling.
The park owner is not liable for compensation if they lease the land the park is on and the park is closing because a head lease of that land is expiring.
If the park owner is liable for compensation, they have to apply to VCAT for a decision about the amount they need to pay the resident or site tenant. The application to VCAT must be made within 30 days of giving the notice to vacate.
When working out the amount of compensation, VCAT will consider if the resident or site tenant’s dwelling will be relocated or not.
If the park owner does not apply to VCAT within the required time period, the notice to vacate will become void and have no effect.
Compensation when moving a dwelling
If a site tenant is going to move their dwelling, VCAT will work out how much they should be compensated by considering the likely cost of:
- disconnecting services
- removing the dwelling from the site
- transferring the dwelling to a new site
- installing the dwelling at the new site (but not landscaping)
- anything else VCAT considers relevant.
Residents and site tenants can apply to VCAT to recover additional applicable costs from the park owner for:
- damage to the dwelling because of the relocation
- any other reasonable costs to do with relocating the dwelling.
The owner does not have to pay compensation for damage caused by people the resident or site tenant asked to move the dwelling.
Compensation when not moving a dwelling
If a resident or site tenant is not going to move their dwelling, VCAT will work out how much they should be compensated based on:
- a reasonable amount for the loss of residency, taking into account the:
- dwelling’s original purchase price
- dwelling’s current onsite market value if the park was not closing
- rent and fees paid for the site
- the likely cost of having to move elsewhere, taking into account:
- removing contents from the dwelling and relocating them
- how long the resident has lived on the site
- the inconvenience of finding somewhere new to live
- anything else VCAT considers relevant.
Timing of compensation
Once VCAT has decided how much someone should be compensated, they will put the date payment is due on the compensation order. The payment date will be at least 30 days before the end date on the notice to vacate.
The park owner still has to pay the amount on the order even if the resident or site tenant relocates the dwelling before receiving the compensation.
Forms you might need
To issue a notice to vacate to a resident or site tenant, use one of these forms:
Renting law reforms
Victoria made significant changes to renting laws in 2021.
Some of the major changes to laws about caravan park and residential park closures include:
- residents and site tenants can now be given a notice to vacate if the park is closing
- park owners may now be required to pay compensation
- park owners may now be required to apply to VCAT for a compensation order.
You can read about these and other changes in a summary of the reforms or in detailed fact sheets and guides.
Sections of the Act
If you want to know what the law says about caravan park and residential park closures, you can read these sections of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997:
- Section 206AZA – Closure of caravan park
- Section 207ZE – Closure of Part 4A park
- Section 215A – Compensation in relation to closure of caravan park or Part 4A park
- Section 215B – Tribunal may make park closure compensation order
- Section 206AZI(e) – Form of notice to vacate
The definitions of ‘eligible resident’, ‘eligible site tenant’ and ‘park closure compensation order’ are in section 3.