There are rules about when site owners, caravan owners, or caravan or residential park operators or other authorised staff can enter a site or caravan. On this page, we will use ‘park operator and site owner’ to include all these people. Caravan can mean any type of mobile dwelling such as a campervan or mobile home.
They can enter between 8am and 6pm on any day except public holidays as long as they follow the rules below. Residents and site tenants may agree to other times.
On this page:
Reasons a park operator or site owner can enter without notice
The only reasons a park operator or site owner may enter a site or caravan without giving 24 hours’ notice are:
- if the resident or site tenant agrees at the time
- in an emergency to save a life or valuable property
- if VCAT has made an order stating that the resident or site tenant has abandoned the caravan or site.
Reasons that require 24 hours’ notice
A park operator or site owner may enter a site or caravan for any of the following reasons, but they must give the resident or site tenant at least 24 hours’ written notice before they do.
- Showing the caravan/site to prospective residents or site tenants if the current resident or site tenant has given notice or has been given written notice to move out.
- Showing people through who are interested in buying the caravan (if the caravan is hired) or site, or lending the owner money on it.
- Carrying out a duty under the Residential Tenancies Act 1997.
- Checking a reasonable belief that the resident or site tenant has not met their duties under the Residential Tenancies Act 1997, for example they have seriously damaged the caravan.
- Inspecting the caravan or site to make sure it’s in good condition (known as a general inspection). A general inspection is only allowed once every six months.
Telling a resident or site tenant about a plan to enter
The park operator or site owner must give the resident or site tenant notice that they will enter the caravan or site. The notice must be in writing and state the reason for entry. The park operator or site owner should use the Notice to resident/s of caravan park (Word, 89KB).
Delivering a notice
The notice of entry must be delivered to the resident or site tenant, either by:
- electronic communication (such as email), if the resident or site tenant has given consent to receive notices and other documents this way
- hand (giving the notice personally to the resident or site tenant).
If posting, allow for mail delivery times, which depend on:
- your delivery method
- where you’re mailing your notice from.
It is important to allow enough time for mail to be delivered if you are posting the notice. The Australia Post website can help calculate delivery times. If you think you might need proof that you’ve sent the notice you can use registered post.
Operator’s obligations while in the caravan or on the site
While in the caravan or on site, the park operator or site owner must behave in a reasonable manner. Reasonable means behaving in a way that most people would think is fair.
The park operator or site owner must not stay longer than necessary, unless the resident or site tenant gives them permission to.
If the caravan park owner, caravan owner or their agent causes damage to or loss of a residents’ goods while they are in the caravan or on the site, the resident can apply to VCAT for a compensation order.
Forms you might need
To tell a resident or site tenant that you are going to enter their caravan or site, use this form:
Sections of the Act
If you want to know what the law says about park operator and site owner's entry rights and responsibilities, you can read these sections of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997:
- Section 199 – Entry of caravan by caravan park owner
- Section 200 – Entry of caravan by caravan owner
- Section 201 – Grounds for entry of caravan or site
- Section 202 – Manner of entry
- Section 203 – What must be in a notice of entry?
- Section 204 – Resident has duty to permit entry
- Section 205 – What if damage is caused during entry?
- Section 206 – What if a person exercising right of entry fails to comply with Division?
- Section 206A – Offence relating to entering a site or caravan occupied by a resident.