Closing a caravan park or residential park

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There are certain things you must do when closing a caravan park or residential park.

Notify the local council

You must give written notice of the park closure to the local council of the municipality the park is in, at least 14 days before you give residents or site tenants notices to vacate. This allows council to contact agencies who may be able to arrange new accommodation and other support for your residents and site tenants. To find your local council contact details, visit the Know your council website.

If you do not notify the local council, the notices to vacate will still be valid, but you may be penalised for breaching the Residential Tenancies Act 1997.

Notify Consumer Affairs Victoria

If you are closing your caravan park or residential park, please complete our General enquiry form.

Notify your residents and site tenants

If you have residents and site tenants living in your park, you must:

  • issue notices to vacate to residents or site tenants with an end date that is at least:
    • six months after the notice is served for a resident
    • 365 days after the notice is served for a site tenant
  • make sure that the reason given in the notices to vacate is that the park is being closed, and
  • make sure that the end date on a notice to vacate is not before the end of the residents or site tenant’s fixed term residency or site agreement.

Compensation for eligible residents and site tenants

If you close your park you will be liable to compensate eligible residents and site tenants. The only exception to this is if you do not own the land that the park is located on, and the park is closing because the head lease of that land is expiring.

If you are liable to compensate eligible residents and site tenants, you must apply to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) within 30 days of issuing notices to vacate; VCAT will determine the amount eligible residents and site tenants should be compensated. If you do not do this, the notices to vacate will become void.

To be eligible for compensation, a resident must own their dwelling, and the dwelling must be fixed to the land, other than an annexe. A resident is not eligible if they only own a dwelling that may be registered with VicRoads.

Site tenants who own a movable dwelling are eligible for compensation.

When working out how much a resident or site tenant should be compensated, VCAT will consider if their dwelling is to be relocated or not.

If a dwelling is to be relocated

If the dwelling will be relocated, VCAT will review the likely cost of:

  • disconnecting services from the dwelling
  • removing the dwelling from the site
  • transferring the dwelling to a new site
  • installing the dwelling at the new site (but not for landscaping)
  • anything else VCAT considers relevant.

A resident or site tenant can apply to VCAT to recover applicable costs from you for:

  • damage to the dwelling because of the relocation
  • any other reasonable costs to do with relocating the dwelling.

You do not have to pay compensation for damage caused by people that the resident or site tenant asked to move the dwelling.

If a dwelling will not be relocated

If a dwelling will not be relocated, VCAT will work out how much the resident or site tenant should be compensated by deciding on:

  • a reasonable amount for the resident or site tenant losing the 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 the resident or site tenant having to move elsewhere, taking into account:
    • removing the their contents from the dwelling and relocating them
    • how long they have lived on the site
    • the inconvenience of finding somewhere new to live
    • anything else VCAT considers relevant.

When compensation should be paid by

Once VCAT has decided how much compensation you must pay, they will issue an order with a date that the amount must be paid by. The date on the order must be at least 30 days before the end date on the notice to vacate.

You must pay compensation even if the resident or site tenant relocates their dwelling before they receive compensation.

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