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Rent and extra charges
In a caravan park or residential park, rent is the money charged for the site, services and use of facilities.
In a caravan park, hire charges are for the caravan. Caravan park residents are often asked to pay one fee for both the site and the caravan, which is then called rent.
Site tenants and caravan park residents must pay the rent as agreed and by the due date. In most cases, rent is paid in advance.
Taking rent in advance
You cannot charge a site tenant more than one month’s rent in advance.
A caravan park owner or caravan owner cannot charge more than:
- 14 days’ rent in advance for renting the site
- 28 days’ rent in advance for caravan hire.
Rent payment receipts
A site tenant or resident is entitled to receive a receipt for each rent payment.
For more information about what you must provide, view Rent responsibilities and receipts.
For caravan park residents, you:
For site tenants, the site agreement must include the conditions under which rent will be reviewed. Both you and the site tenant must abide by these conditions.
If the site agreement does not detail the basis on which rent is calculated and adjusted, you cannot increase the rent.
When the site agreement allows for rent increases, you:
If you stop providing a regular service, you must reduce rent to an agreed amount, or an amount determined by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).
A caravan park resident or site tenant can request a rent assessment from us if you have:
- given notice of an increase that the resident or site tenant thinks is excessive (after considering market rent)
- reduced or withdrawn services, facilities or other items that the resident or site tenant was getting previously as part of the rental agreement.
If our rent assessment finds a rent increase is excessive, the resident or site tenant can use the assessment report to seek a ruling on their rent at VCAT. The resident or site tenant has 30 days from receiving the rent assessment report to apply to VCAT for a hearing.
For more information, view Rent increases.
Handling rent arrears
If the first rent is not paid or is late, the site tenant or resident is immediately behind.
A caravan park resident or site tenant cannot stop paying rent because they:
- are waiting for repairs to be done
- are in the last month of an agreement
- have given notice that they intend to vacate, or have been given a notice to vacate.
You cannot keep a resident or site tenant’s belongings to cover any rent owing.
For information about what to do when a site tenant or resident does not pay their rent by the due date, view Rent arrears.
In addition to rent, caravan park residents and site tenants may need to pay other charges.
For site tenants, details of all charges must be included in the site agreement. You must not ask for payments that are not part of the site agreement.
For caravan park residents, at the start of the residency you must give the resident details of any extra charges, such as:
- the rate for extra people to stay
- charges for hiring any equipment
- any commission that applies if you sell a caravan.
You must pay the installation and initial connection costs to a site for electricity, gas, bottled gas or water.
If the site has separate meters, the site tenant or resident must pay the supply and usage charges for electricity, gas, bottled gas, water, drainage and sewerage. If you pay the bill and then charge the site tenant or resident, you cannot charge more than what the utility supplier would have charged the resident.
If the services do not have separate meters, you must pay for the services.
For more information, view Utilities, telephone, internet and television in rental properties.
You can make rules relating to the use, enjoyment, control and management of the park.
Park rules can include things such as:
- noise levels
- keeping pets
- using and operating communal facilities
- car parking.
You must provide a copy of these rules to:
- caravan park residents, either on or before the day they move in
- site tenants, before they sign the site agreement.
If you change the rules, you must give site tenants and residents at least seven days’ written notice before the changes come into effect.
Site tenants have 14 days to respond in writing to the proposed changes and you must reply in writing if they do so.
Site tenants and residents who believe a rule is unreasonable may apply to VCAT to hear the matter. The tribunal may decide that the rule is unfair and ask you to amend or remove it; or it may find that the rule is reasonable and that it can stay in force.
You must ensure that the park rules are applied fairly and consistently.
Resolving any repair or maintenance issues quickly can help you avoid disputes.
It is important to communicate all information about repairs in writing and keep copies of all letters, forms and reports.
Site tenants are responsible for repairs to their movable dwelling, and for fixing anything they have damaged. You are responsible for repairs to the site (including fixtures and utility supply infrastructure) and communal park facilities.
If you and a site tenant disagree on who is responsible for a repair, you may:
- try to negotiate an agreement. We recommend putting any agreement in writing
- contact us for information and advice
- apply to VCAT for a determination.
For more information, view our:
For caravan park residents, all repairs are your responsibility, but if the resident caused the damage, you can ask them to arrange or pay for repairs.
The law distinguishes between urgent and non-urgent repairs, and caravan park owners and residents must follow different processes for each.
For more information, view Repairs, maintenance and changes to the property.