Caravan parks

Caravan parks

You are considered to be a resident of a caravan park if you have:

  • lived in the caravan park for at least 60 days without a break
  • a written agreement from a caravan park owner to stay there.

If you own a caravan in a caravan park but live somewhere else, you are not considered to be a resident.

Caravan park residents, owners and managers have legal rights and obligations. There are two types of caravan parks residents in Victoria:

A caravan park owner or manager must give a copy of these guides, as well as a copy of the caravan park rules, to residents on or before the day they move in.

A written agreement is required for a person who owns their caravan and rents the site. They must be given the proposed written agreement 20 days before signing, in order to seek legal advice. There is also a cooling off period of five business days after signing.

Residents’ rights and responsibilities

Caravan park residents have the right to:

  • receive a copy of the park rules in writing from the owner
  • be given a statement of any fees, charges or commissions
  • privacy and ‘quiet enjoyment’ of the site.

Caravan park residents are responsible for:

  • using the site for residential purposes only
  • not using the site for any illegal purpose
  • paying rent/hire charges on the due date
  • ensuring their visitors don't interfere with other park users’ quiet enjoyment
  • keeping the site clean
  • not erecting structures on the site
  • repairing any damage, or notifying the owner of any damage and paying compensation for it (not including fair wear and tear)
  • not allowing more than the number of persons agreed to reside on the site.

Repairs and maintenance

All repairs (urgent and non-urgent) are the caravan park owner’s responsibility, but if the resident caused the damage the owner can ask them to arrange and/or pay for repairs. It is also the caravan park owner's duty to maintain communal areas, including cleaning and repairing communal bathrooms, toilets and laundries.

Residents must also be given written notice of the full name and address of the park owner or their agent, and an emergency telephone number in case urgent repairs are needed, within seven days of moving in.

Urgent repairs include serious problems with the water or toilet system, gas or electricity, as well as any fault or damage that makes the caravan unsafe.

Non-urgent repairs need to be reported to the caravan park owner in writing. The owner then has 14 days to make sure the repairs are done.

A resident can request Consumer Affairs Victoria investigate whether the caravan park owner is making sure that the caravan is being maintained in good repair. After the inspection, the inspector will write a report and send it to the resident. The inspector may speak to the caravan park owner and ask them to make the changes that are suggested. If the owner does not make the changes, the caravan park resident can apply to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal using the report as evidence.

Changes to park rules

Caravan park owners can change the park rules. When rules change each resident must be informed in writing at least seven days before the rules come into effect.

If you think a rule is unfair, you can apply to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal for an order declaring it to be unreasonable. Contact the Tenants Union of Victoria if you are thinking about applying to the tribunal.

Notice to vacate

A caravan park owner may give a resident a Notice to Vacate without giving a reason. The notice must give the date the resident is to leave by.

The minimum notice period for a 'no reason' notice is 120 days. For residents who own their moveable dwelling, a park owner must give 365 days notice, unless one of the reasons below applies.

A resident can be asked to leave a caravan park immediately if:

  • the caravan park owner has ‘reasonable grounds’ to believe that serious acts of violence have occurred
  • the safety of someone on the premises is in danger
  • the resident is causing a serious disruption to the peace of the caravan park.

Seven days’ notice can be given if:

  • there is seven days or more rent/hire charges owing
  • there has been a breach of a compliance order or compensation order issued by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal
  • two ‘breach of duty’ notices have already been served and the same problem arises again
  • the caravan or site is used for illegal purposes.

When there is a written agreement with a set end date, a caravan owner can give a resident 14 days’ notice if the owner or member of the owner’s immediate family will be moving in.

If there is no written agreement or the agreement has no set end date, residents must be given 60 days' notice if the caravan is to be sold or six months' notice if the caravan park is closing.

In some cases you can argue against a notice to vacate. You can also ask the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal to make an order giving you more time if moving out would cause you severe hardship.

Consumer Affairs Victoria has information about notice periods if a:

Arguing against a notice to vacate

Generally, you can argue against a notice to vacate if it was not given properly or if you disagree with the reason given.

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal can cancel a ‘no specified reason’ notice if it was given because you were exercising your rights or saying you would do so. You must apply to the tribunal within 60 days of receiving the notice.

If you’ve been served a ‘Notice to Vacate’ because the caravan has been sold and you want to challenge the validity of the notice, you must contact the tribunal within 30 days of receiving the notice.

You can also argue against a notice if it would be difficult for you to move out without more time.

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal can make special allowances when making a decision to avoid severe hardship to residents or caravan park owners.

You can’t be forced out unless the tribunal makes an order for possession (an eviction). The owner can’t use force to make you leave. This can only be done by police or another authorised person after the tribunal has made an order for possession and the caravan park owner has purchased a warrant.

Contact the Tenants Union of Victoria if you want to argue against a notice or are thinking about applying to the tribunal.