If you are buying a manufactured home and plan to live in a residential park, the park owner/manager of the residential park must supply you with the following documents:
- Home owners' information document, the details in this form will need to be filled in by the residential park owner/manager
- a copy of the park rules and any proposals to change the park rules
- the proposed site agreement for the site (2 copies will need to be provided to you).
- A site agreement is an agreement between you and the residential park owner that allows you to rent specific land in a residential park for your manufactured home.
- It also gives you shared use of the park's common areas and communal facilities.
Before Signing a Site Agreement
It is very important that you seek independent legal and financial advice to check the site agreement and any purchase agreement before you sign.
You should also seek legal advice to make sure you understand your rights and responsibilities under the proposed site agreement and the Manufactured Homes (Residential Parks) Act 2003 (PDF).
The site agreement will include:
- names and contact details of the park owner and home owner
- the park owner's Australian Business Number or Australian Company Number
- the residential park name and address, location of the site (land) within the park where the manufactured home is located and its size
- the number of people allowed to live in the manufactured home at the site
- the start date for the site agreement
- details about site rent including how often it will be paid, how to pay, how many people are covered by the rent, and how and when rent may increase, including market rent reviews or by order of the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT)
- costs and billing arrangements for utilities and services i.e. electricity, gas, water, telephone, mowing/gardening and other services specific to the park
- whether pets are allowed and conditions around keeping pets on site
- standard terms and any special terms of the agreement
- responsibilities of both home owners and park owners
- park rules for the residential park
- terms of any Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) order that may be in force about the agreement.
Take your time to check the site agreement and make sure:
- you are clear about what it means and all details are correct
- the site where the manufactured home is or will be positioned is correct
- it includes each party’s name, address, telephone number and email address
- the site rent and other charges payable under the agreement, and when and how the home owner will pay them are included
- home owner’s information document, for a residential park, must be in the approved form.
The approved form must provide for the inclusion of the following—
- the address and real property description of the park;
- the park owner’s name and business address;
- the park manager’s name and business address;
- details of the communal facilities;
- details of any authority issued under a law of the State necessary for the operation of the park;
- the basic responsibilities of park owners and home owners mentioned
- the rights of a park owner or home owner to terminate a site agreement
- how a home owner’s interest in a site agreement may be assigned
- how site rent may be varied
- how a site agreement dispute may be resolved under section 140;
Special Terms In The Site Agreement
The site agreement might also include special terms which have been agreed to by both you and the home owner, such as who is responsible for maintaining the site land, fencing or trees.
While the agreement is in force, the parties can vary the special terms if both parties agree to the change in writing, and sign. If not written and signed, the variations are void and do not become part of the agreement.
Either party to a site agreement may make an application to QCAT for an order about a proposed change.
Particular types of special terms prohibited in site agreements—Act, s 25B
For section 25B(1)(a) of the Act, the types of special terms that are prohibited are special terms that—
- calculate site rent increases in a misleading way; or
- a special term that states that a rental increase is calculated in accordance with the consumer price index, but the rental increase includes an additional charge
- require a home owner to pay other charges but does not fully explain the charges; or
- require a home owner to gain the consent of the park owner before the home owner complies with a requirement under law; or
- state that if the seller assigns the seller’s interest in a site agreement to a buyer, the site agreement between the seller and the park owner does not end until the buyer enters into a site agreement with the park owner; or
- require the home owner to give a current building inspection certificate to the park owner; or
- restrict or prohibit an alteration to the home that is not visible from the outside of the home; or
- allow the park owner to consent to the alteration to the exterior of a home or addition to the home in a way that is contrary to section 98 of the Act; or
- require the home owner to indemnify the park owner and the park owner’s employees, contractors or agents for loss that was not caused by the home owner, a guest of a home owner, or a home owner’s contractors or agents; or
- give the park owner either of the following rights, however described—
(i) a right to buy a home before another person may be offered the home;
(ii) a right to make a final offer to buy a home after all other offers have been made to buy the home; or
- state site rent will not be reduced if there is a decrease or reduction in the standards, amenity or community facilities or services, including if—
(i) there is a decrease in amenity or standard of the residential park’s common areas and communal facilities mentioned in section 72(1)(a) of the Act; or
(ii) a communal facility or services mentioned in section 72(1)(b) of the Act has been withdrawn; or
(iii) a communal facility or services mentioned in section 72(1)(c) of the Act has not been provided; or
- state that the park owner does not warrant that the site is suitable for use as the site of a manufactured home; or
- state that the park owner may exclude a person from the residential park without having reasonable grounds for the exclusion; or
- appoint, or require the home owner to appoint, the park owner as an attorney for the home owner; or
- state that the seller is liable for the actions of a buyer after the seller assigns the seller’s interest to the buyer; or
- state that referring to the site agreement is a sufficient way to explain how an increase in site rent is calculated for the Act; or
- purport to exclude legislation from affecting the site agreement, unless the legislation provides that it may be excluded; or
- impose a monetary penalty on a home owner if the home owner breaches the site agreement; or
- remove a park owner’s liability for negligence or a breach of a contractual duty of care if the negligence or breach is caused by an act or omission of the park owner or the park owner’s employees, contractors or agents; or
- prohibit or prevent the park owner from reducing the site rent for any reason.