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Caravan parks

A guide for residents,

owners and managers
Caravan parks: A guide for residents, owners and managers

The app for renters

and landlords
Information about your rights
and responsibilities and tools to
help you manage your tenancy.

Because this publication avoids the use of
Unless indicated otherwise, content in
legal language, information about the law may
this publication is provided under a Creative
have been expressed in general statements.
Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia Licence.
This guide should not be relied upon as a
To view a copy of this licence, visit
substitute for the Residential Tenancies Act
1997 or professional legal advice.
It is a condition of the Creative Commons
Authorised and published Attribution 3.0 Licence that you must give
by the Victorian Government credit to the original author who is the
1 Treasury Place, Melbourne State of Victoria.
July 2017 Caravan parks: A guide for residents, owners
ISBN: 978 1 921079 72 6 and managers is the summary approved by
the Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria of the
rights and duties of a park owner and resident
under the Residential Tenancies Act 1997. Park
operators must give the resident this guide on
or before the day they move in.
If you would like to receive this publication
in an accessible format please visit or ring 1300 55 81 81.

Additional copies
Additional copies of this guide are available from Consumer Affairs Victoria’s website
To order more than five copies download an order form from
Information about renting is available in 24 languages at
If you have difficulty understanding English, contact the Translating and Interpreting
Service (TIS) on 131 450 and ask to speak to Consumer Affairs Victoria on 1300 55 81 81.

Caravan parks: A guide for residents, owners and managers


Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 When a resident receives

Who is this guide for? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 a ‘Notice to Vacate’ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
Definitions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Violent situations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Penalties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Reasons and minimum notice
periods when a resident gets
Privacy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
a ‘Notice to Vacate’ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
Checklist for residents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Reasons a resident can
Checklist for owners . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 challenge a ‘Notice to Vacate’ . . . . . . .30
Part 1: Beginning a residency . . . . . . . 10 When a resident wants to leave . . . . .30
The residency agreement . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 When a mortgagee wants
a resident to leave . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
Rent in advance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Calculating minimum
Contact details . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
notice periods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
The bond . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Evicting a resident. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
‘Condition Report’ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Utilities. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Part 4: When a resident leaves . . . . . .34
Repaying the bond . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
Part 2: Living in a caravan park . . . . . 16 When a resident cannot
Rent. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17 be located and rent is owing . . . . . . . . 36
The importance of communication . . . 18 Final meter readings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
Park rules . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Goods left behind. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
Repairs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
Part 5: Solving problems . . . . . . . . . . . .40
Rules on entering a caravan. . . . . . . . . 21
What to do if there is a problem . . . . . 41
If a person does the wrong thing . . . . 23 Consumer Affairs Victoria . . . . . . . . . . . 41
When the park owner changes . . . . . . 23 Dispute Settlement Centre
of Victoria . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
Part 3: Ending a residency . . . . . . . . . . 24
Victoria Civil and
Ways to end a residency. . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
Administrative Tribunal . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
How to give notice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
Agreement of all parties . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Useful contacts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43



Who is this guide for? Caravan park owner or park owner:

the owner of a business that operates
This guide explains what caravan
a caravan park. In this guide, this
park owners, caravan owners and
term also applies to caravan park
residents must do to follow Victoria’s
managers and agents acting for
residential tenancy laws. Most of these
caravan park owners.
laws are in the Residential Tenancies
Act 1997 (the Act). Caravan owner: the owner of a
caravan (but not the site on which
This guide covers situations where
it is located).
people hire or own the caravans they
live in. It also covers residents who Owner: this term is used when
rent movable dwellings and other information applies to both park
types of dwellings in a caravan park, owners and caravan owners,
residential park, or other park. otherwise the specific terms are used.
Caravan park resident or resident:
People who own a someone living in a caravan in a
movable dwelling that caravan park, when they have:
cannot be registered
• obtained written permission from
with VicRoads are not
the caravan park owner to live at
covered by this guide.
the caravan park, or
They should read Movable
dwellings: A guide for residents, • lived in the caravan park for at
owners and managers, available least 60 days without a break.
from Someone is not a resident if they:
• are staying in a caravan while
This guide should not be used as a on holiday
substitute for the Act or professional • own a caravan in a caravan
legal advice. park but live somewhere else
• have not obtained the written
Definitions agreement of the caravan park
Caravan: a movable or immovable owner to live in the park as their
dwelling located in a caravan park. main place of residence, or
• have not lived in the caravan park
Caravan park: an area of land where as their main place of residence for
caravans are located for occupation at least 60 days without a break.
on payment of rent.
Site: the land on which a caravan sits.

Caravan parks: A guide for residents, owners and managers

Penalties Checklist for residents

Consumer Affairs Victoria can take Before signing a residency agreement:
action against people who do not • never sign a blank or incomplete
meet their legal obligations. This may form or agreement
include issuing an infringement notice, • make sure that all terms arranged
taking people to court, or other action. with the owner are in the written
Privacy • check that the park owner has
There are clear laws about when an given you a copy of the park rules
owner can enter a caravan or site. • read this guide. The park owner
These are discussed on page 21. must give you a copy on or before
the day you move into the park
If a resident gives personal
• think about getting legal or
information to an owner (such as a
financial advice so you understand
phone number or date of birth), the
the proposed arrangement and
owner may be bound by privacy laws
whether it is the right option for you.
restricting this information being
passed on to third parties. When you begin a residency:
• pay rent in advance as specified
Residents who think • if applicable:
their information is – pay the bond
being misused should – complete, sign and keep a copy
contact: of the ‘Bond Lodgement’ form,
Consumer Affairs which is the interim receipt
Victoria – get a receipt from the Residential
Tenancies Bond Authority (RTBA)
1300 55 81 81 or
– complete, sign and keep a copy
Office of the Australian of the ‘Condition Report’.
Information Commissioner
1300 363 992


During a residency: At the end of a residency:

• use the site as a place to live • take your belongings with you
• use the site, park and facilities • take your caravan (if you own it)
properly and ensure your visitors with you if you have not arranged
do the same to sell it
• do not use the site for any • if applicable:
illegal purpose – keep the ‘Condition Report’
• pay rent and other charges on time in case there are any disputes
• tell the park owner about – complete and sign the ‘Bond
any damage to park facilities Claim’ form, stating how the
• speak with the owner first before bond money is to be divided
trying to fix any problem – keep a copy of the ‘Bond
• make sure there are never more Claim’ form
people living on the site than the – check the bond money has been
agreement allows credited to the nominated bank
• the park owner must give you account by the RTBA
at least seven days’ written notice – leave a forwarding address with
of any proposed changes to the the owner and the RTBA on the
park rules ‘Bond Claim’ form.
• follow the park rules.

Caravan parks: A guide for residents, owners and managers

Checklist for owners When a residency starts:

Before a residency commences, • complete and sign the ‘Condition
the park owner must give the Report’ (only required if the
resident a copy of: resident pays a bond), making
comments in the space provided
• this guide
• complete and sign the ‘Bond
• the park rules
Lodgement’ form and give the
• a ‘Notice to Prospective
resident their copy
Caravan Park Residents’ form.
• keep a copy of the ‘Bond
On or before the day the site is Lodgement’ form
occupied, the owner must give the • forward bond money and
resident a statement setting out the: the RTBA’s copy of the ‘Bond
• scale of additional rent and hiring Lodgement’ form to the RTBA
charges for visitors • file the RTBA receipt when you
• fees a park owner may charge for receive it
storage or removal of a caravan • provide contact details for paying
• scale of commission that applies rent and requesting repairs.
to the sale of a caravan by the
park owner.


During a residency, a park At the end of a residency:

owner must: • keep the ‘Condition Report’
• provide rent receipts (if there is one) in case of
• let the resident use the park any disputes
and all other facilities their • know what to do if a resident
residency allows leaves property behind
• set reasonable hours for use • if there was a bond:
of other facilities – reach agreement with the
• respect a resident’s right resident on any claims on
to privacy, peace and quiet the bond money
• keep the park clean and safe – complete, sign and keep a
• arrange regular garbage collection copy of the ‘Bond Claim’ form
• keep all park facilities (including – send the ‘Bond Claim’ form
hired caravans) in good condition to the RTBA.
• make sure repairs or renovations
disturb occupants as little as
possible, and provide other facilities
for them to use during this time.

Beginning a residency

Part 1: Beginning a residency

The residency agreement Owners must not ask for payments

that are not part of the agreement.
A residency agreement (also referred
to as an ‘agreement’ in this guide) is An agreement may include other
a legal contract between a caravan relevant terms and conditions as long
park owner and a resident. It may as they are lawful. These may include
be in writing or verbal. A verbal the length of time the resident will rent
agreement to reside on a site only a caravan, and other conditions or
confers residency rights or the status rules, such as those covering:
of a resident after the resident
• vehicle access
has lived in the park continuously
for 60 days. Consumer Affairs A park owner (but not a caravan
Victoria recommends using written owner) can charge a reasonable
agreements. one-off fee for giving a resident
a key to enable vehicle access to
The residency agreement generally the park.
covers the rent of a site and the hire
of a caravan, but there are sometimes • visitors
separate agreements for these two An owner may charge a resident
things. a reasonable additional amount
if the resident has a visitor staying
with them.
An agreement should:
• include details of
the rent, fees and
other charges to
be paid (for example, fees for
having visitors stay over)
• include how payments are
calculated, their purpose and
how they may be changed or
• provide details of any
commission a park owner may
charge for selling a caravan.

Caravan parks: A guide for residents, owners and managers

Rent in advance
What if a resident
Rent is the money charged for
believes a term in an
occupying a caravan or site in a park.
agreement is harsh
or unfair? Residents often pay one rent that
Potential residents covers both the site and the caravan.
should carefully read and If the payments are separate, the:
understand an agreement
before they sign it, as it may be • park owner cannot charge more
difficult to change the terms than 14 days’ rent in advance for
afterwards. If they have difficulty renting out the site
understanding an agreement, • caravan owner cannot charge more
they should seek legal or other than 28 days’ rent in advance for
professional advice. hiring out the caravan.
If a resident signs an agreement The resident must continue to pay
and believes it contains unfair the rent when it is due. The person
terms, they should first speak receiving the rent must give the
with the owner to try to resolve resident a receipt. See ‘Receipts for
the matter. If there is no rent or hire charge’ on page 17 for
resolution, the resident may: details.
• ask Consumer Affairs Victoria
to conciliate the dispute Contact details
• apply to the Victorian Civil Park owner’s contact details
and Administrative Tribunal
(VCAT), which will hear the Within seven days of a person
matter and make a ruling for becoming a resident, a park owner
the owner to amend or remove (or their agent) must give the resident:
the term, or keep it as it is. • their full name and address
• a telephone number (for
urgent repairs).
If any contact details change during
the period of the residency, the park
owner must inform the resident in
writing within seven days.
An agent must also advise the
resident if the agent is authorised
to carry out urgent repairs and, if
so, the maximum amount the agent
can authorise.

Part 1: Beginning a residency

Resident’s contact details The ‘Bond Lodgement’ form

A resident should advise the park If an owner receives a bond, they must
owner immediately if their contact give the resident a completed and
details change during the course signed official ‘Bond Lodgement’ form
of the residency. for them to sign.
The top sheet must be sent to
The bond the Residential Tenancies Bond
The bond is money the resident pays Authority (RTBA).
as security. An owner does not have The bottom copy is the ‘Tenant’ copy,
to charge a bond, but, if they do, there which the resident must be given as
are procedures all parties must follow. an interim receipt. There is another
A resident who hires a caravan copy for the owner.
separately to the site may have to pay The owner must send the bond
two bonds: one each to the park owner and the top sheet to the RTBA within
and the caravan owner. 10 business days of receiving the
The bond for each cannot be more bond. Payment must be made by
than 28 days’ rent or hire charge. cheque or money order payable
to the ‘Residential Tenancies Bond
Authority’. The RTBA postal details
A park owner cannot are on page 43 of this guide and on
ask for a bond unless the ‘Bond Lodgement’ form.
there is already a
written residency If a bond is required, an owner may be
agreement, and may penalised for not giving the resident a
be penalised for breaking ‘Bond Lodgement’ form to fill out.
this law.
‘Bond Lodgement’
An owner may claim part or all of forms can be
the bond if a resident leaves without generated on the
paying some of the rent, or damages RTBA Online website:
a caravan, site or park facilities. They
may also claim compensation from
Official forms mentioned in
the resident if the bond does not cover
this guide are available from
all their losses.
Consumer Affairs Victoria:
In all other cases, the bond must be
returned to the resident.
1300 55 81 81

Caravan parks: A guide for residents, owners and managers

Bonds from the Department ‘Condition Report’

of Health and Human Services
In cases where a bond has been paid,
Residents on low incomes who the park owner or caravan owner
can afford to rent privately, but must prepare a ‘Condition Report’.
are struggling to pay the up-front The ‘Condition Report’ describes a
costs, may be eligible for a bond loan hired caravan’s state of repair and
from the Department of Health and general condition, including fittings
Human Services. and fixtures.
For more information, residents should Consumer Affairs Victoria has a
contact the Department of Health ‘Condition Report’ form that can
and Human Services (see page 44 be used.
for Department of Health and Human
The ‘Condition Report’ may serve as
Services contact details).
evidence if there is a future dispute
about who should pay for cleaning,
damage or replacing missing items.

• Consumer
Affairs Victoria
recommends using
a ‘Condition Report’
form even if no bond
has been paid.
• People may take photos of a
site or caravan, as proof of
their condition.

Part 1: Beginning a residency

The owner must give two signed Utilities

copies of the ‘Condition Report’ to
Park owners must pay the installation
the resident before they move in.
and initial connection costs to a
The resident should check the report site for electricity, gas, bottled gas
and note any items they believe are or water.
damaged or unsafe. They must then
The resident must pay for the supply
sign both copies and return one to the
and usage of bottled gas.
owner within three business days of
moving in. Residents should keep their If the site has separate meters, the
copy of the ‘Condition Report’. resident must also pay the supply and
usage charges for electricity, gas and
An owner may claim some or all of
water. If the park owner pays the bill
the bond for cleaning, damage or
and then charges the resident, they
replacement of missing items at
cannot charge more than what the
the end of a residency agreement.
utility supplier would have charged
If the ‘Condition Report’ stated that
the resident.
the work needed to be done at the
start of the residency agreement, If a site does not have separate
or the details were not listed, it can meters, the park owner must pay
help prove that the bond should be for the services.
returned to the resident.
Residents should tell owners about
any faults that may be a safety risk,
so these can be fixed. If the problem
is not fixed, residents can take further
action. See the section on ‘Repairs’
on page 19.

Living in a caravan park

Part 2: Living in a caravan park

Rent Receipts for rent or hire charge

Residents must pay the rent as The person who receives the rent
agreed and by the due date. or hire fee must give the resident a:

In most cases, rent is paid in advance. • receipt immediately (if the rent
If the first rent is not paid or is late, the is paid in person)
resident is immediately behind. • receipt within five business days
(if the rent is not paid in person but
If a resident’s rent is seven days or
the resident requests a receipt)
more behind, the owner may give
them a ‘Notice to Vacate to Resident/s • copy of the record within five
of a Caravan Park’. business days (if the rent is paid
and a receipt is not requested, the
A person must not take a resident’s owner must keep a record of the
belongings to cover rent owing, and payment for 12 months).
can be fined for doing so.
A rent receipt must include:
If a park owner stops providing a
service to the resident, the rent must • the signature of the person
be reduced to an agreed amount. If receiving the payment
agreement cannot be reached, either • the resident’s name
party may ask Consumer Affairs • the park’s name
Victoria to conciliate the dispute, • the payment date
or apply to the Victorian Civil and • what period the payment
Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) to was for how much was paid
resolve the problem. • a statement that it is a fee
for rent or hire charge.

Caravan parks: A guide for residents, owners and managers

Rent increases Difference between bond and rent

For any rent or hire charge increase, The bond and rent are separate
an owner must give a resident a payments. A resident must not
‘Notice of Rent Increase to Resident/s use any part of the bond as rent.
of Caravan Parks’ and at least
A resident cannot stop paying
60 days’ notice. The notice must
rent because:
tell residents about their rights and
actions they may take if they think the • they are waiting for repairs
increase is too high. An owner may to be done
increase the rent or hire charge only • they are in the last month
once in any six-month period. of a residency agreement
• they have given notice that they
When a resident believes intend to vacate, or have been
the rent is too high given a ‘Notice to Vacate’.
Residents can contact Consumer
Affairs Victoria for a rental The importance
assessment if they have been given of communication
notice of an increase in their rent or
Residents and owners
any other hiring charge that they
need to contact
think is excessive.
each other for issues such as
The resident must request a rental rent increases, damage to
assessment report in writing within property and ending a residency
30 days of receiving notice of agreement. Such matters should
an increase. always be in writing. Written
communication should be clear,
After the resident has received the
signed, and include all relevant
assessment report from Consumer
details; all parties should keep
Affairs Victoria, they have 30 days
copies. You can communicate
to apply to VCAT for a hearing. VCAT
electronically (for example,
may set a maximum rent, which then
by email) if you have the prior
stays in force for six months.
consent of the other party to
do so. Make sure that consent
to electronic communication
is in writing. Consumer Affairs
Victoria has forms available for
a wide range of scenarios.

Part 2: Living in a caravan park

Park rules Repairs

A park owner can make rules relating The law distinguishes between
to the use, enjoyment, control and urgent and non-urgent repairs, and
management of the park. These rules owners and residents have different
must be given to the resident before responsibilities according to each.
they enter into a residency agreement.
The caravan owner is responsible
Park rules may include things for all repairs to a caravan.
such as:
All repairs to a site or park facilities
• noise levels are the park owner’s responsibility.
• the keeping of pets However, a resident may be asked to
• the use and operation of arrange and/or pay for repairs if they
communal facilities caused the damage.
• car parking
Residents must continue to pay rent
• other relevant issues.
while waiting for repairs to be done.
Residents must be told about changes
It is very important to communicate
to the park rules in writing at least
all information regarding repairs in
seven days before they come into
writing and keep copies of all letters,
forms and reports for future reference.
Residents who believe a rule is
unreasonable may apply to VCAT to
All forms relating to
hear the matter. VCAT may decide
repairs are available
that the rule is unfair and ask the park
from Consumer
owner to amend or remove it, or keep
Affairs Victoria:
it as it is.
A park owner must ensure that
the park rules are applied fairly 1300 55 81 81
and consistently.

Caravan parks: A guide for residents, owners and managers

Urgent repairs
Steps for
If a resident requests an urgent repair,
urgent repairs
the park owner or caravan owner
must arrange it immediately. 1. The owner
must respond
An urgent repair is any work immediately
needed to fix: when a resident requests
• a burst water service an urgent repair
• a blocked or broken toilet system 2. If a resident is not getting
a quick response from the
• a serious roof leak
owner, they may authorise
• a gas leak the repair up to $1,800;
• a dangerous electrical fault the resident may then give
• flooding or serious flood damage the owner a notice seeking
• serious storm or fire damage reimbursement for the cost.
• a failure or breakdown of any 3. An owner has 14 days from
essential service or appliance when they get this notice to
provided by the owner for hot reimburse the resident
water, water, cooking, heating 4. If the owner does not cover
or laundering the cost of the repairs, and
• a failure or breakdown of the gas, they are going to cost more
electricity or water supply than $1,800, or if the resident
• a serious fault in a lift or staircase cannot afford to pay for them,
in the park the resident may:
• any fault or damage in a caravan • contact Consumer Affairs
that makes it unsafe or insecure Victoria to discuss the
• any appliance, fitting or fixture that problem, or
is not working properly and causes • apply to VCAT to hear
a substantial amount of water to the matter.
be wasted.

Part 2: Living in a caravan park

Non-urgent repairs Rules on entering a caravan

The resident must write to the Entry without notice
owner telling them what needs to be
repaired and that it must be fixed A park owner (or manager or agent
within 14 days. Residents should use acting on their behalf) can only enter
Consumer Affairs Victoria’s ‘Notice a site or caravan without notice:
to Owner of Caravan or Caravan • if the resident agrees at the time
Park’ form. • in an emergency to save life or
Where the resident has requested valuable property
repairs be carried out and the owner • if VCAT has found that the resident
has arranged them within 14 days, the has abandoned the site.
resident must continue to pay rent.
A caravan owner may enter a caravan
If the owner does not carry out the without notice if:
repairs within 14 days of receiving
• the resident agrees at the time
the written request, the resident can
• VCAT has found that the resident
send a copy of it to Consumer Affairs
has abandoned the caravan.
Victoria with a letter asking for an
inspection and a subsequent report.
If the repairs still have not been done
after the resident has received the
inspection report from Consumer
Affairs Victoria, the resident has
60 days from receiving the report to
apply to VCAT for a repair order.
If a resident takes the matter to VCAT,
they can apply for their rent to be paid
into a special account while the issue
is sorted out.

Caravan parks: A guide for residents, owners and managers

Entry with 24 hours’ notice • carry out any lawful duty

A park owner or caravan owner • check a reasonable belief that the
can enter for other reasons if resident has not met their duties
they first give the resident at least • show people through who are
24 hours’ written notice stating the interested in buying the caravan
reason. This notice can be given or site or lending the owner money
to the resident by post, electronic on it
communication (for example, email) • make a general inspection of a site
or in person between 8am and 6pm. or caravan (however, the latter can
However, to give notice electronically, only happen if the resident does not
you must have the prior consent of own the caravan), only once in any
the other party to receive notices six-month period.
and other documents in this way.
If an owner has served a valid notice,
Make sure that consent to electronic
the resident must let them enter the
communication is in writing.
site or caravan.
An owner may only enter
between 8am and 6pm and
A person entering
not on public holidays.
a site or caravan
An owner can enter with must not:
24 hours’ notice to: • behave
• show the caravan or site to
potential new occupants if the • stay any longer than
resident has already given notice, necessary to achieve the
or has been given written notice to purpose of their entry, unless
move out the resident agrees.

Part 2: Living in a caravan park

If a person does the wrong thing When the park owner changes
Residents and owners can give a If a new park owner takes over the
‘Breach of Duty’ notice to the other park or site and a bond has been paid,
person if that person has not met the incoming and outgoing parties
certain duties under the Residential must complete the ‘Agent/Landlord
Tenancies Act. Once a ‘Breach of Transfer’ form and send it to the
Duty’ has been given, the person Residential Tenancies Bond Authority
who received it must fix the situation. (RTBA) within five business days of
Residents and owners should the transfer taking effect.
contact Consumer Affairs Victoria
The resident does not need to sign
for information about how to issue
the ‘Agent/Landlord Transfer’ form
‘Breach of Duty’ notices.
but must receive a copy.
A penalty may be imposed if the
relevant completed forms are not
sent to the RTBA.

Ending a residency

Part 3: Ending an agreement

Ways to end a residency Agreement of all parties

There are four main ways for The agreement to end a residency
legally ending a residency: early should be put in writing in case
of a later dispute. It should include any
• All parties agree to end
agreed terms and conditions and the
the residency
date the residency will end.
• The residency right is
being transferred
• A resident is given a ‘Notice
When a resident receives
to Vacate’ a ‘Notice to Vacate’
• The resident gives notice to A resident must be given the proper
the park owner of their intention amount of time to vacate – this will
to vacate. depend on the reason for giving the
notice (see ‘Reasons and minimum
notice periods when a resident gets
How to give notice
a Notice to Vacate’ on page 28 for
Both the resident and the owner details).
can give notice to end a residency
by hand, by post or by electronic A ‘Notice to Vacate’ must:
communication (for example, • be written in the correct form,
email). However, if you give notice Consumer Affairs Victoria provides
electronically, you must have the official ‘Notice to Vacate’ forms
prior consent of the other party to • be addressed to the resident
receive notices and other documents
• give a reason or state that no
in this way. Make sure that consent to
reason is specified
electronic communication is in writing.
• be signed by the person who
We recommend using the official has given the notice
forms available from consumer.vic. • give the date for the resident to give notice. Please to leave
follow the ‘How to serve this notice’ • be sent by registered post, sent
instructions on the relevant form. via electronic communication
A residency automatically such as email (this requires the
continues until the parties legally prior agreement of both parties)
end the residency. Even if a or given in person.
residency agreement has a fixed
term of occupancy and the fixed
term finishes, the residency right
continues until the parties legally
end it.

Caravan parks: A guide for residents, owners and managers

The person must then leave the park

Confused about a immediately and is not allowed to
‘Notice to Vacate’? return for two business days, or until
If a resident receives a the matter is heard at the Victorian
‘Notice to Vacate’ and Civil and Administrative Tribunal
does not know what to do, they (VCAT) if the owner has applied
should contact Consumer Affairs for possession.
Victoria: The person given the notice to leave may be fined if they: • do not leave the premises
1300 55 81 81 immediately
• return to the premises during
the suspension period.

Violent situations
Paying rent while suspended
If a resident or their visitor is being
violent or putting anyone in the park The resident must pay rent and
in danger, the park owner can use one hire charges for the days they
of two official notices – a ‘Notice to are suspended.
Leave’ or a ‘Notice to Vacate’. If VCAT decides the resident
should not have been suspended,
Suspending a resident – the resident must be allowed back
‘Notice to Leave’ into the premises. VCAT may order
the owner to refund any rent or other
If the park owner wants the person
charges that the resident paid for
to leave immediately, they can give
the days they were suspended.
them the official ‘Notice to Leave to
Resident/s of Managed Premises or
Resident’s Visitor’ form. The notice
must be given as soon as it is safe
to do so.

Part 3: Ending an agreement

During a suspension Family violence

The park owner may decide during If you are experiencing family violence
the suspension period to apply in a residency, you can seek to
to VCAT to permanently evict the become a ‘protected person’ under
resident during a suspension. This one of the following notices:
extends the suspension period until
• Family violence safety notice
VCAT deals with the application. The
(issued by the police)
park owner must apply within two
business days of giving the notice. • Family violence intervention order
(issued by a court)
The resident must pay rent and • Personal safety intervention order
hire charges for the days they are (issued by a court)
suspended, unless VCAT decides
otherwise. For more information on these
notices, visit
‘Notice to Vacate’
For more information on family
A ‘Notice to Vacate’ given for reasons
violence and a list of support
relating to danger can tell the resident
agencies that can help you, visit
to move out on the day it is given, or a
later date.
If the resident does not leave by the
date in the notice, they cannot be
forced to leave unless VCAT has made
an order telling them to do so (see
‘Evicting a resident’ on page 33
for details). The owner must apply to
VCAT within 30 days of the date they
asked the resident to leave.

Caravan parks: A guide for residents, owners and managers

Reasons and minimum notice periods

when a resident gets a ‘Notice to Vacate’
The table below shows how much notice a resident
must be given to vacate the park.

Minimum notice period for each reason

(Allow extra time whether mailing
or delivering by hand. For more
Reason for issuing a information see ‘Calculating minimum
‘Notice to Vacate’ notice periods’ on page 32.)

Intentionally or recklessly causing or Immediately

allowing serious damage in the park,
its facilities, or a hired caravan

Putting people or property in the park in Immediately

danger (note: caravan owners cannot give
notice for this reason)

Serious disruption of peace and quiet to Immediately

other park occupants and visitors (note:
caravan owners cannot give notice for
this reason)

Seven days’ or more rent is owing 7 days

Caravan is being used for illegal purposes 7 days

Breach of VCAT compliance order or 7 days

compensation order

Resident has already been given two 7 days

‘Breach of Duty’ notices and the same
duty is breached again

The caravan owner or a member of their 14 days

immediate family (including parents and Normally, unless the owner has
parents-in-law), or a dependent who permission from VCAT, they cannot
normally lives with the caravan owner, will re-let the caravan or site for six months
be moving in. This only applies for fixed-term after giving a resident this type of
residency agreements, and the end date notice.
must be at least 14 days after the end of
the fixed term.

Part 3: Ending an agreement

Minimum notice period for each reason

(Allow extra time whether mailing
or delivering by hand. For more
Reason for issuing a information see ‘Calculating minimum
‘Notice to Vacate’ notice periods’ on page 32.)

A caravan is to be sold or has been sold* 60 days

Where a caravan has been sold and
the owner wishes to issue a ‘Notice to
Vacate’, the notice must be within 14
days of entering into an unconditional
contract, or within 14 days after the last
condition of a conditional contract has
been met.
If the residency agreement has a fixed
term, the end date for these reasons
cannot be before the end of the fixed

No specified reason 120 days

If the residency agreement has a fixed
term, the end date for these reasons
cannot be before the end of the fixed

The park is closing down or has been sold 6 months

and the land is being used for another Normally, unless the owner has
purpose (note: caravan owners cannot give permission from VCAT, they cannot
notice for this reason)^ re-let the caravan or site for six months
after giving a resident this type of
If the residency agreement has a fixed
term, the end date for these reasons
cannot be before the end of the fixed

^ Normally, unless the owner has permission from VCAT, they cannot re-let the caravan or site for
six months after giving a resident this type of notice.
* Where a caravan has been sold and the owner wishes to issue a ‘Notice to Vacate’, the notice
must be within 14 days of entering into an unconditional contract, or within 14 days after the
last condition of a conditional contract has been met.

Caravan parks: A guide for residents, owners and managers

Reasons a resident can When a resident wants to leave

challenge a ‘Notice to Vacate’
Selling a caravan and transferring
Residents may challenge a the arrangement
‘Notice to Vacate’ if:
If a resident sells their caravan, the
• they believe it was not right to live in the park can also be
given properly transferred to the buyer, as long as
• they do not agree with the the park owner agrees.
reason given.
First, the resident must give the
park owner notice in writing using
VCAT can cancel a ‘no the ‘Transfer of Residency Right
specified reason’ (Caravan)’ form available from
notice if it was given Consumer Affairs Victoria. For more
because the resident information on giving notice, see
was using their legal ‘How to give notice’ on page 25.
rights or saying they would. If the park owner does not respond
In this case, the resident must within seven days of receiving this
apply to VCAT within 60 days form, the transfer can take place as
of receiving the notice. though permission has been given.
Second, the bond (if one was paid)
Residents can also argue against a must be put in the new resident’s
notice if it would be difficult for them name. A completed ‘Tenant Transfer’
to move out without an extension form must be completed and sent
of time. to the Residential Tenancies Bond
Authority (RTBA) within five business
If a resident wants to challenge a days of the transfer taking place.
‘Notice to Vacate’ given because
a caravan has been sold, they When arranging the sale, the
may contact VCAT within 30 days resident may use a sales agent.
of receiving the notice to request A park owner cannot ask a resident
a hearing. to use a particular sales agent. If the
park owner is the agent, they must
state how much commission they
will receive.

Part 3: Ending an agreement

A park owner:
Contact Consumer
• cannot charge a fee for Affairs Victoria for
agreeing to a transfer more information:
• cannot interfere with the
sale of a caravan
• may face large penalties for
breaking the above laws. 1300 55 81 81

If the park owner refuses permission

for the transfer and the resident If a hired caravan is unfit to live
thinks this is unfair, they can apply in, totally or partly destroyed and
to VCAT for a decision. therefore unsafe, a resident can leave
immediately. In all other cases, a
resident must give at least seven days’
Note: notice that they intend to vacate.
Prospective buyers
If a resident leaves without notice,
are advised to confirm
they must pay rent for seven days
that the seller has
from the date they vacated.
the park owner’s permission
to assign their residency rights When leaving, a resident must pay the
before buying the caravan. rent and any other charges up to the
last day. They cannot refuse to pay
the final charges because they paid
Amount of notice a a bond for the rent of the site.
resident must give
A resident must give the park owner How a resident gives notice
(and caravan owner, if applicable) a A resident may give notice by hand,
notice stating that they wish to leave. electronic communication (such as
This must be in writing and signed by email) or by post. If a resident decides
the resident (or their representative). to post their notice, they may wish to
use registered post so there is proof of
Consumer Affairs Victoria has an
when and where the notice was sent.
official form that can be used.
For more information on giving notice,
see ‘How to give notice’ on page 25.

Giving notice but not leaving

If a resident gives notice but does not
leave, an owner can apply to VCAT for
an order for them to move out.

Caravan parks: A guide for residents, owners and managers

When a mortgagee wants To calculate the earliest termination

a resident to leave date, you must allow a total time that
includes both:
If a park owner has put up part or all
of the caravan park as security for a • delivery of the notice (delivery is the
loan, the lender may have the right to day it is given by hand or electronic
take possession if loan repayments communication, or the day it would
are not kept up. be received by post), and
• the required minimum notice
In this case, the lender (mortgagee) is period.
allowed to give the resident a ‘Notice
to Vacate’. The date the notice takes effect is
the day after the minimum notice
If a mortgage over the park was period ends.
given before a residency started,
the resident must be given at least From 4 January 2016, Australia Post
90 days’ notice. introduced three delivery speeds
for ordinary post – express, priority
For a park mortgage given after the and regular. Priority and regular
residency started, at least six months’ speeds also apply for registered
notice must be given – and where post, which must be used if a park
there is a fixed-term residency, it owner is sending a notice to vacate
cannot be before the end of the term. to a resident.

Calculating minimum Park owners and residents who

notice periods post notices, such as Notices of rent
increase and Notices to vacate, should
When sending a notice, the minimum factor in longer mail delivery times
notice period starts the day after the which reflect the chosen delivery
notice is: speed. Extra days should also be
• given by hand or electronic added for any public holidays that
communication (such as email), or fall within the postal period.
• calculated to have been given For more about Australia Post’s
when sent by ordinary post or mail delivery options and times,
registered post. visit
To help calculate the total minimum
days to allow, depending on the
notice period required and the
method of delivery, visit vcat.vic.

Part 3: Ending an agreement

Evicting a resident
Important notice
To evict a resident, a park owner or
for owners:
caravan owner must apply to VCAT
for a warrant of possession. You cannot use force,
or any other method,
VCAT deals with applications for to evict a resident.
such warrants if: Only the police can carry out
• the notice period given by the an eviction, and only when
resident, a mortgagee or the they are acting on a warrant
owner has run out and the of possession from VCAT.
resident is still there
• the resident has been given
a ‘Notice to Leave’. Facing eviction?
A resident has the right to attend If you are a resident
the hearing and give evidence. facing eviction and
you do not know
If a resident has been suspended and what to do, contact Consumer
is therefore not at the park, VCAT may Affairs Victoria immediately.
not know where to send information Consumer Affairs Victoria can
regarding the hearing. Residents provide information, or direct
should contact VCAT to find out if the you to other organisations that
owner has applied to evict them and, can help.
if so, the time and date of the hearing.
If VCAT finds that the owner should
1300 55 81 81
not have suspended the resident, the
owner must allow them back in the
park, and can be ordered to refund
the rent or hire charges paid for the
days the person was suspended.
If VCAT agrees with the suspension,
the resident must stay away from the
park permanently, unless ordered

When a resident leaves

Part 4: When a resident leaves

Repaying the bond Reclaiming the bond

If a bond was paid, the resident When the RTBA receives a correctly
and park owner or caravan owner completed ‘Bond Claim’ form, it pays
should try to agree on how it the bond directly into the nominated
should be repaid when a residency bank account/s overnight.
agreement ends. There may be some The RTBA does not make part
rent unpaid, or property damage that payment of bonds to outgoing
needs repair. The agreed division residents when there is more than
should be set out in the ‘Bond Claim’ one name listed on the residency
form, which is sent to the Residential agreement. This is a private matter
Tenancies Bond Authority (RTBA). between outgoing and incoming
residents. However, any change of
‘Bond Claim’ forms resident must be put on a transfer
can be generated form and sent to the RTBA.
from the RTBA Online
website: Bonds provided by the Department of Health and Human Services
All forms mentioned in this guide If the Department of Health and
are available from Consumer Human Services provided the bond
Affairs Victoria: money, the resident cannot agree
to the release of any of the bond to
the owner.
1300 55 81 81
If there is no claim on the bond, the
RTBA will pay it out to the Department
When any part of the bond is to be of Health and Human Services at the
paid to the owner, the form cannot be end of the residency, once the RTBA
signed more than seven days before has received the completed ‘Bond
the end of the residency. Claim’ form.
If a ‘Bond Claim’ form is not lodged,
the Department of Health and Human
Services will not know that the
residency has ended and the bond
amount will remain registered as an
outstanding debt against the resident.
The owner must apply to the Victorian
Civil and Administrative Tribunal
(VCAT) if they wish to make a claim
on a bond provided by the Department
of Health and Human Services.

Caravan parks: A guide for residents, owners and managers

When can an owner make When a resident cannot be

a claim on the bond? located and rent is owing
An owner may make a claim on In such cases, the owner has
the bond for: 10 business days to apply to VCAT
• damage caused by the for an order directing the RTBA
resident or their visitor to repay the bond to the owner to
cover the rent.
• cleaning expenses
• the resident abandoning VCAT can make a ruling to distribute
the premises the bond money without a hearing or
• the resident leaving the owner refer the matter for a hearing.
to pay bills that the resident When VCAT makes a ruling, the owner
should have paid sends a copy of the ruling, along
• loss of the owner’s goods with a completed ‘Bond Claim’ form,
• unpaid rent. to the RTBA and the money is paid
out overnight.
Costs due to fair wear and tear
cannot be claimed.
Final meter readings
If there is disagreement about the
division of a bond, the owner must Residents who have separate meters
apply to VCAT within 10 business days should let the utility providers know in
of the resident vacating the premises. advance when they will be moving out.
Otherwise, they may be charged for
Owners may also claim compensation services in the next billing period.
over and above the bond amount with
a separate application to VCAT.

Part 4: When a resident leaves

Goods left behind Goods that can be disposed of

Before vacating the park, residents An owner can get rid of:
should leave their contact details with
• perishable foods
the park owner or caravan owner, in
• dangerous goods
case they need to be contacted about
any goods left behind. • goods of no monetary value.

Residents who leave goods or Owners can assess whether, under the
personal documents behind when Residential Tenancies Act, the goods
they vacate should arrange with can be disposed of or must be stored;
the park owner or caravan owner or, they can ask Consumer Affairs
to collect them as soon as possible. Victoria to inspect the goods and
An owner cannot refuse to return make a formal assessment.
belongings, even if the resident
owes rent. A ‘Request for
A resident may apply to VCAT for Inspection of Goods
compensation if they suffered a loss Left Behind’ form
because an owner did not comply is available from
with the law. Consumer Affairs
If the owner has obtained an
inspection report from Consumer
Affairs Victoria and suffered a loss 1300 55 81 81
through the cost of removing, storing
and auctioning goods, they may also
If VCAT declares a caravan to be
apply to VCAT for compensation.
abandoned, the owner may deal with
the caravan as they would any other
‘stored good’.

Caravan parks: A guide for residents, owners and managers

Goods that must be stored Personal documents

If a resident leaves goods behind that These are documents that it would be
are not allowed to be disposed of, the reasonable to expect a person to keep.
owner must:
Examples include:
• take reasonable care of the goods
• marriage and divorce certificates
• store them for 28 days
• educational certificates
• notify the resident when and from
• birth certificates
where the goods can be collected
• passports
• let the resident reclaim the goods
(after the resident has paid back • medical records
any reasonable costs the owner • computer hard-drives
incurred in storing them). • contents of USB memory sticks
• CDs and DVDs
• contents of still and movie cameras
• contents of electronic data storage
• photographs
• personal memorabilia.

Part 4: When a resident leaves

When personal documents are

left behind the owner must: An owner may face
penalties for not
• take reasonable care of them letting a resident
for at least 90 days reclaim goods or
• let the resident reclaim the personal documents if
documents after paying back the resident was willing to pay
any money the owner had to a reasonable amount to cover
spend to store them. those costs.
If an owner complies with the law
and the resident does not claim the
documents, the owner can dispose
of them (although there may be
some restrictions on the disposal
of documents such as passports –
contact Consumer Affairs Victoria
for more information). The owner
can then apply to VCAT to be
compensated for the cost of looking
after and removing the documents.

Solving problems

Part 5: Solving problems

What to do if there is a problem Consumer Affairs Victoria can attempt

to conciliate a dispute, but cannot
Ideally, residents and owners should
force somebody to resolve an issue.
solve any problems by coming to an
The conciliation service is free.
agreement. This should be in writing
and signed by all relevant parties.
Dispute Settlement Centre
If a party wants to enforce their
of Victoria
legal rights, they usually have to
give a formal notice explaining the The Dispute Settlement Centre of
issue to the other person. The relevant Victoria (DSCV) can help resolve
notices are available from Consumer a wide range of issues without the
Affairs Victoria. parties involved having to go to court.
The service is free.
A notice must state what the resident
or owner wants done and when it The DSCV also provides information
must be done by. The amount of time and training in resolving disputes.
to comply with the notice varies and DSCV’s contact details are on
depends on the type of problem. page 45.

Consumer Affairs Victoria

If a resident and owner cannot
resolve a problem, they may contact
Consumer Affairs Victoria.
Consumer Affairs Victoria can give
advice on a range of issues including:
• residency agreements
• repairs and maintenance
• rent increases
• rights and obligations of owners
and residents
• notice periods
• goods left behind.

Caravan parks: A guide for residents, owners and managers

Organisations such as the Tenants It is important to be prepared for

Union of Victoria (TUV), Housing for a hearing. The VCAT member will
the Aged Action Group (HAAG) and hear and consider all the evidence
Peninsula Community Legal Centre presented from both sides. This might
(PCLC) can also help residents who include listening to evidence from
are in a dispute. See the ‘Useful witnesses or looking at photographs
contacts’ section on pages 43–45 and other documents brought to
for details. the hearing.
VCAT’s decisions are usually made on
Victoria Civil and the day of the hearing; they must be
Administrative Tribunal obeyed by both parties in the same
The Victorian Civil and Administrative way as a court order.
Tribunal (VCAT) works like a court VCAT will also consider urgent
but is less formal. It hears a range hearings in cases of extreme hardship.
of disputes, including those between To request one, an applicant must
owners and residents. provide a letter outlining why the
Application forms are available matter is urgent when they lodge
from VCAT. When VCAT receives an the application.
application, it will advise the relevant
parties of the date, time and place of Interpreters at VCAT
the hearing. Hearings take place in the VCAT can provide interpreters for
city, suburbs and country Victoria. parties directly involved in a dispute.
Usually, the only cost involved in the If an applicant needs an interpreter,
hearing is the application fee. This VCAT must be told at the time of
fee may be waived in rare cases, the application.
depending on set criteria regarding an VCAT will then arrange for an
applicant’s income and social security interpreter free of charge. Friends
status. Contact VCAT or Consumer or relatives are generally not allowed
Affairs Victoria for more information. to interpret.
VCAT’s contact details are on
page 43.

Useful contacts

Useful contacts

Victorian Civil and Victorian Caravan Parks

Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) Association (VicParks)
VCAT operates like a court but is not The Victorian Caravan Parks
as formal, and deals with a wide range Association can provide information
of issues, including disputes arising to park owners and managers about
from the Residential Tenancies Act. issues affecting caravan parks.
Phone 03 9628 9800 Phone 03 9372 3420
1800 133 055 Fax 03 9376 9794
(country callers, freecall)
Unit 8, 88 Dynon Road
Fax 03 9628 9822 West Melbourne VIC 3003
GPO Box 5408
Melbourne VIC 3001 Residential Tenancies
Bond Authority (RTBA)
Tenants Union of Victoria (TUV) The RTBA holds all residential tenancy
The TUV provides information, advice bonds. It can only repay bonds if all
and advocacy services for Victorian parties to a bond agree, or as directed
tenants and residents. by VCAT or a court.

Phone 03 9416 2577 Phone 1300 13 71 64

(local call charge)
Fax 03 9416 0513
Locked Bag 007
55 Johnston Street
Wendouree VIC 3355
Fitzroy VIC 3065

Caravan parks: A guide for residents, owners and managers

Building Unit – Department Housing for the Aged

of Environment, Land, Water Action Group (HAAG)
and Planning (DELWP) HAAG offers information, advocacy
The Building Unit, DELWP administers and access to accommodation
legislation dealing with registration services for older renters.
and standards of caravan parks.
Phone 1300 765 178
Phone 03 9094 8484
03 9654 7389
Level 18, 1 Spring Street Fax 03 9654 3407
Melbourne VIC 3000
1st Floor Ross House
GPO Box 2392 247–251 Flinders Lane
Melbourne VIC 3001 Melbourne VIC 3000

Department of Health Peninsula Community

and Human Services Legal Centre Inc (PCLC)
The Department of Health and PCLC’s services include information
Human Services provides housing for park residents, as well as
help to eligible Victorians. Their negotiations and representation
housing website provides information at VCAT. The service caters for
about housing in Victoria and includes residents in Melbourne’s south
a Housing Options Finder tool to help and south-eastern suburbs.
people understand the services and
supports they might benefit from.
Phone 03 9783 3600
Phone 1300 650 172 (local call charge,
except mobile phones) 1800 064 784
(country callers)
TTY 13 36 77 then
ask for 1300 650 172 441 Nepean Highway
Speak and listen users Frankston VIC 3199
Tel 1300 555 727 then
ask for 1300 650 172

Useful contacts

Victorian Equal Dispute Settlement

Opportunity and Human Centre of Victoria (DSCV)
Rights Commission (VEOHRC) The DSCV can help resolve a wide
VEOHRC provides information range of issues, without the parties
about equal opportunity rights and having to resort to legal action.
responsibilities and helps people
The service is free.
resolve complaints of discrimination
or harassment through its free To find your nearest office, visit
conciliation service. the DSCV website. or
Phone 1300 372 888
Phone 1300 292 153 Fax 03 8684 1311
Fax 1300 891 858
Level 4, 456 Lonsdale Street
TTY 1300 289 621 Melbourne VIC 3000
Level 3, 204 Lygon Street
Carlton VIC 3053 1800RESPECT
1800RESPECT provides a counselling
helpline, information and support for
people experiencing sexual assault
or domestic and family violence. The
service is available 24 hours a day,
seven days a week.
Phone 1800 737 732

Caravan parks: A guide for residents, owners and managers


Caravan parks: A guide for residents, owners and managers


1300 55 81 81 (local call charge)

RentRight smartphone app:

We have offices in Ballarat, Bendigo, Box Hill, Dandenong,

Geelong, Mildura, Morwell, Reservoir, Shepparton, Wangaratta,
Warrnambool, Werribee and Wodonga. Our mobile service
regularly visits rural communities.

July 2017

Translating and Interpreting Service 131 450

Textphone or modem users only, ring the
National Relay Service (NRS) on 133 677,
then quote 1300 55 81 81.
Callers who use Speech to Speech Relay
dial 1300 555 727, then quote 1300 55 81 81.