Last updated 14 December 2016
The Manufactured Homes (Residential Parks) Act 2003 (Qld) (Manufactured Homes Act) imposes significant disclosure and legal obligations on park owners. It requires a standard information document and site agreement, and specifies a number of obligations that a park owner cannot contract out of.
A park owner must give to a prospective homeowner a homeowner’s information document, the park rules together with any proposals or changes to those rules and two copies of the proposed site agreement.
The homeowner’s information document must include (s 18 Manufactured Homes Act):
- information identifying the park, the park owner and manager
- details of the communal facilities
- the homeowner’s and park owner’s responsibilities as set out in ss 15-17 of the Manufactured Homes Act
- the rights of termination and assignment or transfer of the site agreement
- how rent for the site can be varied
- how disputes can be resolved
- a recommendation that a person obtain legal advice before entering into or transferring a site agreement.
The site agreement itself sets out details of the rent of the land on which the mobile home is located, the positioning of the home on the land and what rights the homeowner has in relation to use of the common areas and facilities.
The site agreement must, among other things (s 25 Manufactured Homes Act):
- be legible, in 12-point font, precise and in plain language
- precisely identify the site where the home is located
- provide for each party’s contact details
- set out the site rent and other charges payable, when and how they are payable and how the rent may be varied
- stipulate the maximum number of persons who may reside on the site
- be signed by all the parties to the agreement.
All the costs of preparing the agreement must be borne by the park owner, and the agreement itself must be kept by the park owner for at least one year after it is terminated.
The site agreement itself must include the homeowner’s and park owner’s responsibilities as set out in the Manufactured Homes Act together with the park rules and any relevant terms of any order of the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal that applies to the park.
Even though the homeowner owns the home, the homeowner’s responsibilities are similar to those of a tenant under the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 (Qld), including the obligation to maintain the home in a reasonable state of cleanliness and repair, and not to intentionally or recklessly damage or destroy the communal facilities in the park (s 16 Manufactured Homes Act).
The park owner’s responsibilities include having to ensure that the common areas and communal facilities are maintained in a reasonable state of cleanliness and repair, and to take reasonable steps to let homeowners have access to the site and the common areas (s 17 Manufactured Homes Act). It is an offence under the Manufactured Homes Act for a park owner to engage in fraudulent or misleading conduct (s 95).
The Manufactured Homes Act also provides for a cooling-off period. The right to terminate during the cooling-off period only arises, however, if the disclosure documents have not been given to a homeowner before the site agreement is made or if the site agreement is made within seven days of the disclosure documents being given. In those circumstances, a homeowner has 28 days after the agreement was entered into to terminate a site agreement and any amounts already paid by the owner under the agreement have to be refunded (s 33 Manufactured Homes Act).