Fixed method site fee increases

01/09/2020
Bob Morris
The concept of increasing rent or site fees by a fixed method is not new. Fixed method increases were possible and did happen under the (repealed) Residential Parks Act 1998. What the Residential (Land Lease) Communities Act (RLLC Act) introduced is specificity regarding what a fixed method may be, and that is what we examine in this article. The RLLC Act provides that site fees may be increased by a fixed method which may be either: (i) by fixed amounts, or (ii) by a fixed calculation (for example, in proportion to variations in the Consumer Price Index or in the age pension).
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How did we get here?

01/09/2020
Outasite logo
With the review of the Residential (Land lease) Communities Act 2013 due to commence at the end of the year we thought it would be interesting to take a look at the history of tenancy legislation in residential parks in NSW. The earliest record of any legislation regarding tenancies in caravan parks appears to be in the Landlord and Tenant (Amendment) Act 1948. Special provisions were included in this Act to control the rents of caravans and sites. The Rent Controller was given the power to publish the maximum allowable rents for caravans or sites in various parts of the State.
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Retirement upheaval

01/09/2020
Hacienda holiday park
On 31 December 2019, His Honour Justice Rothman finally handed down his decision in the case of Commissioner for Fair Trading v Jonval Builders Pty Ltd, Hacienda Caravan Park Pty Ltd and John Allan Willmott [2019] NSWSC 1893. This Supreme Court of NSW decision is the culmination of nearly 5 years of legal proceedings and some 8 years since the home owners first sought assistance through their residents associations from NSW Fair Trading. The proceedings were brought by NSW Fair Trading Legal Services.
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Community rules

01/09/2020
Water sports
We could write three or four articles about community rules and still not address all of the confusion and questions that arise out of Part 8 of the Residential (Land Lease) Communities Act. We have written articles before on this subject and no doubt will write more in the future, but in this article we are going to focus on compliance with community rules. The RLLC Act enables written community rules to be made about the use, enjoyment, control and management of a community. The community rules must be fair and reasonable and clearly expressed.
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Hummmmm

01/09/2020
power lines
Just when we think it’s all over a brand new electricity conundrum pops up. This time the question is whether an operator can stop providing electricity to home owners through the embedded network, and effectively force those home owners to contract with a particular energy retailer. In three land lease communities that we are aware of, this exact situation has been unfolding.
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Shifting sands

01/09/2020
Lakeline
It is fair to say that land lease living is a unique arrangement. The community aspect is attractive to many people but when you own a home that sits on land owned by another party, you cannot be sure that the land use won’t change. The actual land itself is unlikely to change, however its designated use can. Most commonly we see this when a community operator changes a residential site from long-term to shortterm, or vice versa. This can be done by a simple amendment to the approval to operate, which is issued by the local council under section 68 of the Local Government Act 1993. Neither the operator or the council is required to notify anyone about the change and affected home owners usually don’t find out until later
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Supporting older renters to 'age-in-place'

18/08/2020
Older woman holding drivers license - DCJ Housing image - Seniors Strategy
Recently the Tenants’ Union of NSW made a submission to NSW Department of Communities and Justice as part of their consultations for the next NSW Government strategy for seniors. We recommended the NSW Government implement policy and benchmarks that ensure older renters are supported to remain living in a community they have a strong attachment to, either in their existing residence or alternate local accommodation with service supports.
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A 20 Year Vision for Housing - where are the renters?

10/08/2020
NSW Housing Strategy Discussion Paper 2020
The TUNSW submission to the NSW Housing Strategy provides a focus on the need to address crucial issues for people renting their homes in NSW. We've published our submission and recommendations that encompass key priorities for renters.
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Strata renters: have your say on renewable energy

05/08/2020
Rooftop solar
We know that renters' voices are often missing when it comes to discussions about renewable energy and strata living. But there is currently an opportunity to be heard, as the NSW government is looking at initiatives to boost renewable energy and reduce power bills for people who live in apartments rather than houses. This year will also see a statutory review of strata law, which is a very good time to be engaged in the conversation. If you rent in an apartment, townhouse or villa, please fill in this new survey which looks at the barriers to installing sustainability infrastructure (i.e.solar panels, batteries, smart meters, efficient hot water systems etc).
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A day in the life of Esther Smith, Tenant Advocate

03/08/2020
Esther at GSATS
Esther Smith is a Tenant Advocate at the Greater Sydney Aboriginal Tenants' Service (GSATS). In this interview she talks about her day-to-day experiences as an advocate, as well as what keeps her motivated and inspired.
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