17 years of advocacy in Regional NSW

2019-08-27
Chris Maybin
Chris Maybin, Tenant Advocate
Chris Maybin has been a Tenant Advocate with VERTO South West Tenants’ Advice Service for 17 years. Now she's moving on, but in this interview she gives some of her thoughts and reflections on her experiences. She talks about having to tell a family they were going to be homeless, and being "cursed" by a landlord! She also explains some of the particular challenges faced by tenants and Tenant Advocates in regional New South Wales.
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Assignment of site agreements

2019-08-07
Outasite article
The assignment of site agreements has been an ongoing issue since the commencement of the Residential (Land Lease) Communities Act 2013 on 1 November 2015. The problem lies with a drafting error in section 45(3) and relates to whether an operator can unreasonably refuse a request for assignment of a site agreement.
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Who is the operator?

2019-08-07
Outasite article
This may sound like a silly question but the answer is not always as obvious as you may think. The Residential (Land Lease) Communities Act 2013 defines an operator as being ‘the person who manages, controls or otherwise operates the community, including by granting rights of occupancy under site agreements or tenancy agreements whether or not the person is an owner of the community’. An owner is ‘the owner of the land on which the community is located’. Sometimes the owner and operator are one and the same and sometimes they are different.
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The balance of power

2019-08-07
Outasite article
The main factor that affects affordability for home owners living in land lease communities is site fees. When they increase it can have a major impact. As mentioned in the article on cooperative communities, site fees are reaching extraordinary levels in some communities and many home owners are struggling. In this article we look at the three methods used to increase site fees and how home owners might dispute unfair increases.
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Interference with sale

2019-08-07
Beverley and Brian Welch
The Residential (Land Lease) Communities Act 2013 (the Act) provides home owners with the right to sell their home on site. The Act also states the operator must not cause or permit any interference, or any attempt to interfere with a home owner’s right to sell the home. Similar provisions appeared in the (now repealed) Residential Parks Act 1998 yet arguably park owners and operators have always interfered in home sales. Will a recent decision of the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal bring a change in operator behaviour?
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Dianna Evans: Land lease community advocate

2019-08-07
Di Evans
Di Evans has worked with residents of parks and land lease communities in various capacities since the late 1980’s. She has seen
permanent living in parks change from ‘housing of last resort’ to the upmarket over 55s lifestyle villages we are seeing today. 
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Fairness prevails

2019-08-07
Gaye and Barry Sanders
Good news stories seem to be few and far between in land lease communities, so Barry Sanders, of Terrigal Waters Village, thinks we should share positive outcomes and acknowledge those times when operators do the right thing.
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Electricity: The battle over usage charges approaches resolution

2019-08-07
Mary Preston
When we published our last issue of Outasite (in July 2018) the battle over electricity usage charges was in the early stages and as most home owners will be aware, a great deal has happened since then. In this article we will attempt to bring you up to date. Since the introduction of the Residential (Land Lease) Communities Act 2013 park operators have disputed how electricity costs should be charged to residents. Tribunal determinations on electricity charges have been inconsistent. In proceedings involving other parties, the Tribunal has accepted different methods of calculating refunds including applying the peak rate paid by the operator and also an ‘averaging method’.
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Cooperative communities

2019-08-07
Jill
In New South Wales land lease community living appears to be flourishing. In recent years we have seen new communities being opened, others being expanded and an increase in the quality and availability of new homes. However, there is an undercurrent of discontent and some home owners believe the Residential (Land Lease) Communities Act 2013 has undermined the rights of home owners in favour of operators. At the heart of this discontent is the power imbalance between operators and home owners.
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Out now! Outasite issue 5

2019-08-06
Outasite 2019 cover
Outasite issue 5 is hot off the presses and finding its way into mailboxes in land lease communities all over NSW. This issue contains articles including: Cooperative communities; Electricity usage charges; Fairness about site repairs; Di Evans – land lease community advocate; Interference with sale; Site fees; Identifying the operator; Assignment of site agreements; NSW Fair Trading and Service NSW; Meet the Minister.
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