The balance of power

07/08/2019
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

07/08/2019
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 Similar provisions appeared in the (now repealed) Residential Parks Act 1998 yet arguably park owners and operators have always interfered in home sales.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

07/08/2019
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

07/08/2019
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

07/08/2019
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

07/08/2019
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

06/08/2019
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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Will you stand up for renting pets?

26/07/2019
Child and dog sitting on a couch
Australia is a pet-loving country. A nationwide survey in 2018 found that 82 per cent of Australians agree that animals make them healthier or happier. NSW is being left behind other parts of Australia – both Victoria and the ACT have amended their laws to make pet-keeping the default option. But NSW now has the opportunity to take the lead!
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New Tenancy Law Regulations – have your say

24/07/2019
Liv
The Residential Tenancies Amendment (Review) Act 2018 passed late last year – containing a number of positive changes, and some shortcomings. Regulations are currently being drafted; we encourage you to have your say via the Fair Trading website (before 2nd August). Liv Todhunter, Tenant Advocate and Team Leader at the Illawarra and South Coast Tenants’ Advice Service spoke to the Illawarra Mercurcy about the changes.
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NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal – have your say

03/07/2019
Screenshot of the NCAT front page
The Civil and Administrative Tribunal has been operating for more than 5 years! In that time hundreds of thousands of tenancy, social housing, residential land lease communities and boarding house renters have attended hearings. The Justice Department is now conducting a review of the Tribunal. If you have had an experience there and would like to tell them about we encourage you to participate. You need to send your response by July 10th.
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