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Latest news and analysis

Recently at NCAT

03/11/2016
NCAT
The right of a home owner to be able to assign their site agreement to someone who purchases their home has become a key battle ground under the Residential (Land Lease) Communities Act 2013 (‘the Act’). Early in the year the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (the Tribunal) made a couple of decisions that operators were required to consent to the assignment of site agreements because they could not unreasonably refuse a request. However, in May the Tribunal made a different decision.
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Age discrimination is ok, says NCAT

03/11/2016
Over 55s
Age restrictions in land lease communities is an issue that has been a hotly disputed for many years. Home owners sit on both sides of the fence with some deliberately selecting communities with age restrictions and others supporting a completely open market. Surprisingly there are very few reported Tribunal decisions about age restrictions and we are only aware of one case being determined by the Anti Discrimination Board. However, there has been a development with a decision made by NCAT in June 2016.
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Electricity charges

03/11/2016
Electricity
In our September 2016 issue of Outasite Lite (an electronic publication sent out by email) we explored electricity charges and the laws and regulations that govern them. Since publishing the article we have been advised that many home owners are being overcharged for electricity because some operators are not aware that the Residential (Land Lease) Communities Act 2013 (the Act) changed the way that utility usage charges must be calculated. In this article we look again at those charges.
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Land lease communities in profile

03/11/2016
Outasite article
People may be aware that operators of land lease communities are required to provide certain details about the community to the Commissioner for Fair Trading. This information is kept in a ‘Register of Communities’ and some of it is publicly available through the Fair Trading website. In May 2012 Fair Trading produced a report entitled ‘Residential Parks, Profile of the Industry’ based on information that was in the register at that time.
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Emma McGuire: Land lease communities tenant advocate

03/11/2016
Emma
Emma McGuire, Tenant Advocate with Mid Coast TAAS, shares how her role this year has involved a specific focus on matters arising out of the Residential (Land Lease) Communities Act 2013 (NSW) and assisting home owners under the Act.
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A short introduction to the NSW Civil & Administrative Tribunal

03/11/2016
NCAT
Anyone who lives in a land lease community who has been concerned about something, or has had a dispute with the operator will, at some point have been advised that they can go to the Tribunal. This is good advice but what is the Tribunal and what is involved if you go there?
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Christina Steel: A hard working advocate

03/11/2016
Christina
Resident advocate Christina Steel recently retired from her role with Port Stephens Park Residents Association (PSPRA) and the Residential Parks Forum. Christina was a hard working, passionate and skilled advocate who assisted hundreds of residents in negotiations with operators and at the Tribunal.
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This is my community

03/11/2016
Mary
Mary has lived in the same residential park (land lease community) for 29 years. She is an active resident advocate and passionate about the lifestyle. We asked Mary to share some of her experiences with us.
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The end of the road?

03/11/2016
Community education
Sadly the Tenants’ Union (TU) community education project came to an end in June 2016. During the project we visited 107 land lease communities throughout the state. We also published and distributed 10,000 copies of our newsletter Outasite. That’s about one for every 3.5 residents!
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The Act: One year on

03/11/2016
Gateway Lifestyle Stanhope Gardens
Yes it really has been a year since the law changed and residential parks became residential land lease communities, rent became site fees, residents became home owners and park managers became operators. In the lead up to the change the then Fair Trading Minister The Hon Anthony Roberts said there was no question the Government needed to “protect vulnerable residents and support a viable industry” and that the new law would be “balanced and fair.” So, has the Act delivered? Let’s take a look at some of the impacts so far.
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