QCAT can consider your case when a manufactured home park dispute arises between a home owner and park owner. The below information will assist with understanding manufactured home park disputes and the process for making an application to QCAT.
What do you need to know about manufactured homes?
Below you will find information about manufactured homes and when a dispute may arise under the law.
A manufactured home is sometimes known as a mobile home. A manufactured home is a structure, other than a caravan or tent, that:
- has the character of a dwelling house; and
- is designed to be able to be moved from one position to another; and
- is not permanently attached to land.
A manufactured home can be located in:
- a mixed-use residential park, such as a park with manufactured homes, caravan sites, tents and holiday cabins, which offers both short-term and longer-term accommodation options; or
- a purpose-built residential park that only consists of manufactured homes. These are usually targeted at the over-50s age group
Are there exceptions for converted caravans?
A converted caravan is a structure that was originally designed as a caravan and is no longer a caravan because of a structural addition or alteration.
A converted caravan is not considered to be a manufactured home except in the following circumstances:
- where a site agreement already exists between a converted caravan owner and a park owner for a site on which the converted caravan is positioned, the converted caravan is taken to be a manufactured home
- where a park owner and a converted caravan owner enter into a site agreement for a site on which the converted caravan is positioned or intended to be positioned, the converted caravan is taken to be a manufactured home; or
- where QCAT has decided the structure meets the definition of manufactured home
Residential parks are managed by a park owner or manager.
A residential park is an area of land that includes:
- sites; and
- common areas; and
- facilities for the personal comfort, convenience or enjoyment of persons residing in manufactured homes positioned on sites.
A person who owns a residential park is a park owner. Each of the following is also a park owner:
- the personal representative, or a beneficiary of the estate, of a deceased individual who immediately before their death owned a residential park;
- a mortgagee in possession of a residential park for which site agreements are in force; or
- another successor in title of a person who owned a residential park.
(For further details view the Manufactured Homes (Residential Parks) Act 2003)
A person is considered a manufactured home owner if the person:
- has a manufactured home that is their principal place of residence
- holds an interest in a site agreement as a personal representative or beneficiary of an estate
- allows a tenant to occupy the home temporarily (if permitted under the site agreement)
- owns a manufactured home that is positioned (or is intended to be positioned) on a site in a residential park under a site agreement, and it is (or is intended to be) their principal place of residence
- owns a manufactured home that is positioned on a site in a residential park under a site agreement, which is occupied by a tenant
- obtains an interest in a site agreement as the personal representative, or a beneficiary of the estate, of a deceased individual who immediately before their death owned a manufactured home; or
- another successor in title of a person who owned a manufactured home
A site is land that is available for rent under a site agreement.
A site agreement is an agreement between a manufactured home owner and a residential park owner that allows the home owner to rent a particular site (land) in a residential park where the manufactured home is positioned.
It also gives the home owner shared use of the park’s common areas and communal facilities.
If there is a dispute between a residential park owner and a home owner or owners, or between two or more home owners, the parties must take steps to resolve the problem informally. If unsuccessful, a party can apply to QCAT to resolve the dispute through mediation or a hearing.
A group of home owners can also make a joint application to QCAT if the dispute relates to the same or similar facts or circumstances.
The three-step process for managing complaints and resolving disputes between home owners and park owners is outlined below.
An application can be made to QCAT for an order on disputes relating to a manufactured home park including:
- site rent problems
- utility costs
- varying special terms
- maintenance of the park
- terminating site agreements
- changing park rules (including rules about the keeping of pets)
- day to day running of the park
- home owners’ rights
Site agreement disputes can arise about the following:
- the parties’ rights or obligations under the agreement or the Manufactured Homes (Residential Parks) Act 2003 between the parties to a site agreement
- whether a person is entitled to have a park owner enter into a site agreement with the person; or
- whether a park owner is entitled to have a person enter into a site agreement with the park owner.
However, neither of the following is a site agreement dispute:
- a dispute about whether a person is entitled to have a park owner enter into a site agreement with the person relating to a converted caravan; or
- a dispute about whether a park owner is entitled to have a person enter into a site agreement with the park owner relating to a converted caravan.
(For further details view the Manufactured Homes (Residential Parks) Act 2003)
The Queensland Government website has comprehensive information to assist you in understanding manufactured homes, your rights and responsibilities as a manufactured home owner or park owner, and information on resolving disputes informally before making an application to QCAT. You can find further information here.
You can also access Caxton Legal Centre's Queensland Retirement Village and Park Advice Service (QRVPAS) which is a specialist service providing free information and legal help. It offers this service for residents and prospective residents of retirement villages and manufactured home parks in Queensland.
Contact QRVPAS online or via 07 3214 6333
What is the manufactured home park dispute process (the three step process)?
If a dispute arises, QCAT has a simple three step process you must follow to help resolve a manufactured home park dispute. There are certain disputes that are excluded from the three step process as outlined below which you can apply directly to QCAT for a hearing.
You must first try to resolve manufactured home park disputes within the park. You should:
Write to the parties
Write to the other party stating your dispute and nominate a date for a meeting to discuss the dispute.
Give notice of the meeting
You must give notice of the meeting to the parties of at least 14 days, but no more than 28 days.
Provide a response
The other party must respond to the dispute in writing within 7 days of receiving the notice of the meeting.
If required, nominate another date
The other party can nominate another date for the meeting to discuss the dispute, but it must be within 7 days of the first nominated date.
Attempt to resolve the dispute
The parties must then meet to resolve the dispute.
You may also contact a Dispute Resolution Centre, which offers free confidential and impartial mediation services to assist in resolving your dispute.
If you cannot resolve your dispute informally through negotiation as set out in step 1, you can apply to QCAT to refer the dispute for formal mediation.
The law states that a mediator cannot mediate a dispute about an issue that is already the subject of arbitration (including an arbitration award), is an exempt provision, or has court proceedings (including a final decision by a court).
If this is not the case, QCAT will organise the appointment of a mediator and give notice of the date, time and location of the mediation. The mediation is held in private.
If an agreement is reached at the mediation, the mediator records the agreement in writing, it is signed by the parties, a copy is given to you and QCAT and the matter is finalised.
You can proceed to step 3 in the manufactured home park dispute process if one of the following occurs:
- an agreement is not reached at the mediation; or
- a party to the dispute does not attend or withdraws from the mediation conference for the dispute; or
- the dispute is not settled within 4 months after the dispute is referred for mediation; or
- the parties reach a mediation agreement and the party making the application claims the other party has not complied with the agreement within the time stated in the agreement, or, if no time is stated, within 2 months after the agreement is signed
The steps for making an application to QCAT for a hearing are set out below in step 3 with further details to assist when you apply to QCAT.
If the manufactured home park dispute is not resolved at mediation as set out in step 2, you must apply again to QCAT for a hearing before a QCAT decision-maker.
When you file an application for a hearing, QCAT may:
- issue directions to the parties. Directions are instructions to the parties involved on how the matter will proceed. The directions will include time for filing of evidence, other material and joining of further parties if required
- list the matter for a directions hearing or further dispute resolution proceeding to assist the parties to reach agreement if required
- ask the parties to gather and file their evidence to support their side of the argument
- list the matter for a hearing, after the parties have filed their evidence
- after the hearing, QCAT will then make a final decision based on the law and the evidence provided by the parties
What other information do I need to now about the dispute process?
In some circumstances only, you can apply to QCAT for a hearing without participating in steps 1 and 2 of the process.
- where a park owner applies to QCAT for an order terminating the site agreement on certain specific grounds
- where a home owner applies to QCAT before the termination day for an order extending the time for giving the park owner vacant possession of the site
- where a park owner applies to QCAT for an order declaring that the home owner has abandoned the home and the day the home was abandoned
- where a park owner applies to QCAT for an order authorising the park owner to sell the home or personal effects to a prohibited person on the conditions, if any, stated in the order
- where a park owner applies to QCAT for an order giving the park owner an entitlement to receive an amount paid into the unclaimed moneys fund, on account of after-termination rent
- where a park owner or park manager applies to QCAT for an order permitting the park owner or park manager to enter a site for a stated purpose
To apply for a hearing at QCAT in relation to these cases please go to the application section below.
When QCAT decides a manufactured home park dispute, the QCAT decision-maker can make orders including:
- any order QCAT considers appropriate to resolve the dispute; and
- an order QCAT is authorised to make in relation to the application under another provision of the Manufactured Homes (Residential Parks) Act 2003
(For further details view the Manufactured Homes (Residential Parks) Act 2003)
There are some key steps you need to take as the respondent in a manufactured home park dispute. You must:
- read the above information about manufactured home park disputes and understand the three step process for resolving disputes
- participate in the mediation process steps to resolve the dispute
- file a response to the dispute using the correct response form, if the dispute has reached step 3 and an application for a hearing is made to QCAT
To learn more about what happens next in the process, how to respond and the forms you need please click here.
If you have considered the above information and your dispute falls within QCAT’s jurisdiction, you need to consider the costs that will be incurred and take these into account before you apply. These include:
- an initial application fee for mediation and if unsuccessful an initial fee for a hearing
- costs and time taken to complete the dispute process and attend proceedings; and
- costs you may incur to comply with QCAT’s decision or directions.
You should consider if there are options to resolve the dispute informally without the need to make an application to QCAT.
The time for QCAT to finalise a case may vary depending on QCAT’s workload and the number of steps to be completed by parties as required by QCAT to resolve the dispute. The current average time to consider a manufactured home park dispute and finalise your case can be found on our expected timeframes page.
How do I make an application for a manufactured home park dispute?
To make an application, please select your case type from the list below:
Help and further information
Queensland legislation related to manufactured home park disputes includes the:
- Manufactured Homes (Residential Parks) Act 2003
- Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009
The Acts are available from the Office of the Queensland Parliamentary Counsel.
You can access a range of databases which keep records of previous decisions about manufactured home park disputes. This includes previous decisions made by:
QCAT and QCATA after 1 December 2009 which can be found in the other civil disputes of the Supreme Court of Queensland Library.
For Legal advice:
* Contact the private solicitor of your choice
* Use Queensland Law Society’s Find a Solicitor service.
* Contact Legal Aid Queensland on 1300 65 11 88
* Contact Community Legal Centres Queensland for details on your local community legal centre on 07 3392 0092
For assistance in legal proceedings:
LawRight Court and QCAT Services
LawRight is an independent, non-profit community based legal organisation that coordinates pro bono legal services for individuals and community groups. Parties with proceedings in QCAT may be able to obtain assistance from LawRight’s Court & Tribunal Services to self-represent or in limited circumstances, be given representation.
If you are unsure if you are eligible for assistance from LawRight or wish to make an enquiry, contact the service by phone on 07 3564 7561 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by writing to PO Box 12217, George Street QLD 4003.
To apply for help from LawRight, please complete the application form here. If you are unable to complete the online form, contact LawRight to discuss alternative arrangements
Community legal centres
Caxton Legal Centre
The Caxton Legal Centre is an independent, non-profit community organisation providing free legal and social work advice, assistance and referrals to the general public. Please note that the Caxton Legal Centre does not provide advice about building or other business and commercial disputes.
Women's Legal Service
Women's Legal Service is a community legal centre that provides free legal advice and information to women in Queensland.
Youth Advocacy Centre
The Youth Advocacy Centre offers free confidential legal and welfare assistance to young people under 17 years who live in or around Brisbane. Telephone support is also provided to young people outside of Brisbane and throughout Queensland.
The Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT)’s registry is here to administer your case and provide general information. Please see below what registry staff can and cannot do to assist with your case.
Registry staff can:
* answer questions about QCAT processes,
* provide information about QCAT’s different types of forms that are available for your consideration
* provide you with information and support about how to lodge an application
* refer and/or process any request to access the QCAT register of proceedings (a publicly available list of QCAT cases) or the record of proceedings (the case files themselves)
* advise on fees and allowances, and how to apply for a waiver of fees
* guide you in checking your forms are complete before lodgement (e.g. signed in the correct places)
* give you information on legal organisations that could help.
Registry staff cannot:
* provide legal advice
* advise on whether you should submit an application and whether you are filing under the correct legal area (eg minor civil dispute – consumer or trader or minor civil dispute – minor debt)
* tell you if you should lodge an appeal or a counter-application
* recommend a specific lawyer to assist you
* instruct you on how to word your application, supporting documents or what to say at a proceeding
* contact a QCAT member or adjudicator directly on your behalf
* predict likely outcomes of a case or appeal
* help you prepare your case
* advise what orders or decisions you should seek
* explain what you should do to follow QCAT directions
* recommend your next steps regarding enforcing an order or tribunal decision
* advise on exact timeframes for resolution of a case – this depends on your individual case