Elder Abuse in Residential Parks

This is another true story from the residential parks industry. It concerns a lone lady home owner 86 years old, a prime target for low life park operators.

This poor old dear purchased a home in a park south of Brisbane and after a couple of years decided to sell-up and move back interstate. She found a buyer for her home and upon inspection for the purchaser, it was discovered that the house had sunk in one corner due to the site substrate (land subsidence). Apparently, a previous home owner had discovered this problem and was told by the park operator to get it fixed, (now remember this the leased site problem and not the fault of the lessee) The previous owner supposedly fixed the problem at his own expense prior to our little old lady purchasing the home.

The problem had arisen again because of the substrate and to cut a long story short. Before the park operator would let this poor old dear sell her home, he insisted that she must pay for the repairs to the substrate. Seeing that she was very keen to sell, she paid for what belonged to the park operator. She phoned us with her plight and reasoned that she might not now have enough money to by into a residential park interstate, what should she do? I suggested that she avoid at all cost entering another residential park and just rent a small unit in a seniors complex which are available. This is a warning for all potential home owners contemplating living in a residential park.

One might ask, how can these thieving park operators get away with such behaviour? The answer is in the legislation. The Government legislates to give full protection to park operators in return for park operators making their land available. This was confirmed back in 2010 by the Office of Fair Trading.

David Paton

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