Home Owners Committees: An explanation of the legislation and function.
There is much confusion among home owners in residential parks regarding the formation of a Home Owners Committees (referred to as HOC). This paper aims to clarify the legislation covering HOC’s in residential parks/villages covered under the Manufactured Homes (Residential Parks) Act 2003.
Please note what the legislation says. Social groups and committees are separate from a Home Owners Committee and are not mentioned in the Act.
The formation of a HOC in a residential park/village carries certain responsibilities. It is not a fun club or a select group of people making orders as they see fit. Any formal suggestion or request from a home owner to a HOC must first be dealt with by the committee and should the request or suggestion need clarification, a special meeting of the home owners must be called for this.
In order to develop a constitution for a HOC, we suggest that the “Model Rules” be adopted from the Association Incorporation Act 1981. This does not mean that your home owners association should be incorporated. It just means that the “Model Rules” become the template for your constitution and you can’t go wrong with that.
The legislation, the Manufactured Homes (Residential Parks) Act 2003 gives some privilege and some protection to home owners, so it is important that your home owners committee is made as professional as possible.
How the Act refers to the above:
Part 15 Home Owners Committee
100 Establishment of committee
- The home owners for a residential park may establish, by election conducted among themselves, a home owners committee.
- Only 1 home owners committee may be established for a residential park.
- A member of the committee-
- holds office for not more than 1 year, but may be re-elected; and
- may be removed, at any time, by special resolution at a meeting of the home owners.
- The committee may, subject to any constitution adopted under section 101 for the Committee-
- decide its own procedures; and
- form subcommittees and decide each subcommittee’s procedures.
- The park owner may, if invited by the committee, attend a meeting of the Committee. (Bold print is our emphasis)
101 Home Owners Constitution
- If a home owners committee is established under section 100 for a residential park, a majority of the home owners may adopt a constitution governing the performance by the committee of its function under section 102.
- The constitution –
- must not be inconsistent with this Act; and
- must provide for any matter prescribed under a regulation.
- The committee must comply with the constitution.
- The constitution may be amended by special resolution at a meeting of the home owners.
102 Committee’s function
The function of a home owners committee for a residential park is to deal with the park owner on behalf of the home owners about –
- the day-to-day running of the park; and
- any complaint or proposal about the operation of the park raised by the home owners
103 Park owner to respond to complaint or proposal
If a home owners committee for a residential park gives the park owner a notice detailing a complaint or proposal mentioned in section 102(b), the park owner must within 21 days after receiving the notice give the committee a written response addressing the complaint or proposal.
Maximum penalty – 20 penalty units.
Part 14 Residential park operations
Division 1 Park owners’ obligations
88 Right of home owner to participate in home owner’s organisation
The park owner for a residential park must not unreasonably interfere with the exercise of the right of a home owner to participate in an organisation established to represent the interests of the home owner or home owners generally.
Maximum penalty – 20 penalty units.
This section 88 applies not only to a Home Owners Association once it has been established by the home owners, but also in prohibiting or disallowing a Home Owners Association to be formed and once formed, to meet at a venue within the park.
89 Notice Board
The park owner for a residential park must not unreasonably interfere with the rights of a home owner – (a) to read the park’s notice board; and (b) to place a notice, or other material, relevant to the park on the park’s notice board. (This includes notices of HOC meetings, ARPQ newsletters etc.)
A social committee or committees act separately from the Home Owners Committee in that they have no official standing within the park to act on behalf of home owners in regard to liaising with management and park owners. However, these committees can have elected officers, constitutions and a committee to administer social activities with control of their own associated funds.
If there is any doubt about a situation regarding a HOC in your village, please do not hesitate to contact ARPQ because we can help.