Residential Parks built specifically for older people under the Manufactured Homes (Residential Parks) Act (the Act), often marketed as over 50/55s lifestyle resorts, are a great concept. That is why over 35,000 Queenslanders have chosen to live in them.
However, all is not as it seems.
According to Associated Residential Parks Queensland (ARPQ), who represent the interests of a significant number of home owners in these parks, the Act is a flawed and somewhat biased piece of legislation that strangely seems out of step with other common place laws covering such things as consumer protection, real-estate, land lease and retirement living.
It has also failed to keep pace with the rapidly changing nature of the Residential Park industry, which is increasingly dominated by corporate investors, some international, attracted by the highly lucrative nature of the business.
This has resulted in an imbalance of power in favour of park owners to the detriment of home owners, many of whom are vulnerable seniors.
ARPQ President, Graham Marriott, explained that ARPQ is strongly lobbying the State Government for changes to the Act to ensure that it can deliver on its main object which is to ‘protect home owners from unfair business practices’. Their representatives had recently met with the Minister for Communities, Housing and the Digital Economy, the Honourable Leanne Enoch MP, and received assurances that the concerns of home owners have been heard and that action will be taken to address deficiencies in the Act.
Mr Marriott also advised that ARPQ were represented on various Government committees considering ways to address any imbalance of power, unacceptable rent increases and the currently dysfunctional dispute resolution processes.
Mr Marriott confirmed that he and his committee will continue their dialogue with Minister Enoch and her Department Officials and look forward to a speedy resolution to all concerns.
# Article as printed in the ARPQ Argus March/April 2021