On 25 September 2020 a new regulation was introduced which affects ‘market rent review’ site rent increases that occurred since 19 March 2020 in manufactured home parks in Queensland. The changes are complicated but are designed to provide some relief to some home owners in this very difficult year.
What the new regulation does
To understand how the new regulation affects you, you will need to know the ‘General increase day’ which you can find under ‘Key dates’ at the bottom of page 2 of the Form 12 General increase notice which the park owner issued to you.
There are three different sets of changes and rules depending on when the ‘General increase day’ falls in 2020 outlined below.
The date ranges are inclusive, meaning if your ‘General increase day’ falls on the first or final date in the range, it will be included in this range.
1. If your ‘General increase day’ falls on or between 19 March – 24 May 2020:
If your rent increased under market rent review in this period you have until 20 November 2020 to start a dispute about the increase.
An increase can only be disputed under the new regulation if you think it was excessive, and if consultation during the COVID-19 ‘lockdown’ was insufficient.
2. If your ‘General increase day’ falls on or between 25 May – 24 September 2020:
All home owners who received a market rent review increase must receive a refund from the park owner. Some market review increases cannot continue and will change to a CPI increase. Some park owners can choose to continue with a market rent review increase and there are complicated processes that may apply. Home owners in this group may need urgent legal advice to understand the process and their options.
If your rent increased under market rent review in this period you have 56 days from when the park owner confirms the market rent review will continue to start a dispute about the increase.
3. If your ‘General increase day’ falls on or between 25 Sept – 31 December 2020:
There should be NO market rent reviews happening in this time period.
It is still possible to increase site rents based on CPI (the Consumer Price Index).
Objecting to a site rent increase based on a market rent review.
The process to dispute a market rent review increase under the new Regulation where the General increase day falls between 19 March and 24 September 2020 is the same for all home owners, you must issue a Form 11 Dispute Negotiation Notice to the park owner. Before you do this, we recommend reading the factsheet relevant to you and seeking legal advice if you are unsure of your next steps.
What the new regulation does not do
The new regulation applies to market review increases only, not increases on another basis (such as CPI, or a formula in your site agreement).
It does not affect market rent review increases where the general increase day was before 19 March 2020 or which falls on or after 1 January 2021.