A dispute in a residential land lease community may involve neighbouring home owners, an individual home owner and the operator, or even the whole community.
Become informed about how to manage a dispute and the services that can help to resolve the matter.
First, make sure you understand your rights and responsibilities. Carefully read the terms of your site agreement, the community rules and other information or documents relevant to the dispute. If unsure of anything, contact Fair Trading on 13 32 20 or contact one of the following organisations:
Discuss the issue directly with the other party to try and reach a solution you both agree to. Put any solutions agreed to in writing to avoid misunderstandings later on.
Find out if your community has set up an internal process or mechanism for handling disputes. For example, there may be a disputes committee made up of residents and the operator. If so, you may consider using it to resolve your dispute. However, using an internal process is not compulsory and you may choose not to use it.
Does your community have a residents committee? If so, you could ask for their help to resolve the issue. The committee can decide if they want to get involved and to what extent.
If your dispute has not been resolved within your community, you can use our free complaint service. An experienced Fair Trading Officer will aim to finalise the matter through mutual agreement.
To lodge a complaint online or to learn more about this service and types of issues Fair Trading can help with visit the Lodge a complaint page.
Our complaint handling service is voluntary, except if the dispute is about an increase to site fees. These site fee disputes require compulsory mediation. For details visit the Lodge a complaint page.
If you are a home owner or tenant in a land lease community, the Tenants Advice and Advocacy Services can also help with your dispute. Find your nearest service at www.tenants.org.au or call 8117 3700.
If none of the above steps can resolve your dispute, you may be able to lodge an application with the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (the Tribunal). In some circumstances it may be appropriate to apply directly to the Tribunal, without following the above steps.
The Tribunal is an independent body. It hears and decides on applications for orders on a range of legislation, including the Residential (Land Lease) Communities Act 2013. The Tribunal usually hears matters in a quick, inexpensive and relatively informal way.
During the proceedings, the Tribunal will try to get the parties to settle their differences. If possible, you will both work out your own solution. If not, the Tribunal will make a final decision (called an 'order') that is legally binding on the parties.
To lodge an application, or to learn more about how the Tribunal operates and the list of orders that can be sought, visit the Tribunal’s website at www.ncat.nsw.gov.au
Be aware that time limits apply for certain applications to the Tribunal.