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Shacks leases on Crown land and National Parks

There are approximately 300 shack leases on Crown land and 100 in South Australia National Parks. These shack leases were established many years ago and no more shack leases will be made available on Crown lands or in National Parks.  

In 1994, a policy was introduced to put shacks on public land into private ownership. The shacks that remain on parks or Crown land were assessed as unsuitable for ongoing occupation.  These are now subject to ‘life tenure Leases’.

Frequently asked questions 

How is my rent determined?

A condition of all shack leases is to pay rent for the use of the land.  

Rents are set based on the unimproved value of the land. The unimproved value of the land means the land value excluding any infrastructure (e.g. the shack). The value of the land is determined by an independent valuer. Then, a rate of return is applied to calculate the annual rent. The rate of return is determined by the South Australian Valuer General and reviewed every two years. 

For example:

Unimproved Land Value (determined by independent valuer) X Rate of return (e.g.2014-2016 is 2.75%) = annual rent 

Shack rent is paid on a quarterly or annual basis. An invoice is posted to the lessee’s nominated residential or postal address. If you would like to change your billing period, please contact the office nearest to the shack.

If a lessee does not agree with the revalued rent they can request DEW to review the rent up to 30 days after being notified of the new rent. 

What is the rent cap policy?

A rent cap policy was introduced to apply to all rent revaluations from 1 July 2013 onwards. The capping policy allows lessees to have certainty over the maximum rent increase applicable to shack rents, where land values have increased significantly between revaluation periods. 

The rent capping policy caps rent increases at a maximum of:

  • $2,000 per year at each revaluation cycle for leases revalued on a 3 yearly basis
  • $3,500 per year at each revaluation cycle for leases revalued on a 5 yearly basis. 

Can I rent my shack out?

Shacks on Crown land cannot be sublet. Shacks in National Parks should refer to the terms of their lease.

What if I don’t want my shack anymore?

If a lessee no longer wishes to retain their lease, it may be surrendered back to the Crown. The lease will not be surrendered until the site is in a satisfactory state with the shack completely removed.

Can I purchase a shack that is subject to a lease?

If the lease is a term leases or a lease that has previously been assessed as suitable, the lessee may apply to purchase it for the market value of the land value.

A lessee cannot apply to purchase an existing lease if the site has previously been assessed as unsuitable for ongoing occupation.

Contact your local office for advice on whether a shack is eligible to be purchased, and if any additional requirements apply.

Retaining shacks commitment 

The South Australian Government has committed to create new opportunities for families to retain shacks on Crown land and in national parks by expanding the eligibility to maintain a lease in return for upgrading the shack to meet contemporary safety, amenity and environmental standards.

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