Moving to any new home can be a daunting experience, especially if it's moving away from what you've been used to. If you've been considering moving to a residential park home, as your permanent home, or if you're interested in keeping up to date with all of the legalities and government provided information, we've collated them all here for you to read through in your own time.
Simply click the headings below to expand on the information you can find in the attachments and links provided - and if there's anything else you need to know about purchasing your first park home, simply get in touch using the form towards the bottom of this page.
This new law gives more rights to people who live in their own home on a protected site. The most important changes make it easier for you to sell your home on the open market, without interference from the owner of the park where you live. The changes came into effect on 26 May 2013. This leaflet summarises the main ones.
Before a site owner can enter into an agreement with a person allowing that person to live in a home pitched on his site he must give the proposed occupant a written statement that sets out certain information, including the express and implied terms of the agreement.
The agreement terms include the obligation on the part of the resident to pay a pitch fee to the site owner. Pitch fees are sometimes called ‘rent’ or ‘ground rent’. The pitch fee is the amount required to be paid by the resident in return for being allowed to keep a park home on the pitch and use common areas of the site. The pitch fee does not include amounts due in respect of gas, electricity, water and sewerage and other services (e.g. the renting out of a garage) unless the agreement between the site owner and resident specifically states that...
There should be regular reviews of pitch fees – to allow the amount to be adjusted according to inflation, the current economy or other factors. These pitch fee reviews should be done according to guidelines set out by the government Mobile Homes Act in 2013. If the site owner wants to increase the pitch fee then they must follow these rules. The site owner must make any changes to the pitch fee by first informing the park home resident of the change and include a pitch review form in this notice.
If the pitch fee review form is not served then the site owner forfeits any increase to the pitch fee and cannot make any changes. The pitch fee review notice and the review form must be sent at least 28 days before the review. Failure to do so will result in the site owner being unable to make any changes.
The written statement includes implied terms as well as the express terms of the agreement which have been agreed between the site owner and the park home owner. Park Rules may also form part of the agreement and residents should ensure that they obtain a copy.
Essentially the law:
Is a park home resident allowed to sell their park home on a site?
Yes. Park home residents have the right to sell their home on a site and transfer the benefit of their agreement with their site owner to the person who buys their home. The process of passing on the agreement is called ‘assignment’. The sale must be to a person approved by their owner but the site owner cannot withhold his approval unreasonably. If a resident considers that the site owner is withholding their approval unreasonably, a resident can apply to the court or to an arbitrator for an order requiring the site owner to give approval.
Does a resident have to give the site owner first refusal to buy the park home?
There is no requirement for a resident to give the site owner first refusal - even if their agreement says there is. The site owner may make an offer for the home like any buyer and the resident may choose to sell to them but they are under no obligation to do so.
Since 2006, park home law has included a specific role for residents’ associations on sites providing they comply with specific rules. A residents’ association that meets relevant criteria may be considered a Qualifying Residents’ Association and must be recognised by the site owner and consulted about proposed changes to the operation and management of, and any improvements to, the site. The requirement for the site owner to consult any Qualifying Residents’ Association on some issues is in addition to the site owners’ obligation to consult individual residents about improvements to the site and especially any expenditure on improvements that the site owner wishes to take into account at the next pitch review.
These rules are in place to ensure acceptable standards are maintained on the park, which will be of general benefit to occupiers, and to promote and maintain community cohesion. They form part of the Agreement by which homeowners occupy the pitch in accordance with the Mobile Homes Act 1983, as amended.