News – Caravans mobile home on law protected site and mobile homes in gardens

As a resident of a mobile home you may be in the unusual position of owning your home but not the land on which it is situated. Mobile home site There are several pieces of legislation relating to mobile homes and the purpose of this information is to clarify the complicated legal framework which relate to mobile homes. Mobile Homes Act 1983 If you own your mobile home and live in it on a permanent basis as your only residence you are protected by the Mobile Homes Act 1983. This Act gives you the right to have a written agreement which sets out both the site owner’s and your responsibilities in respect of the occupation of your home. The agreement must contain the name and address of the site owner, a description of the pitch to which the agreement relates together with implied and express terms. Implied terms cannot, under any circumstances, be changed and cover issues such as: the duration of the agreement rights of termination of the agreement recovery of overpayment in the event of termination and the rights to sell or gift your mobile home.

The entitlement of commission to park owners in the event of sale is also covered by the implied terms of the agreement. Express terms, on the other hand, can be altered either on agreement or by order of the county court. Express terms vary from park to park and will cover such matters as pitch fees, service charges, and details about maintenance responsibilities for the site and the homes. The Mobile Homes Act potentially provides you with extensive rights. Unfortunately it is only enforceable through the civil courts which means that you must pursue action yourself, usually with the assistance of a solicitor.

The Council is not able to intervene on your behalf. For more information see “Mobile Homes – a guide for residents and owners”, Housing booklet No 30, available free of charge from the Housing Advice Centre, Civic Centre, Paris Street, Exeter. Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960 All mobile home sites have to be licensed by the City Council by virtue of this Act. The Council cannot refuse to grant a licence and a licence cannot be issued for a limited period. The Council has, however, attached conditions to the licences of all Parks in Exeter which specify minimum standards which must be achieved by the site owner with regard to such matters as: the demarcation of the site boundaries density and spacing between mobile homes in relation to fire safety and fire hazards the provision and maintenance of fire fighting equipment the display of certain notices – including a copy of the site licence The Council cannot address any matters outside the scope of the site licence conditions. These can only be tackled by you under your rights contained in the Mobile Homes Act 1983. In order to enforce the provisions of the site licence the Council’s officers will normally need to witness the problems themselves to be certain that conditions are being broken. For details of the site licence conditions see the site licence displayed on the site (normally in the site office). For a copy of the licence contact the Housing and Environmental Health Department, Exeter City Council, Civic Centre, Paris Street, Exeter. If you are concerned that the conditions are not being met contact the private sector housing section of the Housing and Environmental Health Department.

The Caravan Sites Act 1968 This legislation contains provisions for the protection of occupiers against harassment and is enforced by the Council. Harassment, in the legal sense – which is the only type of harassment over which the Council has any control – is confined to a site owner “illegally depriving occupiers of occupation of their mobile home” or “carrying out acts designed to interfere with the peace and comfort of an occupier with the intention of causing them to leave”. Any other form of ‘harassment’, for example the site owner being abusive or rude can only be addressed by the person affected and cannot be pursued by the Council. If you think that you are suffering from harassment contact the private sector housing section of the Housing and Environmental Health Department, Exeter City Council, Civic Centre, Paris Street, Exeter. The Park Home Owners Charter The British Holiday and Home Parks Association and The National Park Homes Council have jointly drawn up The Park Home Owners Charter. Only those park home site owners who are members of either organisation are bound by the charter. To find out if your park owner is a member of either organisation or if you would like a copy of the Charter contact either of the organisations on this page.