The park owner’s responsibilities to their residents are largely covered by the agreement that occupiers sign when they move to the park.
The 2013 Mobile Homes Act legislation sets out a new format for pitch fee reviews and specifies what can be included in that review. Site owners have to use a special form to set out their proposals and to obtain the agreement of residents. Once the fee is agreed, residents must pay a pitch fee to the site owner which is, in effect, rent for the land on which the resident’s home stands. The pitch fee can only be changed once a year. And park owners must give residents 28 days’ notice in writing and use a special form – The Pitch Fee Review Form. If a resident and the park owner cannot agree on a new fee, the site owner can apply to a tribunal.
Beautiful open-plan gardens at Leedons Park, Broadway, Worcestershire
Residents have the right to sell their homes on the open market, or give them to family members. The site owner does not have the right to approve the buyer (or family member) but the incoming resident will have to conform to any site rules (e.g. age – many parks are for retired residents only; or pet owners – some parks ban dogs and/or all pets).
Fortunate residents at Norton Manor Park near Presteigne in Powys enjoy fabulous views across the lake
Under the previous legislation, it was already illegal for park owners to evict residents without a court order, harass them into giving up their homes or prevent them from exercising their rights. Now, though, it is illegal for the park owner to give false or misleading information that would interfere with the sale of a resident’s home or interfere with the sale. No longer does the park owner have the right to insist on approving the buyer or demand contact information about the buyer.
Castleton Park at St Athans in the Vale of Glamorgan is a developing park which already has some beautiful gardens
The park owner is responsible for keeping common areas of the park in good condition and repairing, if necessary, the bases on which residents’ homes are sited. They are also responsible for maintaining the services supplied by the park to individual plots (e.g. sewerage).
This unusual park home is at The Wizard Park, Alderley Edge
If a park owner needs to enter a resident’s home or plot to carry out essential repairs, deliver mail and read gas, electricity and water meters, they can do this without any notice between 9am and 6pm. They may also enter at any other time to carry out emergency or essential works, giving as much notice as possible. For any other reason, the site owner must give 14 days’ written notice.
Should the park owner consider making improvements to the park, he/she must give at least 28 days’ notice in writing to residents, let them know how they can make comments and observations and tell them if the improvements will mean a change to the pitch fee.
This block pavior roadway is at Yew Tree Park, Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire
The written agreement also covers the rights and obligations that the park home resident enjoys. These include such things as the resident’s right to keep the park home on its plot, the pitch fee, other charges and services, and the park rules.
Residents are obliged to keep their homes in good repair and make sure that they are clean and tidy, including any fences or outbuildings.
If you are buying a park home don’t forget to take out specialist insurance cover to protect your home and belongings. Find out more about this on the Leisuredays park home insurance page.