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The Mobile Homes Act 2013

The Mobile Homes Act 2013, one of the biggest changes to legislation in the sector for a considerable period of time, started to bite on 26 May 2013.

The Act amends various pieces of legislation which have governed the sector for over 20 years. The Act, which seeks to provide ‘a better deal for mobile home owners’, will come into force in stages.

The important changes to be aware of are:

  • Pitch Fee Reviews – When conducting a pitch fee review you will need to provide occupiers with a notice of prescribed information. Failure to do so carries with it the risk that the Pitch Fee Review Notice will be invalid. You must also now have regard to any decrease in the amenity of the Park when reviewing your pitch fees. For example, have the gardens become overgrown or does the road need re-surfacing.

Further regulations are currently awaited which will provide additional guidance.

  • Park Rules – All park rules will become an express term within the agreement between the Park owner and the occupier.

The Act allows for further Regulations to be drafted. The intention of those Regulations is to ensure that all park rules are uniform and are deposited with the relevant Local Authority.

The further Regulations have not yet been drafted.

  • Site LicencesAfter consultation on this issue, a Local Authority is now permitted to charge a Park site owner a fee for applying for a site licence. It will be a decision for each individual Local Authority as to whether to charge a fee and, if so, how much. Local Authorities are also permitted to charge an annual fee for a site licence.

The Act has introduced the ‘fit and proper person’ test. The Act again allows for further Regulations to be drafted which will provide guidance on what factors will be considered when determining whether someone is a ‘fit and proper person’ to manage a Park. Importantly, the Local Authority will be permitted to apply to the Residential Property Tribunal to seek the revocation of a site licence if it considers someone is not a ‘fit and proper’ person to manage a Park.

Local Authorities have also been given additional powers to enforce site licence conditions against Park site owners.

The changes in respect of site licences do not come into effect until 1 April 2014.

Please contact me or any of the Holiday and Home Parks team at Blacks if you would like to discuss the Act and how we can help you manage the impending changes.

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Aimee Hutchinson

Partner
Commercial Dispute Resolution
AHutchinson@LawBlacks.com
0113 227 9203
@AimeeLawBlacks
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Aimee Hutchinson Blacks Solicitors LLP