Your New Park Rules
The Mobile Home (Site Rules) (England) Regulations 2014 have been in force for over four months and you should now be well on the way to starting the mandatory consultation procedure for review and implementation of new rules on your park if you have not done so already.
The consultation procedure must be completed and your new park rules lodged with the local authority by 3 February 2015, failing which any existing rules on your park will cease to have effect on 4 February 2015.
Each new park rule must be necessary to:
(1) ensure that acceptable standards are maintained on your park, which will be of general benefit to occupiers; and
(2) promote and maintain community cohesion on your park.
The park rules must be succinct and to the point, but contain enough detail to avoid all opportunity for ambiguity.
For example, an existing rule concerning sheds on your site might read:
“Homeowners must not locate any sheds on their pitch other than ones approved by the site owner at its absolute discretion.”
Such a rule leaves open to question the dimension of a shed and the materials out of which it is constructed, allowing you to approve a five foot plastic shed on one pitch but prohibiting anything more than a two foot tin shed on another.
In accordance with BH&HPA guidelines, your new park rule for sheds could read:
“Homeowners must not locate more than one storage shed on their pitch. The shed must be constructed out of fire resistant materials and be of a size, standard and design approved by the site owner in writing (such approval not to be unreasonably withheld) and be positioned on the pitch so as to comply with the park’s site licence and fire safety requirements. The footprint of the shed shall not exceed [X.X m²].
This suggested new site rule allows you a degree of discretion in approving the size, standard and design of the shed, which is generally prohibited by the Regulations but allowed where the improvement of a pitch or park home is concerned.
Another example of an existing rule on your park might read:
“No person under the age of 50 years may reside in the park home save where the park owner permits otherwise.
This rule would allow you to permit children or anybody else under the age of 50 to live on your park where, for example, residence is supposed to be reserved for the over 50s only. Such a rule is very unlikely to promote and maintain community cohesion on your park.
In accordance with BH&HPA guidelines, a new park rule for the age of occupants on the site might read:
“No person under the age of 50 years may reside in a park home on the site, with the exception of the park owner their family and the park warden.”
The age exception for you, your family and your park warden is permitted by the Regulations.
You will appreciate that the consultation and review procedure has the potential to be complicated and due to the time frames imposed by the Regulations will be time consuming. Therefore, it is important to start the procedure as soon as possible to give yourself the opportunity to do it efficiently and successfully.