Print option

ph digital

What’s the most unusual animal you’ve spotted on, or around, your park?





Frequently asked questions...

auglegal

The Leasehold Advisory Service (LEASE) answers questions on a variety of topics by telephone, email or letter for park home owners, site owners and other parties with an interest in park home legislation for both England and Wales. LEASE’s Ibraheem Dulmeer and Richard Hand work through a selection of some of the most frequently asked questions

Q: I enjoy keeping abreast of the latest First-tier Tribunal (FTT) and/or Residential Property Tribunal (in Wales) (RPT) determinations. Are they binding on other sites?

Although it may be a good idea to look at Tribunal decisions over coffee on a Sunday morning, they are not binding on other tribunal cases affecting different sites, though may be cited in support of a case. However, Upper Tribunal decisions (and those of the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court) are binding on the FTT/RPT.

The decisions are published online. The FTT decisions are available here:
http://www.residential-property.judiciary.gov.uk/search/decision_search.jsp ;

RPT  Welsh decisions can be found here:
http://rpt.gov.wales/decisions-index/?lang=en

Finally, Upper Tribunal decisions are available at: http://landschamber.decisions.tribunals.gov.uk//Aspx/default.aspx

Read more...

A summary of the Mobile Homes (Wales) Act 2013

julylegal

Some important changes to the legislation relating to Welsh park home sites was introduced in 2013. The Leasehold Advisory Service’s Richard Hand and Ibraheem Dulmeer explore the main issues

LEASE provides legal advice to park home owners, site owners and local authorities on park homes law in England and Wales. This article examines some of the main features of the Mobile Homes (Wales) Act 2013 (“the Act”) and the increased protection it provides for home owners in Wales.

When did the Act come into effect?

All sections of the Act came into force on 1 October 2014 and apply to all residential parks in Wales.

Licensing

A site licence is required if the owner is using land as a regulated site. Operating without a licence is an offence and an unlimited fine may be imposed by a court.

Regulated sites

The licensing provisions apply to regulated sites. A regulated site must have at least one mobile home stationed on it for the purposes of human habitation, apart from holiday sites. Schedule 1 to the Act also lists the types of site that are not regulated. These include sites owned by the local authority.

Read more...

Case law update: Recovery of annual licence fees via the pitch fee

June LEASE

The Leasehold Advisory Services’ senior legal advisor Richard Hand and solicitor Ibraheem Dulmeer examine two important cases relating to local authorities’ licence fee charges and the implications for site owners and park residents 

From 1 April 2014, local authorities have been able to charge a site owner an Annual Site Licence Fee (ALF) if they operate a ‘relevant protected site’. This includes most fully residential or mixed use sites.

The local authority must prepare and publish a fees policy before it can impose an ALF on a site owner.

When reviewing the pitch fee, a site owner is allowed to include any increase in management or maintenance costs directly resulting from a change in the law since the last review date by virtue of paragraph 18(1)(ba) of the Consolidated Implied Terms in Chapter 2 Part 1, Schedule 1 to the Mobile Homes Act 1983) (the Implied Terms). This means the ALF can be recovered through the pitch fee.
Once the ALF has been added, it forms a permanent part of the pitch fee and can increase by RPI in subsequent years.

Read more...

Inheriting and gifting park homes

May legal

It is common for site owners, park home owners and those who may be entrusted with the administration of an estate after a park home owner has passed away to be unaware of the rules that apply in relation to who can rightfully inherit a Written Statement and, in turn, the right to reside in a residential park home. In addition, there also tends to be confusion surrounding the circumstances where a resident can gift their park home. This article looks at the differences between inheriting and gifting a park home and considers common examples.  

Inheritance of a park home
Inheritance depends upon who was living with the park home owner at the time of death. Section 3 of the Mobile Homes Act 1983 (the Act) sets out the hierarchy of potential beneficiaries, but inheritance of a park home is subject to it being occupied by the park home owner (prior to their death) as their main or only residence.

It will explore a number of different scenarios to demonstrate these inheritance rights. By way of example, meet our fictitious pair ‘James and Joan’: they were married and lived together in a park home. Sadly, James recently died. Before his demise, he left the park home to Joan in his will.

Read more...

All about pitch fee reviews

april legalPitch fee changes can often become something of a bone of contention between park and home owners. The Leasehold Advisory Service explains when, and by how much, the charge should be applied...

A pitch agreement is an agreement that sets out a number of obligations and responsibilities between a site owner and a park home owner. The terms of this agreement include the amount of the pitch fee and the date of payment to the site owner. In some instances, the pitch fee includes utilities, but if this is the case, it should be outlined clearly in the pitch agreement.  

This article addresses some of the frequently asked questions that are raised by both park home owners and site owners concerning the review of the pitch fee.

How should a Pitch Fee Review be undertaken?
On 26 July 2013, the Government introduced a procedure that a site owner must follow in order to increase a pitch fee.

Read more...

Utility charges on residential park homes

leaseThe amount of money park home residents pay for gas, electricity and water is sometimes something of a thorny issue. KBG Chambers’ Rawdon Crozier and Ibraheem Dulmeer, a solicitor from the Leasehold Advisory Service (LEASE), explore some of the most common problems and outline exactly what you need to know

Utility charges for gas, water or electricity can sometimes become a source of disagreement between residential occupiers of park homes and site owners. Questions can arise as to whether they can be charged as a separate item over and above the pitch fee. Or whether any charge can be made for the costs of administering the supply of utilities?

In the event of a dispute, or any uncertainty, the first port of call should be your written agreement, or written statement. You should check whether the agreement refers to a separate charge for utilities. If this is the case, it may state that any charge in respect of electricity, gas, water, telephone and other services, should be proportionate to the use by the park home owner; in other words a pro-rata calculation.

Read more...