Mobile Homes – Site Rules
4 February 2014
SI 2011/1006, SI 2013/981 amended
Mobile Homes Act 1983, ss 1(2), (9)(e), 2C(3), (6), (7), 2D, Sch 1, Pt 1, ch 2, paras 7B(7), 7C, 8B(7), 8C
SI 2014/5: Site owners will be prevented from using site rules inappropriately to the disadvantage of mobile home owners from 4 February 2014. The intention is to ensure site rules are made fairly with home owners engaged in the process and rules made are transparent. The rules will also be available for public inspection, having been deposited with the local authority, with a right of appeal granted to home owners and qualifying residents’ associations.
The Mobile Homes Act 2013 amends the law in relation to mobile homes, by making amendments to the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960, the Caravan Sites Act 1968 and the Mobile Homes Act 1983. These Regulations are one of a number of implementing statutory instruments. The Mobile Homes (Selling and Gifting) (England) Regulations 2013, SI 2013/981, came into force on 26 May 2013 and the Mobile Homes (Pitch Fees) (Prescribed Form) (England) Regulations 2013, SI 2013/1505, came into force on 26 July 2013.
SI 2013/981 set out procedures designed to make it easier for mobile home owners to sell or gift their homes without interference from a site owner. SI 2013/1505 set out a redesigned pitch fee review notice for mobile homes, which must be used under new procedures for conducting a pitch fee review. The new notice is intended to provide greater transparency in pitch fee reviews.
Site rules have been used as a means to interfere with and block of sales of homes by their owners. Any rules in effect before the Mobile Homes Act 2013 came into force were cancelled by SI 2013/981. Site owners will have a year from 4 February 2014 to propose new site rules and consult with home owners and any qualifying residents’ association. Statutory forms must be used for this process.
Site owners will be banned from making new rules such as:
- granting home owners certain rights, subject to the exercise of discretion by the site owner
- any matter that would contravening the implied terms of a home owner’s pitch agreement under the Mobile Homes Act 1983
- restricting a home owner from obtaining goods and services, including bottled gas
- requiring additional charges or deposits to be paid to the site owner
- restricting home owners’ rights over the site, such as in relation to visitors and vehicular access.
If a home owner or qualifying residents’ association object to the proposed rules, or think the rules were not made in accordance with procedure, can apply to the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber), with the grounds of appeal being:
- the site rule makes provision in relation to a banned matter
- the site owner has not complied with the statutory procedure
- the site owner’s decision was unreasonable, particularly with regard to:
—relevant factors relating to the site
—relevant planning permissions or site rules.
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