The rights of mobile home owners are covered by specific mobile homes legislation. This is because although mobile home owners own their own home, a site operator owns the land it stands on. The mobile home owner pays rent to the site operator for use of the pitch
The Mobile Homes (Wales) Act 2013 came into force on 1 October 2014. This law updates the existing law, originally put in place in the 1960s for residential mobile homes. It is designed to help improve regulation of the industry, so that conditions on mobile home sites are improved and the rights of residents are better protected.
The main features of the new law are:
- site owners will be required to apply for a licence from their local authority to operate a site. The licence will last up to five years
- site managers will need to pass a ‘fit and proper person’ test before being awarded a licence
- site owners will no longer be able to block the sale of a mobile home. The mobile home owner will be free to sell their home to who they wish
- local authorities will be able to inspect sites and issue a fixed penalty notice to site owners if conditions on the site are not kept properly
- in more serious instances, local authorities will be able to issue the site owners with a compliance notice to make sure that site conditions are upheld
- pitch fees can only be increased in line with the Consumer Prices Index
- site owners and residents will be able to appeal to the Residential Property Tribunal in certain circumstances.
A copy of the new Mobile Homes (Wales) Act 2013 and the Explanatory Notes to the Act can be found on the National Assembly for Wales website (external link).
Although the Bill became law in November 2013 , there was a transition period of nearly 12 months before all the provisions came into force on 1 October 2014. From 1 October local authorities have six months to relicense all sites (by 1 April 2015) and site owners will have 12 months to make and lodge new site rules (by 1 October 2015).
All mobile homes sites must have a site licence issued by the local authority on a park with relevant planning permission. Local authorities have six months to revoke and relicense all sites by 1 April 2015.
The Model Standards 2008 for Caravan Sites in Wales are the conditions, 'normally expected as a matter of good practice on sites.' They apply only to residential caravans and can cover areas such as the layout of mobile home parks and the provision of facilities, services and equipment for them. These standards introduced a number of changes, the most significant relating to:
- dealing with park site boundaries
- making clearer what should and shouldn't be allowed within the six metre separation space between homes
- permitting a single car to be parked between homes
- requiring a concrete hardstanding for all homes
- extending park drainage requirements to include the pitch
- making sure that common areas of the site are maintained in a good condition
- setting out the minimum standards required for the supply of water, electricity, drainage and sanitation
- making it clear that land allocated for recreational space is required only when children live on the park
For more visit the National Assembly for Wales website (external link)
Detailed information about key changes in the 2013 Act
Welsh Government has produced a leaflet for site residents which is intended to give a helpful overview of the key changes set out within the Mobile Homes (Wales) Act 2013.
We have produced a series of information sheets which explains in greater detail the specific changes:
Mobile Homes – Know Your Rights
This leaflet gives you important information about the changes to the law following the introduction of the Mobile Homes (Wales) Act 2013.
Forms and processes
The new legislation introduces statutory forms that must be used when selling and gifting a mobile home, changing the pitch fees and amending site rules.
Regulations prescribe the forms which MUST be used for each of these processes. The following forms are available for you to complete and print off.
Tel: 01443 425001
Fax: 01443 425301
SMS: 07781 489133
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