Housing

Park homes

Park homes are mobile homes used for residential purposes. They are a unique type of tenure covered by specific legislation. This section looks at how the law relates to park homes and tells you where to find more information about them.

News releases and latest publications

On 16 December 2009 the Housing Minister announced that park home dispute resolutions would be transferred to residential property tribunals on 6 April 2010.

Unfortunately, because of limited Parliamentary time the transfer will not be in place by this date. It will however take place at the earliest legislative opportunity. Further details of the transfer are available in:

On 12 May 2009 the Housing Minister announced a consultation on site licensing reforms - Dispute resolution under the Mobile Homes Act 1983 (as amended): Summary of responses and further consultation. The Minister will publish his response as soon as possible.

On 30 May 2008 the Housing Minister announced a consultation on allowing the transfer of jurisdiction of the majority of cases under the Mobile Homes Act to the Residential Property Tribunal. For further details see:

Introduction

Park homes vary in size and condition greatly, some park homes resemble bungalows, others are closer in appearance to traditional caravans. Park home sites vary in size and quality, from small parks, with a handful of mobile homes, to large parks with shopping and leisure facilities. Many sites are affiliated to the main trade associations - the British Holiday and Home Parks Association and National Park Homes Council.

There are three National Residents Groups that can assist residents of park home sites - The National Association of Park Home Residents, the Independent Park Home Advisory Service and the Park Home Residents Action Alliance.

Communities and Local Government's policy on park homes

The Department is committed to ensuring that we have a vibrant park home sector which meets the needs of residents; offers a safe and affordable housing option; and encourages investment and good management by decent owners.

We have therefore introduced legislation improving residents' agreements with the site owner, and have consulted on proposals to allow the Residential Property Tribunal Service to adjudicate on park home disputes under the Mobile Homes Act 1983.

As mentioned above, we have also consulted on proposals to improve the site licensing regime later in 2008.

Key facts and figures

Recent research estimates that there are around 2,000 parks in England providing nearly 85,000 park homes. Most residents own their park homes, which may cost anything from around £10,000 to more than £250,000. Typically residents enter into an agreement to keep their home on the park and pay the owner of the site a pitch fee. Pitch fees average around £1,000 per annum.

Information for local authorities

All park home sites are required to have a site licence under the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960 (external link). The Secretary of State from time to time issues Model Standards which the local authority should bear in mind when setting out licensing conditions. A copy of the standards can be found in the publication,  Model Standards 2008 for Caravan Sites in England: Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960 - Section 5.

Local Authorities also have powers under the Caravan Sites Act 1968 (external link) to investigate allegations of harassment on sites and to take enforcement action if necessary.

Information for park owners and residents

The Department publishes guidance and fact sheets for the residents and owners of park home sites. These are available in the publications section .

Research and statistics about park homes

In 1998 the Department of the Environment, Transport, and the Regions (DETR) set up the Park Homes Working Party, which included bodies representing both homeowners and site owners.

Its main aims were:

  • to consider the operation of the existing controls on park homes and make recommendations for change
  • to achieve a fair and workable balance between the needs and interests of park home residents and park owners/operators.

An in-principle commitment was made to take forward many of the Party's recommendations which were published in 2000 in the Report of the Park Homes Working Party by The Stationery Office (ISBN 185112411X, Price £10).

The Government's response to the Working Party can be found in the publications section.

Contacts and further information

If you have any queries about government policy on park home sites that are not answered here please email: parkhomes@communities.gsi.gov.uk

Practitioners may find further guidance in the publications section.

Key words: Park Homes, Caravan Sites, Mobile Homes

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