Park homes are legally defined as caravans and are laid out on privately owned sites where normally all the infrastructure is provided by the site owner. The site owner retains ownership of the land on which the home is placed, but the resident owns the home and pays a pitch fee for the right to station it on the land. Many sites have restrictions on the age and family composition of residents. The majority of the residents in this sector are retired or semi-retired and some are vulnerable.
The Mobile Homes Act 1983 gives residents security of tenure and certain rights including a right to sell their homes and a right to quiet enjoyment of their homes. However, many mobile home residents experience difficulties in exercising their rights. In 2011, the government transferred the process for resolving disputes under the Mobile Homes Act 1983 from county courts to residential property tribunals. This is designed to make it easier, cheaper and quicker for park home owners to enforce their rights and challenge unreasonable behaviour by site owners.
In April 2014 we announced new powers giving councils the ability to challenge site owners who do not maintain or properly manage sites. Previously councils could only prosecute through the courts, but now councils will be able to serve site owners with a notice outlining the action that needs to be taken and the deadline for completion.