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Common questions relating to local authority site licences

December legalWhy do parks need a site licence to operate and where do they come from? What things should you be aware of in your park’s licence?  Aimee Hutchinson, from Blacks Solicitors LLP, and The Leasehold Advisory Service’s Antony Tregenna explore the main issues

All residential mobile home parks require a site licence to operate. Site licences are issued by the local authority in which the site is located and have a number of conditions attached. Those conditions affect the way in which a park is managed and, for that reason, impact upon its residents. This article examines some of the common issues that arise on parks where site licence conditions may play a part.
 
Where can a resident locate a copy of the site licence?
Site owners are required to display the site licence on the park and the site licence itself will stipulate where it should be displayed. This is usually in a prominent location and it should either be the complete site licence or the front page of the licence, together with confirmation of where the complete licence and conditions can be inspected (in the site office, for example).

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Understanding model standards

november leaseWhat are model standards for park home sites in England and Wales? We asked The Leasehold Advisory Service’s Manjit Rai to explain more...

At LEASE, we receive a number of enquiries about the site licence of a mobile home park and the typical industry standards and requirements.  This month, we thought it would be interesting to inform you about the Model Standards for Caravan Sites in England and Wales 2008. (These standards apply to those sites that contain permanent residential mobile homes.)

What are the Model Standards?
The Model Standards represent those standards normally to be expected as a matter of good practice on caravan sites (sites containing permanent residential homes). They should be considered by local authorities when applying licence conditions to new sites. In the case of existing sites, the local authority will need to decide whether it is appropriate for these new standards to apply. The Model Standards should be applied taking into account the particular circumstances of the relevant site, including its physical character, any relevant services, facilities or other amenities that are available within or in the locality of the site and other applicable conditions.

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Right of access to your pitch

october leaseDoes a park site owner have the right to enter your plot at any time? When and why can access be granted or denied and what’s the correct procedure for doing this? The Leasehold Advisory Service’s (LEASE) Antony Tregenna puts you in the picture

A site owner has a number of rights of entry to a home owner’s pitch. These are included within the Implied Terms of the Written Statement between the site owner and home owner. A Written Statement comprises of the terms of occupation. The Implied Terms cannot be changed or varied in law and are binding between a home owner and site owner.

This article looks at the instances when a site owner can or cannot enter a pitch.

Can a site owner enter a pitch without invitation from a home owner?
A site owner may enter a pitch without prior notice in exceptional circumstances (Paragraph 12 of the Implied Terms). These would involve delivering written communications (including post or notices) and reading any meter for gas, electricity, water, or sewerage between the hours of 9am to 6pm.

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Termination of a Written Agreement

september legalThe Leasehold Advisory Service’s Antony Tregenna examines the procedures a park owner must follow to terminate a home owner’s Written Agreement and remove them from the park

It is important for both site owners and home owners to be aware of the circumstances in which a mobile home agreement may be terminated.

A Written Statement sets out the terms of agreement between the site owner and the home owner. The terms comprise of Express Terms and Implied Terms. Express Terms are terms that have been specifically agreed between the site owner and the home owner.    

The Implied Terms cannot be varied or changed in law. The site owner’s rights of termination are included within the Implied Terms. This article looks at the instances and the procedure that must be followed by the site owner in the event of a breach of agreement by the home owner.

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Frequently Asked Questions on park home matters

august legalThe 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. LEASE’s Antony Tregenna and Manjit Rai work through a selection of some of the most frequently asked

Q A local authority has decided to introduce a fees policy and has charged a site owner an annual licence fee. An annual licence fee has been  added  through a park home owner’s pitch fee  review in 2016. What is the law concerning this?

A The annual licence fee can only be added to the pitch fee in the first year that it is introduced.  The licensing provisions came into force on 1st April 2014.  A local authority is able to charge a site owner an annual licence fee from this date. The fee may be added to pitch fee reviews in respect of the period between 2nd April 2014 to the 1st April 2015. Although the local authority has only decided to introduce an annual fee, the charge cannot be included in the 2016 pitch fee review.

A park home owner who has received a pitch fee review form with the annual licence fee added will not be obliged to pay the increase. The site owner will need to apply to a First Tier Tribunal to determine that the charge be paid.

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Wondering about Wales?

july legalAs of 1 April 2016, the Leasehold Advisory Service has been providing legal help to park home owners, site owners and local authorities concerning park home law in Wales. LEASE’s Antony Tregenna examines some of the main features of the Mobile Homes (Wales) Act 2013 (‘the Act’) and the increased protection for home owners

So, when did the Mobile Homes (Wales) Act 2013 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 of “the Act” also lists the types of site that are not regulated. These include sites owned by the local authority.

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