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Utility charges on residential park homes

leaseThe amount of money park home residents pay for gas, electricity and water is sometimes something of a thorny issue. KBG Chambers’ Rawdon Crozier and Ibraheem Dulmeer, a solicitor from the Leasehold Advisory Service (LEASE), explore some of the most common problems and outline exactly what you need to know

Utility charges for gas, water or electricity can sometimes become a source of disagreement between residential occupiers of park homes and site owners. Questions can arise as to whether they can be charged as a separate item over and above the pitch fee. Or whether any charge can be made for the costs of administering the supply of utilities?

In the event of a dispute, or any uncertainty, the first port of call should be your written agreement, or written statement. You should check whether the agreement refers to a separate charge for utilities. If this is the case, it may state that any charge in respect of electricity, gas, water, telephone and other services, should be proportionate to the use by the park home owner; in other words a pro-rata calculation.

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What is a Qualifying Residents’ Association (QRA)? We find out...

legalThe Leasehold Advisory Service’s Antony Tregenna explains the correct legal procedure you should follow in order to establish a Qualifying Residents’ Association

This article describes the conditions and steps that are required to set up a Qualifying Residents’ Association (QRA).  

A QRA can operate in a number of ways including consulting with the park owner about issues which are affecting the residents on the park and arranging social activities.

HOW DO YOU FORM A QRA?
It would be advisable to arrange a meeting with other residents to obtain interest in forming a QRA.  
Once this has been established, it would be important to consider the conditions. These are set out within the Implied Terms of the Written Statement.  Implied Terms cannot be changed in law and are binding between the park owner and the resident.

● The QRA must represent the interests of residents on the park.
● The membership of the QRA must be open to all residents who own a mobile home on the park.
● The membership of the QRA must comprise of at least 50 per cent of residents who own mobile homes on the park.

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How does the law relate to residential, holiday and mixed-use sites?

january legalWhat rights and protections do park home residents have on sites with residential, holiday and mixed-used licences under the current legislation? What responsibilities do park site owners have? Rawdon Crozier, a barrister from KBG Chambers, in Plymouth, Truro and Exeter, and the Leasehold Advisory Service’s Antony Tregenna discuss

Home owners and park owners are sometimes unclear as to whether a unit is protected under mobile homes legislation. This protection depends upon whether the site is a residential site, a holiday site or a mixed use site. This article examines the differences between these types of sites and the rights of home owners.

Residential sites
The Mobile Homes Act 1983 gives a number of rights and protections to park home owners who occupy the home as their own or main residence, if it is situated on a protected site.

This is a site where there are no restrictions concerning the site licence or planning permission. In this situation, the home owner will have the protection of the Act.

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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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