Although there’s no legal requirement to use a solicitor when purchasing a park home PH&HC strongly recommends doing so. We ask park home specialist IBB Solicitors to pinpoint five key reasons why…
We are frequently asked by prospective buyers of residential park homes whether they should instruct a solicitor on their purchase. Our answer is always the same: although there is no obligation to do so, many buyers prefer to use a solicitor for the convenience, peace of mind and protection that it provides. In this article we share examples, inspired by true stories, of things that can go wrong and offer tips for a smooth transaction…
1 The seller said I don’t need a solicitor as I’m not buying a bricks-and-mortar home.
Even though a residential park home may not be a home in the traditional sense, it is a high value asset and you shouldn’t skimp on the due diligence. A solicitor with knowledge of the park and holiday homes sector will know what potential problems to look out for and can bring these to your attention before completion, while there is still time to negotiate or walk away. Also, a solicitor who acts for you has a professional duty to act in your best interest. A seller owes you no such duty. You should therefore be suspicious of a seller (or any other interested party) who pressures you not to take legal advice on your purchase.
2 I thought I bought a residential home but have just been told by the park owner that it’s for holiday use only and I am not allowed to stay there year-round.
This is a distressing, and potentially costly, situation that is easily avoided by carrying out checks on the seller, park owner and key documentation prior to purchase. A caravan park – whether for residential, holiday or mixed use – cannot operate without a licence from the local authority. Even if the park does have a licence that permits residential occupation, it is still possible for a park owner to have an agreement with an occupier that only permits holiday occupation. A holiday occupier does not benefit from the statutory protection of the Mobile Homes Act 1983 (as amended) against eviction and unreasonable pitch fee increases which is available to residential occupiers. If you instruct a solicitor, they will review all of the key documents and can alert you to any issues of concern, such as the park not being licensed or terms relating to holiday periods in the agreement or rules.
3 I bought a mobile home from a family member of an occupier who died. I have just been contacted by another member of their family who says that she owns mobile home and wants to sell it. What can I do?
If you are buying a pre-owned home, the occupation agreement will need to be assigned to you from the previous occupier/seller according to a standard procedure. Only the person or people named on the occupation agreement (or someone legally authorised to act on their behalf such as an executor or personal representative) has the legal right to do this. If the person who assigned the agreement did not have the authority to do so, the assignment may be invalid and unenforceable. If the seller did not own the mobile home, because it was
Read the full article in the October 2019 issue of Park Home & Holiday Caravan