FAQ – Buying a park home
What will it cost?
Prices vary depending on size, fixtures and fittings and location. The park owner can also charge for park and plot development, transportation, siting and connection to mains services. The Government strongly recommends that buyer and sellers use a solicitor.
Do I sign a contract?
Under the Mobile Homes Act 1983, the park owner must give the proposed occupier under the Agreement a Written Statement. This Statement will set out the terms of your agreement to live in a park home on the site owner’s site. If you buy your home from the site owner, this must be given to you 28 days before you sign the Agreement, or if there is no such Agreement, at least 28 days before occupation. Certain terms will be implied in the Agreement by the Act. These Implied Terms can include: pitch fee increases; an occupier’s duty to keep his home in a sound state of repair; and the site owner’s duty to keep the communal parts in a clean and tidy condition. The Written Statement also has Express Terms, agreed between the site owner and resident.
Are they easy to insure?
Park homes are best insured by specialists such as Towergate, Parksure, Mobile Home Insurance or Paul Baker Insurance Services. Typically, the policy will insure the home and contents on a new for old basis, so the sums should reflect the cost of replacement as new to include an allowance for site clearance, re-siting and delivery. Some include legal expenses cover, too.
Should I get a survey?
For second hand homes it is important to get a survey report from a specialist. Subject II Survey and Blue Chip Park Homes will provide independent surveys and do checks. These UK wide companies also provide detailed written reports describing any problems and how to resolve them.
What if I want to sell?
There are some important changes to the selling or gifting of your park home, under the Mobile Homes Act 2013. As a park home owner, you can sell your home on the open market without having the new home buyer approved by the park site operator if you have acquired your park home after 26 May 2013. If you acquired your park home prior to 26 May 2013, there is some site owner involvement. See www.parkhomes.lease-advice.org.
There is also an Implied Term under the Mobile Homes Act 1983 that the park site owner is entitled to receive a commission on the sale of a park home at a rate not exceeding 10% of the sale price. The buyer must retain 10% of the purchase price to pay the park site owner.
Are there any extra costs?
Monthly pitch fees and council tax. Insuring your home can vary but normally costs around £250 per year.
Is there anything else to do?
It is advisable to seek specialist legal representation. This guide is not meant to describe or give a full interpretation of the law. Nor does it cover every case. If you are in the any doubt about your rights and duties then seek specific advice. For preliminary advice on buying or selling, contact the Park Home Advice team at LEASE on 0207 832 2525 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please be advised that LEASE currently provides advice on park home legislation within English and Welsh jurisdiction.
8 things to ask
- Is the park site owner a member of the British Holiday & Home Parks Association or the National Caravan Council?
- Ask about current pitch fees and the history of increases.
- Ask if you need to buy electricity and gas through the park, or if each plot deals directly with the suppliers.
- Are pets allowed on the park?
- Are children allowed to live on site? Are there any age restrictions – eg. over 50’s only?
- Is the site licence from the local authority on display? The licence covers matters like homes spacing, the condition of roads etc.
- Ensure the park has planning permission as a permanent residential park, open all year.
- When does the site owner’s interest in the land come to an end?