Park home legal experts Rawdon Crozier, a barrister and mediator from KBG Chambers, and Ibraheem Dulmeer, a solicitor-advocate (civil) with the Leasehold Advisory Service (LEASE), examine the buying and selling process surrounding a pre-owned park home, with a fascinating case law update, too
This article outlines the buying and selling process for pre-owned park homes on a pitch on a protected site within the meaning of the Mobile Homes Act 1983. It also considers a recent decision of the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) relating to the buying and selling process.
The article is an outline, and not a substitute, for obtaining independent legal advice from a suitably qualified solicitor; that is one with experience in dealing with the buying and selling of park homes.
Park homes are not equivalent to bricks-and-mortar and the procedure for buying and selling a park home is not subject to usual conveyancing protocols.
Following the introduction of the Mobile Homes Act 2013 and the Mobile Homes (Selling and Gifting) Regulations 2013 in England and equivalent legislation in Wales, from the 26 May 2013 in England and
1 October 2014 in Wales, a compulsory procedure was introduced for the buying and selling of a pre-owned residential park home on a residential park home site.
Although some aspects have not been without criticism, having a regulated procedure has:
1 Curbed abuses in the ad hoc selling schemes that operated on some parks by substantially removing park owners from the sales process;
2 Created a measure of certainty; and
3 Given occupiers greater protection.
Buyers and sellers of park homes do, however, now have much more responsibility to ensure that the transaction is completed properly, and not following the procedure could affect the effectiveness of a sale and lead to potentially costly disputes.
Until 26 May 2013, an occupier was required to obtain the consent of the site owner before selling or gifting a mobile home. In relation to protected sites, s.10 of the 2013 Act removed such a requirement.
The procedure involves some or all of the following steps, depending upon whether the park home agreement is a ‘New Agreement’ or an ‘Existing Agreement’. The definitions are dealt with under ‘Common Questions’ on the next page.
Step 1: (New and Existing Agreements)
Once a price for the home has been agreed between the seller and buyer, the seller must provide the buyer with a form called a ‘Buyer’s Information Form’, together with copies of certain key documents.
The form and other documents must be supplied to the buyer at least 28 days before the date when completion of the sale of the home is to take place, unless the buyer has agreed to a shorter period.
The key documents that must be sent include: a copy of the seller’s Mobile Homes Act agreement/written statement; a copy of the current park rules; written details of any charges payable in respect of electricity, gas, water, sewerage or other services supplied to the park home, including when these charges are payable and when they are next due for review; written details of any other charges relating to the home or the park, including any charges for the use of a garage, parking space or outbuilding; a copy of any current warranty for the home; and a copy of any structural survey of the home, the base or the pitch which the seller has had carried out in the previous 12 months.
If the seller is unable to provide any of the documents mentioned above, they must provide a written explanation as to why this is the case.
Ibraheem Dulmeer is a solicitor-advocate (civil) with the Leasehold Advisory Service (LEASE). LEASE provides free advice on park home matters. If you have any questions regarding the information in this article, contact LEASE on 020 7832 2525 or email email@example.com. The Park Homes LEASE website https://parkhomes.lease-advice.org/ also carries guidance and reports of Tribunal decisions, which you may find of use.
Read the full story in the June 2018 issue of Park Home & Holiday Caravan