On the 17 March 2014 the Holiday Caravan Sites (Wales) Bill (“the Bill”) was introduced in the National Assembly of Wales. The Bill is currently being considered by The Communities, Equality and Local Government Committee (“the Committee”) who are publically consulting with all parties who have an interest in the subject. read more
In the recent decision of Doughty -v- Smith the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) (“the Tribunal”) addressed the issue of whether a homeowner would be liable to pay the pitch fee if they had not received a written agreement in accordance with the provisions of the Mobile Homes Act 1983 (“the Act”). read more
Under the current site licensing regime local authorities have no discretion in the issuing and transferring of a site licence where the applicant has not had their site licence revoked in the last 3 years.
From 1 April 2014 the Mobile Homes Act 2013 (“the Act”) will make significant changes to this regime by providing local authorities with a discretion to issue or transfer site licences. In making its decision a local authority will be required to have regards to matters prescribed in the Mobile Homes (Site Licensing) (England) Regulations 2014 (“the Regulations”) which also come into effect on 1 April 2014. read more
From 1 April 2014 section 1 of the Mobile Homes Act 2013 will come into effect, introducing changes to the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960 (“the 1960 Act”)
These amendments will give local authorities the power to charge an annual site licence fee amongst other charges. Some councils have produced a draft fee policy and published it on their website. You may wish to establish what your council is doing and how much you may be asked to pay. The question then is are these fees capable of being recovered in the pitch fee?
Under the Mobile Homes Act 1983 (as amended)(“the 1983 Act”) a park owner is able to have regard to any maintenance or management costs which are a direct effect of a law change provided they do not relate to complying with any of the changes made to the 1983 Act.
The cost of annual site licence fees is a change to the 1960 Act and therefore park owners could potentially take them into account when reviewing their pitch fees. However park owners will only be able to take into account the annual site licence fee during a pitch fee review which falls on or after 2 April 2014 and on or before 1 April 2015. Before, or after, these dates park owners will be unable to take this charge into account when reviewing the pitch fee.
Given the charges could be significant it is important to your business to establish what they will be and consider what you want to do, if anything, about their recovery from your residents.
There are some costs such as those for making a site licence application or any expenses due under a compliance notice which the park owner is not allowed to recover from residents.
If you have any queries relating to the recovery of the annual site licence fee in the pitch fee review please contact the parks team on telephone 01392 207020 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org
Park owners may notice on their electricity bills that they are being charged a fee each month termed a Feed-in Tariff, but what is this charge and is it recoverable from the home and caravan owners?
Suppliers are required by law to make a Feed-in Tariff charge to any customer which has not registered to generate their own electricity. The proceeds are used to make payments to customers who have done so. read more
As owners of residential parks in England will know the regulations providing for consultation on, amendment of and deposit with local authorities of, park rules have now come into force. Members of the BH&HPA will have received guidance on the consultation and deposit procedure including precedent letters and park rules and are being invited to attend workshops on this subject being put on by the BH&HPA around the country in May. read more
The Climate Change Levy (“CCL”) is a government imposed tax on the supply of specified energy products such as electricity or gas for business or non-domestic purposes.
Where the electricity or gas supply is wholly or partly for domestic use that part of the supply will qualify for a reduced rate of VAT and will be exempt from CCL charges. read more
In the case of Turner -v- Cooper, the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber), “the Tribunal” provided further clarification on who would be responsible for the removal of a tree growing on a homeowner’s pitch.
The case was regarding a tree which had shed several branches and needed to be felled. The Tribunal was asked to determine who was liable for the cost of removing the tree, the park owner or the homeowner on whose pitch the tree was located. read more