The Mobile Homes Bill has now reached the House of Lords and will soon have its second reading.
The Government have published information relating to the proposed commencement dates of the various provisions of the Bill, which will come into force in stages.
Of particular importance is that the provisions in the Mobile Homes Act 1983 relating to sales of residential mobile homes and the park owner’s requirement to give consent will change within 2 months of the Bill coming into force. The new procedure that applies will vary depending on whether you have an “old” or “new” agreement with your residents. Whether your agreements are old or new will depend when, in relation to the commencement date of the proposed changes, they were entered into or assigned. Old agreements having been entered before the commencement date and new agreements having been entered into or assigned afterwards.
The proposed changes would apply to all agreements automatically and could not be overridden.
For further advice about this issue and the impact it may have on your park procedures, please contact our Parks Team on 01392 207020 or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wood burning stoves are becoming a popular addition to many mobile homes. Unfortunately not all residents are made aware when they buy a stove that they must either contact building control before commencing any installation works, if they wish to fit it themselves, or employ a HETAS registered installer to fit the stove for them. HETAS (Heating Equipment Testing and Approval Scheme (UK)) is the official body recognised by Government to approve solid fuel domestic heating appliances, fuels and services including the registration of competent installers and servicing businesses. An incorrectly fitted stove is a potential fire hazard. Contact Tozers today to discuss what action you should take if you discover one of your residents has fitted a stove without taking the appropriate steps.
In the case of St Albans City & District Council v Lysaght, the Residential Property Tribunal (RPT) decided that the County Court is not the only judicial body permitted to terminate Mobile Homes Act agreements and that the RPT also has jurisdiction.
This is not in line with previous RPT decisions or our interpretation of the legislation. On reviewing the reasoning given in the St Albans decision, our view remains that the RPT only has jurisdiction to terminate Mobile Homes Act agreements where there is a pre-existing arbitration agreement and the matter is referred to the RPT instead of to an arbitrator.
As such, we would advise against making applications to the RPT for termination in any other circumstances; the matter will, most likely, be transferred to the County Court, wasting time and money in the process.
Contact us for advice if this type of issue arises.
A chimney fire in a mobile home two weeks ago (see link below) led to the fire brigade advising that homeowners should have their chimneys swept every year. That’s all well and good, but there’s a question about whether a park owner can insist on that if a home owner doesn’t follow the fire brigade’s advice. It’s doubtful, in which case it probably all comes down to valid insurance and whether the home owner is required under the terms of their policy to sweep any chimneys.