Residential park owners in England will doubtless be aware that the sections of the Mobile Homes Act 2013 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2013/14/pdfs/ukpga_20130014_en.pdf amending the provisions of the 1983 Act which cover selling and gifting of park homes by residents, pitch fee reviews and park rules will come into force on Monday.
The regulations dealing with sale and gifting were laid before parliament last month http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2013/981/pdfs/uksi_20130981_en.pdf
We understand that the regulations in respect of pitch fee reviews and the form of notice, setting out the information that must be provided, will be published very shortly. The amendments to the Mobile Homes Act 1983 (“the Act”) mean that any pitch fee review notice served on or after 27 May that is not compliant with section 25A of the Act will not be valid and, even if residents have agreed and paid the reviewed amount, they can later apply to the tribunal for the reviewed amount to be repaid to them.
If you have any questions about this blog or about the Mobile Homes Act 2013 and the changes it is ushering in then please call or email our specialist parks team on 01392 207020 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Mobile Homes Bill, having been approved by both Houses of Parliament, received Royal Assent on 26 March and the sections of the Mobile Homes Act 2013 will start coming into force on 26 May 2013. Sections 1 – 7, which deal with the changes to the licensing regime, will come into force on 1 April 2014. Sections 9 – 12 which deal with park rules, the removal of the requirement to obtain the park owner’s consent to a prospective purchaser or person being gifted a home, and pitch fee reviews come into force on 26 May 2013. The other sections, including the much discussed fit and proper person test will not come into force until a statutory instrument to that effect has been made. read more
The Mobile Homes Bill proposes significant changes to the information required to be included in the notice to residents of pitch fee review proposals. That being said the Bill currently provides that the notice is to be “in such form as the Secretary of State may by regulations prescribe” indicating that none of the clauses dealing with the notice itself will come into force until that regulation is drafted. The content of the Bill means that there are a lot of regulations to draft so it is likely that that element of the procedure will be undertaken after the Bill itself comes into force. Despite that it is as well to be aware of the proposed changes and what information residential park owners will need to give to residents to ensure their pitch fee review notices are valid. read more
A park owner must start a pitch fee review by “a written notice setting out his proposals in respect of the new pitch fee.” This raises the question of what the notice must say – and what it must not. read more
If you have a pitch fee dispute on your residential park concerning a review where the proposals letter was served before 30 April 2011 (but no more than 6 years before the annual pitch fee review date), you have until 29 April 2012 in which to bring a claim in the County Court for the relevant pitch fee review to be determined. Should you miss this deadline then the law will prevent you from seeking the determination of the disputed increase, and therefore you will be unable to recover any increase from the residents concerned, unless you are able to convince a Court why your application should be heard out of time. Limitation of actions is a very important aspect of the law and you should not rely on the Court granting you an extension of time in which to bring a claim of this nature. If you want to sort out the dispute you must bring your application before the appropriate County Court in plenty of time before the deadline of 29 April 2012.
If you have a pitch fee dispute and you are concerned about the impending deadline and what action you can take to try and resolve it, please contact the parks team on 01392 207020 or email email@example.com