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Posted 28 June 2013
Amendments to the Mobile Homes Act 1983 (“the Act”) affecting residential parks in Scotland
A draft order, the Mobile Homes Act 1983 (Amendment of Schedule 1)(Scotland) Order 2013, http://www.legislation.gov.uk/sdsi/2013/9780111020500/contents, has been laid before the Scottish Parliament for approval and is due to come into force on 1st September 2013. Schedule 1, which is being amended by the Order, sets out the terms that are implied into all residential agreements.There are some significant amendments proposed. On sale of a home by the occupier, there will no longer be a requirement for the park owner’s consent to the purchaser to be obtained and there is no provision for notice to be given to a park owner either of a proposed sale, of a home with an agreement pre-dating the changes, or of sales that have taken place. There is no prescribed assignment form. The selling resident is obliged to provide the buyer with a copy of the park rules but there is no provision for a situation where no agreement has been given or it has been lost. Neither the sale nor the assignment will be valid until the commission is paid although it is not specified who is to be responsible for payment.
With the gifting of a home the gifting resident must, if required by the park owner, provide evidence of the relationship with the new occupier albeit that a list of what will constitute reasonable evidence has not been provided. There is no requirement for the gifting resident to provide a copy of the agreement or park rules. The new resident must serve a notice of assignment once the gift and assignment have been made but there is no prescribed form.
With pitch fee reviews there is no deadline by which proceedings in respect of a disputed review must be started so applications for determination would have to be made within 6 years. In the event that the park owner has not served notice by the review date then the residents would be able to serve a notice requiring that the review notice be served. In the event of deflation this would be important.
The park owner will be required to give notice to the residents and any qualifying residents’ association of an address in Scotland at which notices, including notice of proceedings, can be served on them by residents or qualifying associations. Failure to give notice will mean sums due under the agreement cease to be payable so it will be important for English owners of Scottish parks to ensure they comply with this requirement.
A statutory instrument setting out the format for written statements for Scottish parks has also been issued and also comes into force on 1st September 2013. See http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ssi/2013/188/pdfs/ssi_20130188_en.pdf
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