All park owners using standard contracts with holiday caravan owners, such as a Purchase Agreement or Licence Agreement, must be aware of the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999. The Regulations will apply to all the standard terms in any agreement, including your park rules if they form part of an agreement or are referred to in it.
When is a standard contract term unfair?
A standard contract term is unfair if it causes a significant imbalance in the parties’ rights and obligations arising under the contract to the detriment of the holiday caravan owner. The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has produced guidance on the terms they consider unfair, which include caravan age rules, penalties for late payments and terms which allow a park owner to end a Licence Agreement for vague reasons.
What are core terms?
Terms which are individually negotiated are called core terms and are not subject to the unfairness test. Core terms include any terms which in plain and intelligible language set out the price or other main terms, including the length of any licence.
How does this affect holiday park owners?
A holiday caravan owner may complain to the OFT, which is under a duty to consider the complaint and may take action against the park owner. A holiday caravan owner may also raise the fairness of standard terms in any proceedings with the park owner.
The BH&HPA’s standard agreements are drafted with the Regulations firmly in mind and BH&HPA members should always consider using them.
Find out more
For further help or support, please contact our specialist Parks team who will be happy to provide bespoke advice and guidance.