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Posted 14 March 2014
Site licence fees – are they recoverable?
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