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Posted 2 April 2013
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The Mobile Homes Act 2013

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.Park owners in England need to make sure that they are fully informed about, and prepared for, these changes.  While many of the changes will actually only become effective once further regulations, giving detail of procedure or the format of notices, have been issued by Parliament park owners should still acquaint themselves with the Act so they are ready when these regulations are published.  Some, but not all, of the changes are as follows:-

Pitch fee reviews

  • The matters to which particular regard should be had on review will be widened to include any deterioration in condition, and/or decrease in amenity, of the site or any adjoining land owned by the park owner and this will not limited to the year since the previous review;
  • Pitch fee review notices proposing an increase will be invalid, unless accompanied by a notice setting out required information (in a format to be notified in regulations)

Park rules

  • Park rules will become express terms of residential agreements to which the Mobile Homes Act 2013 applies (including agreements made before the Act came into force or the rules were made);
  • Existing park rules dealing with” (a) the management and conduct of the site, or (b) such other matters as may be prescribed” will become invalid and all new park rules will have to be deposited with the local authority (after a date to be notified).

Sale of homes

  • The requirement of an occupier to obtain the consent of the park owner to a prospective purchaser, or to a person to be gifted a home, will be removed in respect of “new agreements”.  A new agreement is one made after 26.03.13 or one which was made before but has been assigned since (i.e. it is being assigned for the 2nd time since the Act commenced).  The new owner must notify the park owner of the assignment of the agreement and pay the commission.  Regulations regarding the sale, including the format of the notice, and payment of commission are yet to be made.
  • Where the agreement is not new the occupier does not need to obtain consent if they serve a notice on the owner naming the purchaser and (1) the park owner within 21 days of receipt of the Notice applies to the Tribunal for an order preventing the sale AND gives notice of this to the occupier or (2) the action in (1) takes place and the Tribunal refuses to make the order.  Regulations regarding the notice and application are still to be made.

This is only a limited selection of the changes and in each of these examples further information of the procedure or the format of notices to be used is awaited in the form of Regulations to be issued.  If you wish to read and acquaint yourself with the detail of the Act the link to the UK legislation website is http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2013/14/contents/enacted

We will be writing in more detail about the Regulations when they are published and the effect of this legislation on park owners in future issues of Parklaw.

If you have questions regarding the Act or would like assistance with any other issues to do with your park please contact our specialist parks team on 01392 207020 or email parks@tozers.co.uk

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