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Posted 25 April 2014
Tribunal decisions – refusal order
In the recent case of Scatterdels Park the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) (“the Tribunal”) provided clarification on the procedure to be followed by park owners when making a Refusal Order application.
The case involved a homeowner who had sent the park owner a notice of proposed sale by both email and post. The email was received by the park owner on 23 September but the hard copy was not received until 24 September 2014. The park owner sent the homeowner a notice that they were making an application to the Tribunal for a Refusal Order on 10 October 2013 but did not send their application to the Tribunal until 13 October 2013. The application was received by the Tribunal on the 14 October 2013. These dates are important to the decision as depending on when service is deemed to have been effected, the park owner may have missed their deadline for making an application for a Refusal Order.
The law governing the applications of Refusal Orders is laid down in the implied terms of the Mobile Homes Act 1983, as amended (“the Act”). The Act provides that if the park owner has one of the grounds specified in the Mobile Homes (Selling and Gifting)(England) Regulations 2013 to make an application to the Tribunal for a Refusal Order, they must do so within 21 days of receiving the notice of proposal and send a notice to the homeowner notifying them of such an application being made.
The Tribunal had to decide whether service of the notice of proposed sale could be effected by email, as if it could the park owner’s application would have been made outside of the 21 day period.
The Tribunal ruled that service could be effected by email but only if both parties were agreeable to its use. In this case there was no agreement that email could be used and therefore service was not deemed to have been effected until the notice was received in the post. This meant the park owner’s application was made within the 21 day time frame.
The Tribunal also had to decide whether the park owner’s letter informing the homeowner of their intended application complied with the law. The Tribunal held that when writing to the homeowner an application for a Refusal Order must have already been made. It is insufficient to give the homeowner notice of your intentions to make an application. On this basis the Tribunal found the park owner’s letter to be defective and therefore they were not entitled to a Refusal Order.
If you have any questions relating to an application for a Refusal Order or the procedure to be followed during the sale or gifting of a mobile home then contact the parks team by telephone 01392 207020 or email firstname.lastname@example.org