Buying A Park Home
Buying a home really is a simple process, although you may not think so reading through this article!
Sellers are provided with the relative forms to use and when to use them and are simple to complete. We have given you the full version of events to enable you to use this as a check list to make sure you are receiving all the information you should.
Although you do not need a solicitor, you may choose to consult with one. However, do make sure that you choose a solicitor who is fully conversant with the new Mobile Homes Act 2013.
On our Downloads page, you will find all the Government Park Home Fact Sheets available for you to download. We do recommend that you read these, as they explain in simple English the responsibilities you will commit to, together with those of the Park Owner.
When visiting a park, there are some checks you should make:
- Is the Park Site Licence on display? This is a legal requirement and you should make sure that the licence clearly states that the park is for residential and not holiday use.
- Some parks have a multi-use licence, that is to say, that they have both residential and holiday plots. You should make sure if you decide to purchase on this type of park, that you are purchasing a home sited on a residential plot, by asking the park owner for sight of the park site plan attached to the Site Licence.
- Are they members of either Trade Associations? – The National Caravan Council or the British Holiday and Home Parks Association.
Take time to talk to the residents
- Are they happy living there?
- Are there any problems on the park they can tell you about before you commit yourself? The vendor may choose not to tell you of any problems.
- Do the park owners attend to any maintenance issues and requests quickly and efficiently?
If you have now found a home you wish to buy and you are purchasing from a resident privately, the onus is upon the resident to provide you with the following information at least 28 days before the date you intend to complete the purchase.
- A copy of the agreement/written statement.
- A copy of any previous assignment of the written statement
- A copy of the Park Rules
- Written details of any charges payable in respect of electricity, gas, water, sewerage or other services supplied to the park home, including details of when these charges are payable and when they are next due for review
- Written details of any other charges relating to the home or the park, including any charges for the use of a garage, parking space or outbuilding
- A copy of any current warranty for the home and
- A copy of any structural survey of the home, the base or the pitch which they have had carried out by a surveyor in the previous 12 months.
As well as the documents set out above, the vendor must also by law provide the following information to you, again not less than 28 days before completion of the sale (unless you agree to a shorter period of time being given)
- The proposed sale price of the park home
- Details of the 10% commission payable to the park owner on completion of the sale
- Details of the pitch fee, including when it is payable and when the annual review date is
- Details of any pitch fee arrears and of any agreement they may have reached with the park owner for clearing their arrears
- The council tax band for the park home
- The name of the park owner and the address where any notices may be served on them
- The name and address of the Local Authority which licenses the Park
- An explanation of the form and notice assignment
- The date when any assignment first started and if they were not the original owner, the date when the agreement was assigned to them
- If their agreement started before 26 May 2013 and has not been assigned since that date, an explanation of the assignment process and the effect of any Refusal Notice or Refusal Order on your prospective purchase
- A statement that they are the legal owner of the park home, that the home will be vacant upon completion and that there are no outstanding loans relating to the home and
- Details of any legal proceedings relating to the home, the agreement or the park which they are involved in and which are ongoing at the time when they give you the information.
Both you and the vendor must complete a ‘Notice of Proposed Sale’ form and send it to the Park Owner at the address they have given you as the correspondence address at least 21 days before the proposed date of completion of the sale. Once the Park Owner has received the Notice of Proposed Sale, if they wish to object to the proposed sale and assignment, they must within 21 days of receiving the Notice of Proposed Sale
- Send the vendor a notice that they have applied to the Residential Property Tribunal for an Order to prevent the sale from going ahead (a ‘Refusal Order’) and
- Apply to the Tribunal for a Refusal Order.
The Park Owner can only object to the sale if the proposed buyer, or someone who is intending to live with them
- Does not meet any minimum age limit on the Park
- Wants to keep any types of animals which are not permitted on the Park
- Wants to park vehicles of a type which are not permitted on the park, or
- Wants to park more vehicles on the Park than are permitted.
If the Park Owner does not take both of the steps set out above within the 21 day period, then your purchase and assignment can go ahead without needing the Park Owner’s approval. The vendor should use a ‘Notice of Assignment Form’ to transfer their agreement to you, which both you and the vendor will need to sign.
Within 7 days of the purchase of your park home completing, you must complete and send the Park Owner a ‘Notice of Assignment’ form, which must state
- The vendor’s name
- Your name and the name of anyone else who intends to live in the park home with you
- The address of the park home
- The date of assignment of the agreement
- The purchase price of the park home and the amount of commission payable to the Park Owner and
- A forwarding address for the vendor.
After receiving the Notice of Assignment the Park Owner will provide you with the details of the bank account where you must pay the Park Owner’s 10% commission – you must then pay the Park Owner the commission within 7 days of the Park Owner providing these details.
Finally, if the vendor fails to provide any of the information required they will not have complied with the new Act, which could lead to the assignment being unlawful and/or a civil claim being made against them by you and/or the Park Owner for breach of statutory duty.
We cannot recommend more strongly the need to have a survey done on the property you wish to buy. It is better to lose the cost of a survey (roughly £400 - £500) than have an unpleasant surprise after you have moved in, that there is unexpected and urgent work that needs to be done in your new home.