Park Home owners have raised a petition to the Government, and the UK Parliament might reduce council tax for people who live in park homes in the UK in the future.
2019 has had a good start for park home owners, as the Government approved the park home owners’ petition and is reviewing the existing law. A working group has been formed to take the petition and responses forward and study the impacts of a change to the 10% commission charge in England on residents and site owners . Mobile homes are subject to council tax in the same way as traditional 'bricks and mortar' homes, and are placed into the same council tax bands according to their value.
This is an action that park home residents point out Pitch Fee definition and transparency in ownership should have clarified long ago to have a better control of the current situation and more legal protection. Currently they claim they have been double-charged to the council: first they have to pay normal council tax on park homes, and second, as pitch fees are a collective pay for fees and costs of the site owner are liable for.
In the UK, park and mobile homes are becoming more and more popular, as they offer an affordable alternative to brick-and-mortar for first-time property buyers. Unfortunately, the age profile of mobile home owners might makes challenging for them to assert their rights. The theft of Sonia McColl’s home in 2017, a 70-year-old homeowner who was left homeless for close to a year after her mobile home was stolen, showed the vulnerability of park home owners.
According to the petition, mobile home owners pay council tax but see little in return in provided services and in a secure tenure of their park living, and that’s the main reason to reduce the council tax they pay. Other than refuse collections, they pay through their ground rents for their own lighting, roadworks, street cleaning, drainage and other services. Many Councils also receive license fees from site owners that are also paid for by the occupiers, who are also excluded from any police patrols because they live on privately owned land.
Also, the Welsh Assembly a public consultation opened in December 2018 about the intention to reduce the commission payable on sale of the home by 1% each year over 5 years.
In 2013 Park Home Laws were amended to give Local Authorities greater enforcement powers with the Mobile Home Act (MHA 2013), in terms of security of tenure, or an effective system of arbitration for pitch fee levels fixed by rent. In addition, the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government implemented a series of proposals and guidance on the rights and obligations of site and mobile home owners that can be found in the Park Homes page.
If you have purchased or are considering purchasing a park home either for personal use or as a holiday lodge to let out as a financial investment (or both, for that matter), it is important to read the Stamp Duty Land Tax Manual from HMRC website.
Park homes are more popular residential properties than some years ago. The Government estimates that there are more than 85,000 households living in mobile homes in more than 2,000 sites just in England.
These are some quick answers for common question about park homes.
If you choose to buy a home that is located on a licenced park site designed for full time residence you can live there all year round. You cannot live on a holiday home park permanently.
No, mobile homes (park homes and lodges) are exempt from requiring an Energy Performance Certificate. These types of properties do not meet the property criteria that require the certificate.
No, you cannot get a mortgage on a park home or mobile home in the UK, however there are specialised lenders who will make finance available.
Regular maintenance is key to helping park homes hold their value and last longer. Unlike traditional homes, a park home will usually depreciate in value because is not classed as a permanent structure and owners don’t usually own the land on which is located. As specialists suggest, some modern park homes may be design to last at least 50 years.
Buildings and contents insurance cover are not compulsory, but it might cover against some unpredictable costs, such as fire, flooding or storm, vandalism, accidental damage, or even legal expenses.
*The opinions and views expressed in the above articles are those of the author only and are for guidance purposes only. The authors disclaim any liability for reliance upon those opinions and would encourage readers to rely upon more than one source before making a decision based on the information.
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