Buying a park home may represent someone’s biggest ever personal expenditure, so it’s important to get it right. We take a look at the work of Steren Surveyors, a company that offers bespoke reports for park home owners or potential purchasers, plus also works with site owners…
Based in Truro in Cornwall, Steren Surveyors also has offices in the south of England, plus is in the process of opening an office in the north. The company already offers nationwide coverage and has a team of directors that have a combined 40 years’ of experience in property surveying, plus the company is RICS registered.
We spoke to director, Peter Ellicock, who heads up the company’s park home survey team, and he gave us a fascinating insight into the work involved in surveying a park home for an existing owner or potential purchaser.
The company also undertakes reports for park home site owners, including full site licencing compliance reports, plus dispute resolution reports.
Modern park homes
Since 2015, new park homes have to meet BS: 3262 standards when it comes to construction and Steren Surveyors can provide an in-depth report for anyone buying a new home, to point out any problems and any areas where the home does not meet the standards.
Peter explained: ‘There can be quite a few issues when it comes to brand new homes, with both the homes themselves and sometimes the site and the siting location. Problems can typically include damage that occurs during transit of the home, poor installation workmanship once the home is on site, plus also construction issues.
‘Some manufacturers still sell some of their homes without galvanized chassis, for instance, which in some cases then invalidates the manufacturer’s own warranty.
‘We ensure that a home buyer’s snagging list is comprehensive and meets with the warranty guidelines.’
Older park homes
The company also provides comprehensive reports for purchasers or existing owners of older park homes, perhaps even more important than for new homes.
Here, Peter explained: ‘Homes that were constructed before the new 2015 standards came into place a++re more susceptible to significant defects, which can be expensive to fix and, in extreme cases, could even lead to the park owner asking for the home to be removed from the site.
‘Our reports cover all areas of possible concern and offer guidance on the remedies, plus how people could upgrade their park home to modern standards, using the correct materials as per the BS: 3262 standards.
‘We also look at the park itself, to see if it complies with the relevant local park licensing laws, when completing a report for a home buyer.
‘We then highlight any concerns about this on our report.’
Peter added: ‘To give you a brief idea of some of the things we look at when surveying a park home, these include the roof structure and its condition, the chassis and its condition, the condition and type of the exterior wall render/other finish, plus the condition of the pitch itself underneath the park home. We also assess any risks with the home, such as fire hazards, plus we detail any gas installation or electrical system reports that may be needed to certify the safety of an older home.
“It’s worth mentioning that, depending on its age and when it was sited, if a home doesn’t meet some requirements, such as the six-metre rule when it comes to fire safety, then this could potentially invalidate a home or site owner’s insurance policy.’
As well as home reports, Steren Surveyors also offer a range of services to park home site owners.
As Peter explained: ‘Park home site owners have to meet their obligations under the local licencing laws as well as in areas such as health and safety.
‘If they don’t comply in some areas, this could potentially invalidate their Liability Insurance requirements.
‘When completing reports for site owners, we review the licensing laws and requirements of the local council, plus we cross-reference and advise on all matters such as fire safety or safe home distancing rules, as well as health and safety, adequate street lighting, road distancing, signage matters, plus aspects such as park home rules compliance.’
Better to be safe than sorry
We were very impressed by Peter’s knowledge and enthusiasm when it comes to the park home sector.
It’s very common for people to buy a new or pre-owned park home without opting for a survey first.
However, with such large sums of money involved when buying a home, we would always advise people to opt for some form of survey, and you should ideally seek out one of the handful of companies that specialises in park homes, such as Steren Surveyors.
Steren Surveyors is at:
[Registered offices]: Redruth House,
Cornwall Business Park West, Scorrier, Cornwall TR16 5EZ
T: 01872 22 99 21