Some important changes to the legislation relating to Welsh park home sites were introduced in 2013. Ibraheem Dulmeer and Richard Hand of the Leasehold Advisory Service explore the main issues
LEASE provides legal advice to park home owners, site owners and local authorities on park homes law in England and Wales. This article examines some of the main features of the Mobile Homes (Wales) Act 2013 (“the Act”) and the increased protection it provides for park home owners in Wales.
When did the Act come into effect?
All sections of the Act came into force on 1 October 2014 and apply to all residential parks in Wales.
A site licence is required if the site owner is using land as a regulated site. Operating without a licence is an offence and an unlimited fine may be imposed by a court.
The licensing provisions apply to regulated sites apart from holiday sites. A regulated site must have at least one mobile home stationed on it for the purposes of human habitation. Schedule 1 to the Act also lists the types of site that are not regulated. These include sites owned by the local authority.
Application for site licence
Section 6 of the Act provides that an application may be made to the local authority. Certain information must be provided, including the land that is proposed to be licenced and the identity of the applicant. If the applicant is not the proposed manager of the site, the manager must be identified.
The local authority may require the application to be accompanied by a fixed fee. They are able to charge a fee to an applicant provided they have published their fees policy (Section 36 of the Act).
The application must also include a declaration by the applicant that the manager (or applicant) is a fit and proper person to manage the site.
‘Fit and proper’ Person test
There is a ‘Fit and Proper’ person requirement (Section 28 of the Act) for any person proposing to apply for a licence for a residential site.
The site owner must ensure the manager of a site satisfies the local authority that they are a fit and proper person. This could be the owner, a person appointed by the owner or one appointed by the local authority with the owner’s consent.
This will also apply during the period of the licence.
If the owner contravenes the Fit and Proper Person test during this period, the local authority may apply to the Residential Property Tribunal for an order revoking the site licence.
The site owner is also guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to an unlimited fine.
If you need further information on any of the above, please do not hesitate to contact LEASE Park Homes Advice on 020 7832 2525 or visit parkhomes.lease-advice.org.
Read the full story in the November 2018 issue of Park Home & Holiday Caravan