The Leasehold Advisory Service’s Anna Tomasik and Richard Hand examine the issue of harassment and explain what you can do if you believe you are a victim
Park home owners who live on a protected site and have a residential contract with the site owner are protected against harassment by law.
Harassment is defined as an action that interferes, or is likely to interfere with the peace or comfort of the occupier or withdrawal of services or facilities reasonably required for the occupation of a park home. In addition the site owner must be carrying out these actions with the knowledge that they would cause the occupier to abandon the park home, remove it from the site, or to refrain from exercising any right.
In order to take action against harassment, the behaviour complained about must qualify as harassment which means it must interfere with the rights of the park home owner. These rights are contained in the agreement with the site owner and implied by statute.
Examples of conduct which are harassment
● Park site owner enters the resident’s home without permission.
● Park site owner removes or restricts essential services (electricity, water etc).
● Park site owner forces the resident to sign an agreement to sign away their legal rights.
Examples of conduct which are not harassment
● Site owner asking for the pitch fee to be paid and mentions legal action if payment is not made (the site owner is entitled to take appropriate action to recover sums due)
● Site owner enters the home owner’s pitch at 5.30pm without notice to read the electricity meter. On a previous occasion, the site owner came over at 9.30 without notice to deliver a letter. The home owner becomes upset and considers the site owner’s action to be intimidating. The site owner has a legal right of entry to pitch without notice to read the utility meters or to deliver written communications between 9am and 6pm (paragraph 12 of Implied Terms).
The Local Authority has a duty to investigate conduct which may result in harassment.
They determine whether there is enough evidence to prosecute the site owner.
The duty is on the park home resident to ‘prove’ his/hers case by collecting evidence (in the form of diaries, photos, statements made by the site owner).
If you need further information, please do not hesitate to contact LEASE’s park homes team on 0207 832 2525. This article is not meant to describe or give a full interpretation of the law; only the courts can do that. If you are in any doubt about your rights and duties then seek specific advice. The law discussed covers matters pertaining to English legislation.
Read the full story in the December 2020 issue of Park Home & Holiday Caravan