The Leasehold Advisory Service (LEASE) provides free legal advice and guidance for those with park home based legal questions. Its legal team receives numerous queries about pitch fee reviews. Legal adviser, Anna Tomasik, focuses on some of the most frequently asked questions…
Residents who live on fully residential sites are required to pay a pitch fee in line with their pitch agreement (contract between site owner and park home resident). The agreement will state the amount of the pitch fee and when it is to be paid. Pitch fees are subject to regular reviews that allow for the amount to be adjusted in line with inflation.
How often can the site owner review the pitch fee?
The pitch fee review should take place annually. This can be done on or after the review date stated in the pitch agreement. The Site owner cannot increase the pitch fee more than once per year.
What should be done before the review?
The Site Owner must serve on the resident a written notice setting out their proposal in respect of the new pitch fee. This must be done at least 28 clear days before the review date. The notice must be accompanied by a pitch fee review form. This form is prescribed by law and consists of eight pages. It includes a formula to calculate the new fee and it comes with useful guidance.
I have not received the Pitch Fee Review form. How much do I pay?
No form means no revised fee, and the notice is invalid. This means that the Site Owner will be unable to make changes to the pitch fee, and you pay the current amount, until you receive a valid notice.
Can the review notice be sent late?
A late review may take place at any time after the review date. But, it is still necessary to give 28 days’ notice before the review. For example, if the review date is 1st April 2014, the review could instead occur on 1st July 2014, provided notice is served by 4th June 2014.
I am not happy to pay the revised fee. Can I withhold my pitch fee?
A park home resident is not obligated to accept the proposed increase in pitch fees. They can, however, pay the current amount and withhold the increase. Either party (site owner or resident) may make an application to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) for a determination of the amount of the new pitch fee. This should be done no later than three months after the review date. If there is a late review, an application to the Tribunal will need to be made no later than four months after the date that the site owner serves the notice.
If you need any further information, please do not hesitate to contact LEASE’s telephone advice line on 020 7832 2525.
Read the full story in the March 2021 issue of Park Home & Holiday Caravan