Summary and background
The Mobile Homes Bill amends the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960, the Caravan Sites Act 1968 and the Mobile Homes Act 1983. It brings the licensing regime more closely in line with other local authority licensing regimes and also includes a power to enable the Secretary of State to introduce, by way of secondary legislation, a “fit and proper” person requirement for managers of sites.
The Bill amends Section 3 of the Caravan Sites Act 1968 by extending the scope of the offences under that section. It amends the Mobile Homes Act 1983 by removing the requirement for site owners to approve a purchaser of a mobile home (or a person to whom a mobile home has been gifted) and makes new provisions instead for sales and assignment under the Mobile Homes Act 1983. It also introduces new requirements about site rules and provides a framework for better transparency on pitch fee reviews.
Looking into the problems highlighted in the Local Government Select Committee Report, it was found that ‘malpractice is widespread across the park home sector and the current law is inadequate because it neither deters the unscrupulous park owner from exploiting residents nor provides local authorities with effective powers to monitor or improve site conditions’. The committee identified that sale blocking and site conditions were significant problems in the sector and it made recommendations to improve the licensing regime and to remove the opportunity for site operators to block sales.
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