The Independent Park Home Advisory Service

info@iphas.co.uk
0800 612 8938
(Strictly 10:00 to 16:30 Mon-Fri only)

FAQ's

Due to the change in legislation in October 2006 and April 2011 do I need a new agreement?

No a new Agreement is not needed. If the Park owner offers you one read it carefully to see that it is the same as the old one with just the addition of the legislation changes.If you are doubtful do not sign and just ask for a copy of the legislation changes that the park owner has to supply you with by law. When the park owner gives you a copy of the changes just add them to your existing agreement

A copy of the new implied terms can be obtained from IPHAS

If I inherit a Mobile Home can I live in it?

The answer to this is both yes and no. If you were living with the deceased at the time of death then the answer is yes. The Agreement with all it entails is just transferred to you and you carry on living there. If you were living elsewhere then the Home has to be sold and the Park Owner paid his commission. You can sell it to whom you wish and the Park Owner must not unreasonably withhold approval of the buyer.

How many car park spaces can I have

You will need to check your agreement. Generally you are only allotted one.

Visitors should have allotted spaces in a communal car park

You can not add additional parking spaces on your plot without your Park Owner's permission. Get this in writing but it will NOT revoke your existing agreement.

Can I be a member of IPHAS and any other residents association

Yes. We actively encourage that. You can be a member of either, all or any of the available National Advisory Services or Residents' Associations and/or park residents' association.

We recommend that it is important that you are a member of the park residents association. You can also choose to become a member of one of the national residents associations, IPHAS, NAPHR or PHRAA.

If you are in paid employment of the Park Owner, you cannot be a member of a park residents' association.

Do IPHAS staff get paid for their work

No. All staff are volunteers

We do use a few external companies and agents for specialist work but most of the membership fees go in administration

Other funding we have provided is support for solicitors and barristers from a special 'Action Support' Fund.

If I sell or bequeath my home, do I have to pay any tax or fees

If you bequeath your home your beneficiaries may have to pay inheritance tax.

Park Owners are entitled to up to 10 per cent of the sale price as commission.

Agreements are transferred with the sale. Park owners have no rights to draw up new ones.

Can the Park Owner move my Home to another place on the park.

The home can only be moved to another place on the Park if the Owner can show that urgent repairs are needed to the base or to the services. The new pitch must be broadly comparable to the old one. The repairs must be carried out as quickly as possible with all expenses of the move paid for by the Owner.

In England the implied terms require that the park owner must have a good reason for resiting the home and may have to prove to a court that it is "reasonable to move the home". In Wales and Scotland the Express terms (in the model agreement) states the owner can only resite the home for essential works to the pitch or the park. The only reason we can envisage is if the base is cracking and subsiding.

Can Residents buy a Park?

If residents discover the park is being put up for sale then there is nothing to prevent them putting in a bid as a normal business transaction. However that is only the beginning.
Thought needs to be given as to the formation of how it is going to be run and the raising of money for the purchase.

The raising of money is the main hurdle. If the residents can fund it amongst themselves so well and good,if not it may be possible to arrange a mortgage with the local Council,a loan through a bank or any other money lending source. How is it going to be run?

It can be formed as a Company with a Board of Directors elected by the residents who become shareholders.Needless to say it must be formed as a proper Company registered at Companies House and all aspects of Company Law adhered to. Another alternative is to register as a Cooperative Society. Quite a bit of work is involved but it is not impossible to achieve.

Can the Park Owner just terminate my Agreement?

No the Park Owner cannot. He must apply to the Courts for a termination of agreement and only for one of the three reasons in the Implied terms. A resident can terminate the agreement by giving one months written notice of termination. If you terminate your Agreement then the home has to be removed as you no longer have an Agreement to stay there. However,do not confuse this with the 28 days allowed for requesting approval of the buyer when selling the home.

How does my subscription get used?

The running of IPHAS carries a large administrative overhead which is covered by your fees

We also have to make use of external suppliers and service providers who are NOT volunteers. these all cost money.

Some of the donations and subscriptions are occasionally used to help fund court cases or solicitors for particular milestone cases that will set a precedent for all who live in park homes.

Who is responsible if someone get hurt while on my pitch. Myself or the Park Owner?

Under the 1957 Occupiers Liability Act as an occupier of the pitch you have a duty of care towards anyone who enters the pitch. If you fail to do so and someone injures themself then you would be liable to pay compensation. Anything outside your pitch may be the responsibility of the park owner.

Extra care has to be taken concerning children.

Dogs are very territorial and care has to be exercised that they cannot attack anyone entering the pitch.

Can the park owner impose a handling fee if I pay the pitch fee by cheque?

The park owner has no right to suddenly demand a fee for payments by cheque unless such a fee is specified in the express terms of your agreement. To impose a fee unilaterally would be a contractual change to your agreement and such a change requires the agreement of both parties, resident and park owner.

To justify this proposed change to your agreement, the park owner would have to provide evidence to show that something has changed, e.g., the law or banking rules, that has created a significant increase in costs of administration.

Previously, the administration costs of receiving and banking payments would have been absorbed by the income from pitch fees, etc. It is unlikely that this cost of administration would have drastically changed so there can be no justification for imposing the handling fee.

When I sell my home can the Park Owner increase the pitch fee to the new occupier?

No. It is illegal to use the transaction as an opportunity to change the Agreement.

Assignment means what it is; that the Agreement in its entirety is assigned to the new owner.

The Park owner can try at the next Pitch review to increase Park fees but he will have to justify
it.

Can the park owner insist that I pay my pitch fee by Direct Debit?

No. You have a right to pay by cheque, standing order or direct debit unless there is a specific statement in the express terms. We recommend that residents should NOT pay pitch fee by Direct Debit because, at the annual pitch fee review, the amount could be changed without waiting for the resident's agreement. This would damage the residents right to agree or disagree with the reviewed pitch fee.

We recommend the use of a Standing Order for payment of pitch fee. This can be changed by the resident at the annual review.

I rent a home from the park owner. Can I join the park residents' association?

If the park association allows you to join. But the owner/occupiers are under the Mobile Homes Act 1983 which is a different set of rules from the Landlord and Tenants Act which protects you. So most of their deliberations will not affect you. You will not be allowed a vote and you will not be counted as a member when it comes to recognition of the association by the park owner.

However, there is no reason why you should not be allowed to join in the social activities of the park association.

Does the Park Owner have to clear the ice on the roads on the park?

It is a commonly held belief that by NOT clearing or gritting paths or roads, a property owner cannot be liable for accidents because the snow and ice is an act of nature and beyond his control. But please note that this refers to public paths in front of premises. Therefore it does not apply to park owners because they own the roads and paths on the park.

There is no specific legal obligation on park owners to grit roads or footpaths. But park owners have a general duty of care under the Occupiers Liability Act to ensure that the park is reasonably safe for residents and their visitors. If a resident is injured in a fall on an icy road, he/she can sue the park owner whether he has gritted the roads or not and the park owner would have to show the court that he has taken reasonable action to reduce the danger.

The general rule is that the park owner should do something to meet his obligation to provide a duty of care to residents and their visitors, either by providing grit in strategically placed bins, or by displaying warning signs and/or clearing some roads and paths as far as he is able and can be reasonably expected to do so. However, the effects of weather are outside his control and it would be unreasonable to expect the roads to be kept completely clear throughout the present conditions. In the event of a resident being injured in a fall on an icy road, he/she could sue the park owner but would have to prove to the court that the park owner had negligently failed to make the roads as safe as could be reasonably expected.

Disclaimer
PLEASE NOTE - The IPHAS team offer information on residents rights under mobile home legislation.
The advice and recommendations given in letters and publications is for information only and it is for the resident to make his/her own decision on action to be taken.
The IPHAS team members are not lawyers but volunteers who have made a study of the relevant legislation.
The advice is offered in good faith but IPHAS cannot be held responsible for the consequences of any action taken by a resident, whether or not it was based on information given.

PRESIDENT: Joan Aylott

VICE PRESIDENT: Lord Graham Of Edmonton