See also the flow chart The process of selling a mobile home (PDF).
This guide is not meant to describe or give a full interpretation of the law – only the courts can do that. Nor does it cover every case. If you are in any doubt about your rights and duties then seek specific advice.
Important changes have been made to the process by which park homes in England can be sold following recent amendments to the Mobile Homes Act 1983.
The Mobile Homes Act 1983 (the 1983 Act) provides a framework of rights and obligations to park home owners on ‘protected sites’. These are sites that are required to be licensed by the local authority (under Part 1 of the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960) and with planning permission that allows for residential homes or a mixture of residential and holiday homes and does not stipulate periods of the year where no home on the site can be occupied.
A ‘park home’ falls within the definition of a caravan for these purposes which means that they are subject to certain size restrictions and must be capable of being moved although they are referred to as ‘mobile homes’ in the legislation.
If you have an agreement to station your park home on a protected site and occupy it as your only or main residence then you will have the benefit of the rights and protections provided by the 1983 Act. Implied terms are the minimum rights and obligations that all park homes owners in England have. The 1983 Act contains 28 implied terms, covering such areas as security of tenure, dealing with the circumstances in which the agreement can be terminated, your right to sell (or gift) the home, the review of the pitch fee and the other obligations of both the site and home owner. The current implied terms came into force on 30 April 2011 whether or not the agreement was made after that date and cannot be excluded by any express term in the agreement.
Please see the Park Homes Factsheet produced by the Department for Communities and Local Government which sets out in detail these implied terms under Schedule 1 of the 1983 Act subject to the changes made by the Mobile Homes Act 2013.
The new process for selling a park home in England
New terms concerning the sale of the park home are being implied into agreements between park home owners and site owners following changes made by the Mobile Homes Act 2013. These new implied terms vary depending on whether the home was acquired by the current owner before 26 May 2013.
However the changes that have been introduced will mean that the site owner will have no direct involvement in the sale or gift of a park home and any inconsistent provision in the agreement or site rules will not be enforceable.
Please note that until changes are made to the law that applies in Wales the consent of the site owner will still be required for you to purchase a park home there.
Once you have found a willing buyer, you will be required to serve a prescribed notice on the proposed buyer called a Buyer’s Information Form at least 28 days before the sale date.
- Does any other documentation need to accompany this? The other documentation that must be supplied is detailed in the above Notice and includes the agreement, site rules, evidence of the charges payable for utilities and any survey of the park home.
- Is there any need to inform the site owner about the proposed sale and purchase of the park home?
The site owner will only need to be informed of the sale at this stage where you the seller acquired the home before 26 May 2013.In such cases you will be required to send the site owner a Notice of Proposed Sale Form containing the name of the proposed buyer. If there are site rules concerning age restrictions, the keeping of pets and the parking of vehicles, the seller will need to confirm that the proposed buyer will comply with these rules.Please note that there will be no need to inform the site owner of the sale where you the seller acquired the home after 26 May 2013.
The sale can then go ahead if you do not receive notification within 21 days of the service of the Notice of Proposed Sale Form that the site owner has applied to a tribunal for a Refusal Order on grounds that the proposed buyer will not comply with these rules or there is insufficient evidence of compliance.
- Is there anything else that needs to be done?
In cases where a Notice of Proposed Sale Form was required to be served and the site owner has either not applied for a refusal order or the application has been dismissed, the sale can proceed. In all cases you will have to transfer the pitch agreement (this is called the Assignment) to the buyer using an Assignment Form. Both you and the buyer will need to complete the form which provides details of the new occupier of the park home, confirmation of the agreed purchase price, the commission payable to the site owner and the pitch fee payable by the new occupier.The buyer will be required to provide the site owner with details of your forwarding address when they notify the site owner that they are the new owner of the home. You must therefore ensure that you provide the buyer with a forwarding address.The buyer will need to retain 10% of the purchase price to pay to the site owner. You will therefore be entitled to and must receive only 90% of the total sale price.
Once you have assigned the agreement to the buyer, you have no further role to play in the sales process. You must however inform the buyer of their responsibilities below after the sale.
- Within seven days of the sale, the buyer should send a Notice of Assignment to the site owner with evidence of the price paid for the park home and other documents.
- The site owner will as soon as is practicable after receipt of the Notice of Assignment Form, provide the buyer with details of their bank account into which the commission should be paid. The payment of the commission does not become due until the site owner has provided the buyer with his bank details.
- On receipt of the details, the buyer will have 7 days to pay the commission into the site owner’s bank account.
- Is the site owner entitled to any commission on the sale? It is an implied term under the Mobile Homes Act 1983 that the site owner is entitled to receive a commission on the sale of a park home at a rate not exceeding 10% (fixed by the Mobile Homes (commissions) Order 1983) of the sale price.The buyer of a park home must provide the site owner with documentary evidence of the sale price, such as a bank statement or bank payment/transfer receipt. The buyer must retain 10% of the purchase price to pay to the site owner although this does not become payable until the site owner has provided his bank details following the service on him of the Notice of Assignment by the buyer.
Gifting a park home to a family member
The Mobile Homes Act 1983 enables a park home owner to assign the agreement with the site owner to a member of their family (this is defined in the Mobile Homes Act 1983 and includes spouse, parent, child, grandparent, grandchild and brother or sister). The new process whereby a park home in England can be gifted to a family member is very similar to that for the sale of the home. This means that the site owner is not required to approve the gift and any inconsistent provision in the agreement or site rules will not be enforceable.
Please note that until changes are made to the law in Wales the consent of the site owner will be required for a gift of a park home to a family member there.
- Under the new process for the gift of a park home in England, what documentation should be provided to the family member to whom it is proposed to gift the park home?
The first stage is to provide the family member to whom you are gifting the park home a copy of the agreement, site rules, evidence of the charges payable for utilities and any survey of the park home as for a normal sale (although there is no requirement to serve a Notice to Proposed Occupier).The next stage is only necessary where you acquired your park home before 26 May 2013. In other cases you can proceed to the completion of the Assignment Notice set out below.You will need to complete and send to the site owner a Notice of Proposed Gift Form informing him of the family member to whom the home is to be gifted and how you are related to him or her together with supporting documentary evidence. Such evidence includes birth, adoption and civil partnership or marriage certificates. You will also need to confirm to the site owner that you have provided the family member with a copy of site rules and that they have understood and is able to comply with them.
Where there are site rules concerning the age of the occupant you will need to provide information to confirm that the family member is able to comply with any rules about the age of the occupant, the keeping of pets and the parking of vehicles. (NB the proposed occupier must also ensure that they comply with any other site rules which apply to the site)
If you as the family member gifting the park home have not been informed by the site owner within 21 days of the service of the Notice of Proposed Gift Form that he has applied to a tribunal for a Refusal Order, any such application has been dismissed or you have already been informed that there is no objection then you can proceed to the next stage.
Please note that this stage will not be necessary where the home is acquired after 26 May 2013.
You will then have to transfer the pitch agreement (this is called the Assignment) to the proposed occupier. Both of you will need to complete and sign an Assignment Form. You must also ensure that you provide the family member you are gifting the home to with a forwarding address.
- Is there anything else that needs to be done?
Once you have completed the assignment, you have no further role to play in the gifting process. You must however inform the new occupier that they must complete a Notice of Assignment which they must send to the Site Owner within 7 days of the assignment.
No commission will be payable on the gift of a park home to a family member.