Q: What changes will the Act introduce?
A: The Act will:
- change the inflationary index used in pitch fee reviews from the RPI to CPI;
- prevent the difference between RPI and CPI from being passed on to residents
Q: When will the changes come into effect?
A: The Act will come into force on 2 July 2023. On or after that date, CPI must be used in all pitch fee reviews.
Q: Will site owners be permitted to pass on any loss of income as a result of the changes, to residents through the pitch fee?
A: Site owners cannot pass on any loss of income as a result of the changes, to residents.
Q: How can residents be sure the site owner has not passed on any lost income through the pitch fee?
A: To conduct a pitch fee review, a site owner is required to use a pitch fee review form which must show how the pitch fee has been calculated.
Before agreeing to the proposed pitch fee, residents should check the form carefully and read the notes attached to the form, to ensure that only matters that can be taken into account in a pitch fee review have been used in the calculation.
Q: What should I do if such an amount has been included in the calculation of the pitch fee?
A: If an amount representing a loss of income to the site owner as a result of the changes is included in the calculation, the resident does not have to pay it. The resident must however continue to pay the old pitch fee.
The site owner can then apply to the First Tier Tribunal to seek its determination of the pitch fee.
If the First-tier Tribunal determines that a site owner has included an amount in the pitch fee to compensate them for the financial loss arising from the RPI/CPI change, it will deem the amount to be unreasonable and remove the relevant amount from the pitch fee.
Q: If a pitch fee review notice is issued before the Act comes into force, will the site owner have to issue another notice to take account of the change?
A: No, the site owner will not have to issue another pitch fee review notice if they issue one before the Act comes into force.
Pitch fee reviews which started before 2 July, will use RPI in the calculation of the proposed pitch fee. At the next pitch fee review, the site owner will have to use CPI.
Q: When must a site owner start using CPI in a pitch fee review?
A: If a pitch fee review notice is issued before 2 July, the site owner will calculate the proposed pitch fee using RPI.
If the pitch fee review notice is issued on or after 2 July 2023, the site owner must use CPI to calculate the proposed pitch fee.
They must also use the updated pitch fee review form which refers to CPI instead of RPI. The form will be published on GOV.UK on 2 July 2023.
If a site owner uses the old form, the pitch fee review will be invalid and the resident does not have to pay the proposed pitch fee.
Q: What changes will be made to the pitch fee review form?
First, all references to RPI in the form will change to CPI.
Second, the form will be 6 pages instead of the previous 8 pages.
Third, in the notes on page 5 under the section titled ‘Matters that cannot be included in a pitch fee review’, there will be an additional bullet point which makes clear that any costs relating to any financial loss arising from the change from RPI to CPI, cannot be included in a pitch fee review.
Q: Does my site owner have to give me a copy of the updated consolidated implied terms?
No, your site owner does not have to give you a copy of the updated implied terms.
The implied terms will be published on 2 July 2023 on GOV.UK and will automatically apply to all written agreements.
Q: Should my site owner give me a new written agreement as a result of the changes from RPI to CPI?
No, your site owner does not have to give you a new agreement.
If your site owner gives or offers you a new written agreement, do not sign or accept it.
If you need any advice about your rights you can book a free appointment for telephone advice, or submit an enquiry for written advice through the Contact page of this website.