The December 2019 issue of the Advisor is now available for you to read or download from this website. For those who have opted for a paper copy this will be sent by post in the next few days.
Last year, the Minister in the Welsh Assembly proposed that the commission payable on the sale of a park home should be reduced from the current maximum of 10 percent by one percent each year for five years. This would bring the maximum rate of commission down to 5 percent. We in IPHAS and NAPHR pointed out that the park owners could claim an increase in pitch fees to compensate but the Minister replied that this could be settled by the tribunal system.
In practice, the tribunal would have to follow the law and implied term 18(1)(d) states that any change in the law affecting the management of the site could be considered at the pitch fee review. Therefore, we wrote to the Welsh Assembly expressing our concern at the probable increase in pitch fees resulting from their proposal. When this appeared to have no effect, we combined our letters with letters from the BH&HPA and NCC. However, we did make it known to all that our reasons were different. Our reasons were to prevent an increase in pitch fees while the BH&HPA and NCC were concerned about the park owner’s income.
The Welsh Assembly have now withdrawn their proposal, but that is only temporary. We will continue to monitor the situation. We will explain to the Welsh Minister that a simple amendment to the implied term could have the desired effect.
The government has published a consultation paper on a proposal to apply a 'fit and proper person' test to operators of mobile home parks. It asks for your views on who the test should apply to; the application process; the criteria and the powers of the local authorities. A copy of the paper can be downloaded from https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/mobile-homes-a-fit-and-proper-person-test-for-park-home-sites Your response must be in by 17 September 2019.
You are advised not to use tradesmen who cold-call for business. We are told the genuine tradesmen do not need to cold-call. They get enough work from adverts and recommendations. Recently some residents have been tricked into paying �3,000 to �4,000 for work on and under the home which has not been done or not done properly.
GOVERNMENT GUIDANCE AND FORMS
WATER RESALE ORDER
RESALE OF ELECTRICITY
MODEL STANDARDS FOR WALES
MODEL STANDARDS FOR ENGLAND
QRA information, including Model Constitution with sample letters to the park owner, is available from IPHAS at a cost of �2.65, which includes postage.
Criminality within the park home industry : Best Practice Guide : West Mercia Constabulary : Cost �1.70, which includes postage.
We are often asked whether a lawyer is required when selling your park home. The answer is that there is no legal requirement to use a lawyer but there is a procedure that must be followed otherwise the sale may not be valid. For example: Do you know the procedure? Do you know what forms to use and where to get them? How do you inform the park owner? How is the commission paid? These and other questions must be answered to ensure that the sale and assignment is completed correctly. Therefore it is essential that you find out the procedure either from the internet or from IPHAS or by consulting a lawyer.
We have found a lawyer who can steer you through the process or do part or all of the process as you wish for a modest charge. For details go to https://www.ibblaw.co.uk/service/park-and-holiday-homes-services/selling-residential-park-home
We are often asked whether a lawyer is required when buying a mobile/park home. The answer is that there is no legal requirement to use a lawyer but there are procedures to be followed which differ depending on whether you are buying a home from the park owner or from an existing resident. In either case there are a number of points of which you must be aware.
For example: Do you know the difference between a residential park and a holiday park? Do you know what to look for in the site licence? Do you know what to look for in the agreement? What does the purchase price include or exclude?
These and other questions must be answered to ensure that the purchase is completed correctly. Therefore it is essential that you find out the procedure either from the internet or from IPHAS or by consulting a lawyer.
We have found a lawyer who can steer you through the process or do part or all of the process as you wish for a modest charge. For details go to https://www.ibblaw.co.uk/service/park-and-holiday-homes-services/buying-residential-park-home
A previous Advisor newsletter refers to an ongoing appeal we made against a FTT decision that appeared to make occupiers responsible for the maintenance of trees on their pitch. We have now received the decision from the Upper Lands chambers.
They have dismissed the appeal but they have clarified the situation about trees on the pitch.
The resident is required to maintain any trees on the pitch in a clean and tidy condition by implied term 21. That means that the resident is only responsible for the cosmetic appearance of the trees. The park owner is responsible for any lopping - topping - or felling of trees on the pitch and on the common areas of the park in accordance with implied term 22.
If a resident wants to do work on the tree e.g. trimming branches etc. the park owners permission must be requested.
This Policy explains your rights and our obligations regarding the information we hold about members of IPHAS. This is necessary due to the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) which came into force on 25th May 2018.
The personal details which you supply to us and which we store on our database comprise your name address membership number telephone number and email address (where supplied) together with subscription payments details. This information is used for membership renewal and to send newsletters and similar information.
By offering this information you have given consent for this information to be held by us. Therefore the legal basis by which we hold this information is by consent and by legitimate interest in that the membership secretary needs to access the membership details of IPHAS.
All such information as we hold is stored on a password protected database administered solely by the secretary. The data will only be accessed by a team member for the purposes stated.
We will never disclose any of your personal information to a third party unless we are legally required so to do.
We are legally obliged to provide you with all the information we hold about you if you so request. You are entitled to request further information from us on how we use and store your data.
You may withdraw your consent for us to continue holding your data at any time. In this case we will remove your information from our records as soon as possible.
In order to withdraw your consent to our holding your details please contact our membership secretary -
17 Little Witcombe Court Park
Gloucester GL3 4TZ
or email firstname.lastname@example.org
PLEASE NOTE: The above also applies to park residents associations so make sure the information you hold is not in breach of the law.
It is a requirement by law that when selling your park home four Schedules need to be completed.
Schedule 1 - Buyers Information Form
Schedule 2 - Notice of Proposed Sale Form
Schedule 4 - Assignment Form
Schedule 5 - Notice of Assignment Form
We offer these for sale together with a DCLG Factsheet - Selling or Gifting a Park Home - for an amount of �2.70 which includes postage and packing.
Cheque to be made payable to IPHAS and sent to
17 Little Witcombe Court Park
Gloucester GL3 4TZ
If so would you accept receiving a reminder that your membership is due for renewal via email? On renewal we would then send your renewal letter and certificate via email.
Payment would be as usual ie via BACS PayPal or cheque.
It is hoped that by members using the email facility it will help to reduce costs.
Please email email@example.com if you agree to the above proposal.
Park home residents should look before they leap when it comes to offers of free or subsidised energy grants says a leading expert.
Cornwall-based energy expert Happy Energy highlighted in the last IPHAS newsletter the range of support available to park home owners through the Government Help to Heat programme to replace old oil or LPG boilers and night storage heaters.
Following the article IPHAS was contacted by a lady in Cornwall who wrote to say she had been contacted by a company offering a free boiler upgrade but when they were finished was left �500 out of pocket and with broken radiators a faulty shower and leaking taps.
Now Happy Energy is taking up the fight on behalf of this lady but has warned other IPHAS members to do their homework before allowing tradesmen into their home.
Adrian Wright who heads up Happy Energy says high numbers of grant eligible park homes in non-mains gas areas are attracting some rogue traders wanting to take advantage of the Help to Heat funding.
The grants available through the Help to Heat Programme are a fantastic opportunity for park home owners - particularly those on income related benefits who qualify - to upgrade their boilers and heating systems very often free of charge.
However we are becoming increasingly aware of companies targeting park home sites many from the North West and North East - that are contacting park home owners before coming in and doing very substandard work. In some cases they are leaving the works unfinished before hot footing it off never to be seen again said Adrian.
Our advice is to thoroughly check out any company - who they are where they are from and if they are qualified to do what they say they will - before allowing them into your home. If they do not answer your questions clearly will not tell you where they are from or leave you in any doubt you may want to think twice said Adrian.
To find out more about what energy grants are available to people living in park homes other housing or on income related benefits visit http://happyenergy.co.uk/free-boiler-scheme/ or call the team on 0800 0246 234.
Following the Grenfell Tower disaster in which it is alleged the cladding was a major cause we have received a few queries about the safety of the cladding used on mobile/park homes. We asked a few companies that install cladding for reassurance and below are their replies.
We have all seen the terribly sad images of Grenfell Tower in the news recently and our thought and prayers are with those affected by this tragic event. It would not be right to comment on the issues that may have caused the fire to spread so quickly but I would like to reassure our customers that the type of cladding that was installed on the tower has no similarity to the external wall insulation that Insulated Homes install.
Our insulation fits directly to your home so there is no air gap behind it.
Our system has been extensively tested for fire safety specifically in relation to ply park homes.
Our system has a 0 fire rating. This means that your home is considered considerably safer once the system is installed. It raises it�s safety level to the equivalent of a bricks and mortar built home. As the home�s risk of fire is reduced with our insulation system insurers may offer discount on insurance products and local authorities can make adjustments to the distance regulations between homes.
We must stress that these statements and our certification are specifically and only related to our system. If your home has been insulated by another installer you must contact them directly to request specific details for your product as insulation systems vary enormously and sadly many are not certified.
Ann Barradine Director Insulated Homes.
PARK HOME CHASSIS SERVICES
Park Home Chassis Services do not supply any external wall cladding.
The PHCS SnuggerFloor system does not use any of the materials relating to those involved in the Grenfell Tower fire or any of the other high rise buildings that are being identified as hazardous.
All of our products are Class 1 fire retardant.
New guidelines which came into effect on 1st April 2018 mean that anyone living in a park home and who is in receipt of an income related benefit eg Pension Credit or Working Tax Credit is now eligible for a boiler upgrade or heating grant.
For further information please contact :
Telephone : 0800 0246 234
Please note : It is emphasised that members contact Happy Energy and not IPHAS.
Our vice-president Lord Graham of Edmonton (whom we affectionately refer to as �Lord Ted� � at his invitation) has asked us to pass on the following message to all members.
From Lord Ted Graham
Knebworth Care Home
59 London Road
Long time - no speak! I am laid low due to a severe heart attack followed by arthritis which is painful but eased with a gel.
I have not been to Westminster for more than a year and while I keep in touch with the Lords my voice alas does not boom on your behalf.
The purpose of this letter is to thank most sincerely the many residents who have written to me. If any of your members were to write to me again I would be delighted and would reply.
Of course as always the interest of park home residents continues to be in my mind.
Good Luck to you all
Lord Graham first became involved with park homes when the 1983 Mobile Homes Act went through its various Parliamentary stages. This piece of legislation gave residents a degree of security of tenure that they had never previously enjoyed plus rights to sell their homes on site. Previously residents had been �under the thumb� of park owners who could impose all sorts of rules and regulations collect commission at 15 percent and insist that all homes were sold through the site owner or even to the site owner when the resident wanted to leave.
At the time Lord Graham was deputy to Shadow Environment Secretary Gerald Kaufman MP and was alerted to the problems in the park home sector which he says were as serious as those that have been experienced by park home residents in recent years.
Residents� lives did improve with the 1983 legislation principally because for the first time they were able to sell their park homes on site with security of tenure with the result that higher prices were achieved. They paid a reduced commission of 10 percent to the park owner on that sale and had to receive his approval of the incoming resident but nevertheless it represented a huge step forward.
However as Lord Graham points out site owners have changed radically over the past 30+ years and this was the principal reason for the 2013 legislation being brought forward. What was the reason for this change? Lord Graham says that 30 years ago many parks were owned and managed by a couple with the park probably being owned by the same family for several generations. In the intervening years many family-owned parks have been sold to large groups several of whom own scores of parks and have control over hundreds of residents. For example if you estimate that the average park accommodates about 40 homes some park owning groups now have control over about 800 homes. In addition to losing �the personal touch� in their relationships with their residents some of these park-owning companies have according to Lord Graham �demonstrated an avaricious nature which has caused distress all round�.
It was Lord Graham�s concern for the continuing plight of park home residents that prompted him to form a group to monitor the operation of the 1983 legislation. He did this by setting up the All Party Group of Parliamentarians for the Welfare of Mobile Home Residents and acting as its Secretary. It wasn�t long before reports came in (mostly from MPs) that some park owners had found and exploited several loopholes in the legislation. In fact some of these reports indicated that the behaviour of some park owners was becoming a real cause for concern.
The All Party Group was made up of MPs from all parties representatives from the park homes industry and national residents� associations and it met regularly to discuss the various problems that were arising on parks in all parts of the country. From time to time various Housing Ministers addressed APPG meetings but it wasn�t until 2010 that any decisive action was taken. That came about as a result of Housing Minister Grant Shapps coming to a meeting and subsequently announcing his intention to introduce secondary legislation to transfer park home cases from the jurisdiction of the county courts to residential property tribunals and to carry out a thorough public consultation on the park homes sector. Both promises were carried out and the consultation highlighted a number of areas of grave concern. New legislation was drafted by the DCLG and the success of Peter Aldous MP in the private member�s ballot ensured that it was taken forward very rapidly. Peter Aldous himself attended an APPG meeting and was full of praise for the work of Lord Graham over the 30-year period that had intervened since the previous legislation was enacted
Asked for his views on the new legislation at the time Lord Graham said that he was satisfied that the Government and its officials had done a good job in tackling and legislating for changes which will be beneficial to the vast majority of park home residents. �However � he added �there will remain the need for a solution to be found to situations where some park owners either refuse to recognise residents� associations or to carry out their obligations under the new Act. He added that he could foresee a need for the APPG to meet regularly in future because there would still be a need for a contact between Government park owners residents and others.
Throughout his long and varied career in politics Lord Graham has never forgotten �the little people� among whom must be counted park home residents. Although they represent only a tiny proportion of the total population of this country Lord Graham has appreciated their vulnerability and has helped them to realise their dreams of enjoying the same rights and freedoms as those who live in conventional housing.
All park home residents owe Lord Ted a huge debt of gratitude and will undoubtedly want to wish him well and hope that his health will continue to improve.
If anyone feels they would like to write to Lord Graham his address is at the top of his letter.
Just a reminder to all potential purchasers of a park home that although it is not a legal requirement to use a solicitor when buying a park home IPHAS strongly recommends that one is used.
The Mobile Homes Act 2013 introduced a number of changes one of which was to give more powers to the local authorities regarding the site licence and the licence conditions. One change was that it allowed the local authority to charge an annual fee for the site licence. Under the implied terms this charge can be passed onto the residents at the following pitch fee review.
The relevant implied term is 18(1)(ba) which states:
18-(1) When determining the amount of the new pitch fee particular regard shall be had to-
(ba) any direct effect on the costs payable by the owner in relation to the maintenance or management of the site of an enactment which has come into force since the last review date:
This means that at the next pitch fee review following the imposition of the annual site licence fee by the local authority on the site owner the amount of the fee can be divided by the number of occupied homes and added to the pitch fee. It then becomes an integral part of the pitch fee which is usually increased by the RPI each year. Because this legislation came into force on 1 April 2014 the fee contribution cannot be added to the pitch fee at a review after 1 April 2015.
This has resulted in a few problems in that some local authorities have not produced a fee charging policy and invoiced the site owner in time for it to be considered at a pitch fee review before 1 April 2015. Some site owners have tried to add it anyway and this has caused disputes. Also some local authorities have increased the annual licence fee in the second year and some site owners have tried to pass on this increase.
To answer these problems a couple of tribunal cases has resulted in a decision that the site licence fee contribution could be treated as a separate charge separate from the pitch fee. We in IPHAS have always advised that the implied terms clearly state the licence fee contribution must be treated in accordance with implied term 18(1)(ba) and added to the pitch fee but not after 1 April 2015.
Recently there have been two appeals to the Lands Chamber (the Upper Tribunal) on this subject and the decisions have now been issued.
At a park in Stoke on Trent the local authority was slow in issuing the fee charging policy and in invoicing the site owner but the site owner wanted to add it to the pitch fee anyway. The residents applied to the First-tier Tribunal who ruled that the fee contribution could not be added to the pitch fee because it was after 1 April 2015. The park owner appealed to the Lands Chamber.
At a park in Hertfordshire the local authority increased the annual licence fee from �200 to �300 in the second year. The park owner wanted to add this increase to the pitch fee. The residents disputed this for two reasons; they relied on the implied term in that the contribution could only be added to the pitch fee in the first year and also the increase was for problems with compliance with licence conditions and therefore was a problem with site management and not the fault of the residents. The site owner applied to the First-tier Tribunal who did not allow the increase but said that the licence fee contribution could be considered separately from the pitch fee. The site owner and the residents appealed to the Lands Chamber.
The decisions of these two appeals have now been issued and the judges have spent a great deal of time in considering their decisions and both judges have conferred with each other to produce their final determinations.
First the good news. The Lands Chamber have decided that the implied term 18(1)(ba) must be interpreted literally. That is that the contribution for the annual site licence fee must be added to the pitch fee in the first year and that period ended on 1 April 2015.
Now the not-so-good news. The Lands Chamber have decided that it would be unreasonable to expect that any changes in the site licence fee could not be passed on to the residents. Similarly if a local authority was late in implementing the annual site licence fee it would be unreasonable to prevent the site owner from passing this on to the residents. Implied term 18 lists a number of factors to which regard must be had when reviewing the pitch fee. This list is not exhaustive and any other factors can be considered under implied term 20(A1).
This does not mean that a park owner can add anything to the pitch fee under term 20(A1); it must be a �weighty� factor that is it must be a significant extra cost which has a direct effect on the maintenance or management of the site and it would be unreasonable to disallow it. It would be open to residents to dispute such an item if they believed it to be not a �weighty� factor.
In the case of the Hertfordshire park the increase of the site licence fee was not allowed to be passed on to the residents because the Lands Chamber considered the increase to be related to the management of the site.
In the case of the Stoke on Trent park the annual licence fee was allowed to be passed on in the pitch fee because the delay in invoicing the park owner was the fault of the local authority.
The Appeal cases are:
LRX/93/2016 Mrs Toni Vyse v Wyldecrest Parks
LRX/103/2016 Wyldecrest Parks v P. Kenyon & others.
In the event of a motor accident on your park you may find the following of interest.
The Road Traffic Act 1988 section 192(1) states that a *road* for the purposes of the Act means any highway and any other road to which the public have access.
Therefore unless the park has a gate which only residents and specified people can open the Act applies on the park as well.
One of our members has experienced a problem after purchasing a 12 moth warranty to cover call out charges etc. on a boiler. The company providing the warranty contacted the member to say that because he was a park home resident the warranty was invalid. The company stated this was their policy and it was not open for negotiation. The makers of the boiler confirmed a contract could be offered but would not confirm in writing that it was applicable to park home residents.
Unfortunately it would appear that park home residents are still not being treated as equals to those who live in conventional homes so it is emphasised that if you decide to take out a warranty on any goods within the home you check it is applicable to park homes. Ideally you should receive this in writing.
If a warranty does not specifically exclude park homes it should be honoured.
It is a consumer problem and should be addressed through Trading Standards.
We now have this facility available. However this is only if there are no alterations or amendments to your details.
If there are any alterations necessary then your renewal will be carried out in the usual way ie via a cheque to the address shown on the reminder letter.
Bank : HSBC
Account : 01195948
Sort Code : 40 12 18
PLEASE ALSO QUOTE YOUR REFERENCE NUMBER ie GLOS123
Did you know you can reprint your IPHAS membership certificate if necessary. Once you have signed into the members portal you will see the certificates button on the blue ribbon. Click on this insert the required information and hey presto!! Distributors can also use this facility for any of their members.
The government has supported a home safety initiative which aims to encourage consumers to register their home appliances so that they can be contacted in case of a product safety repair or recall. An information sheet can be downloaded here http://www.iphas.co.uk/documents/Registermyappliance_Informationsheet.pdf
AMDEA (The Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances has created a website http://www.registermyappliance.org.uk to make it easier for the public to register all their appliances from one website portal. While the incidence of product recall is rare it is very important for the safety of owners in their homes - if your product isnt registered you cant be contacted.
They do live in various areas around the country giving their time willingly and freely to help members but as volunteers they are not office based with office hours.
Please do understand that whilst Advisors usually try to give a response to a members question as soon as possible this may not always be possible due to other commitments they may have.
However do rest assured that our Advisors are totally committed to helping our members.
From the 4th February 2014 new regulations come into force requiring park owners to register the park rules with the local authority by 4th February 2015. This will ensure that only one set of rules will apply and will be available to all. The regulations also ban certain rules considered unfair. The existing park rules made before 26 May 2013 stay in force until 5th February 2015 or 21 days after the residents have been notified that the new rules have been deposited with the local authority whichever is the sooner. If no rules are deposited with the local authority then the existing rules called �pre-commencement rules� cease to have effect on 5th February 2015. The park owner is not allowed to change add amend or delete any of the pre-commencement park rules after 26 May 2013.
Before they can be lodged with the local authority the park rules have to be agreed with the residents by a consultation process. The park owner must use the form in Schedule 1 of the S.I.2014 No.5 The Mobile Homes (Site Rules) Regulations 2014 to propose the new park rules. The Proposal Notice with rules must be sent to every home and to the Qualifying Residents Association if there is one. The proposed rules need not be amendments to the existing park rules although they would obviously contain matters which are in the existing park rules. The BH&HPA have issued guidance and model park rules to their members so these park owners will probably base their proposed park rules on these model rules.
The residents and residents association have 28 days in which to respond. They should write a letter stating which rules they object to and the reason. It would be helpful if they suggest an alternative wording of the park rule which they would accept. The response should be from each and every occupier one per home and one from the residents association. It may be tempting to write a collective letter but the disadvantage of this is that some park rules may be controversial and may be agreed by some residents and not by others for example an age limit may be considered good by some residents and unfair by others. The park owner needs to know exactly the strength of feeling either way. It is also important to show that older vulnerable residents have not been pressured into �going along with the majority� and the best way would be for each occupier to write separately. Of course there is nothing against a residents association assisting by issuing a standard letter with a framework in which the resident can indicate their preference for or against each rule.
After the park owner has received the responses he has 21 days from the last consultation day in which to issue a Consultation Response Document (Schedule 2) which will contain his final version of the park rules. This document must be sent to every home and to the residents association.
If residents dispute the decisions in the document and believe them to be unreasonable or contrary to the Regulations they must apply to the First-tier Tribunal Property Chamber within 21 days of receipt of the Consultation Response document using Form PH15 and notify the park owner of the application.
After 28 days from receipt of the Consultation Response document but within 42 days the park owner should deposit the park rules with the local authority. He must notify the residents of the deposit within 7 days of doing so using Schedule 3. The new rules come into effect 21 days later.
When the Park Rules are finalised and deposited with the LA they become part of the Express terms of the agreement and are binding on the residents. If at a later date the park owner wants to change a rule then he must follow the procedure in the Regulations as above and when completed will lodge the park rules with the LA and notify the residents using Schedule 3.
From 26 July 2013 a pitch fee review notice must be accompanied by a form explaining the increase. The form to be used in a review is now available for download at
There are two versions (one for completion on- line the other for printing and completion by hand).
It is also important to note that the form accompanies the review notice. If the form is served without a review notice the review would be invalid.
The review notice itself can simply state the new pitch fee, the amount of increase and the date the increased pitch fee is payable from.
The Fact Sheets issued in 2009 were made out of date by the new legislation which came into force in April 2011. Further legislation - the Mobile Homes Act 2013 - has introduced a number of forms for selling homes and for the pitch fee review and for changing park rules. These factsheets and forms are available for download from their website: http://www.gov.uk/government/collections/park-homes
The Fact Sheets are:
Park Homes: Know your rights
Selling a Home
Buying a home
Qualifying Residents Associations
Disputes and proceedings
Consolidated Implied Terms
The forms are for:
Selling gifting and buying a home
Pitch fee review
These fact sheets only apply to England at this time. No paper copies will be available from the government. We suggest that you may wish to provide copies for your non computerised friends and neighbours.
IPHAS ADVISOR on line
In an attempt to cut down on paper usage we want to ask our registered members if you would consider opting out of receiving the paper version of The Advisor and read it (and print it out if preferred) on your own computer. We can now offer this same online service to Block Members as well as Individual Members.
To do this you would just have to log into the Members Portal at http://www.iphas.co.uk/members and choose Update My Details from the menu.
If you would like to do this and help us to go green by saving paper ink and postage please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the following details:
Name email address membership number and park registration number.