We are seeing an increasing trend in clients buying Static Holiday Caravans on 12 Month Holiday Parks but being misrepresented as Residential Mobile Homes!!
This is something that can easily be avoided if the potential buyer applies a bit of common sense.
Firstly get a solicitor involved! You might think you don’t need one and the park might tell you the same but it really could save you a lot of expense and hassle and they would immediately find out whether the home you are being sold is actually a Residential Park Home designed for Residential use and on a Residential Licensed Park or its a Holiday Home on a 12 Month Holiday Park.
Like most things, you could do all this yourself and check with the council about the licence and check with the manufacturers to see if that home is designed to BSEN3632 standards, that’s residential standards to you and I or whether it’s a holiday home designed to only be used for holiday purposes and really you shouldn’t have to do this as the Park should be open and honest and the good ones are.
But like most things there are always those that will misrepresent the truth. They wont openly lie to you but they will leave you with the impression that you can live there. The usual message is to keep stressing that it has a 12 month licence and is open all year round. It may have a 12 month licence but only for holiday use!!!! Don’t fall for this. Best to get a solicitor involved.
There are also certain things you should be aware of before buying a Park Home and again a solicitor and possibly a park home specialist surveyor should be involved. things to remember are:
Insurance – That an insurer may not cover things that have happened before you took purchase of the home, they wont cover defective workmanship so its important to check your home is sound before you buy it. Why should you insurer cover items because you didn’t check before buying your home. Get a survey.
Pitch Fees – You have bought the home but not the pitch. The pitch is still owned by the site Owner and he will charge you a pitch fee for living on his land. You need to be aware of this going into the contract. What that pitch fee is will depend on the park. Check before you buy.
Utilities – These are separate but may be supplied through the park.
Council Tax – You must pay to the council. Again if there is no charge for council tax, chances are you are on a holiday park but don’t rely on the fact people pay council tax as a sign that it is a residential park; some councils just want the money. Check the licence
Site Rules – You are living on someone else’s land and they have certain rules you must comply with. This is mainly for the general good of the park itself like maintaining your plot and park home
Commission – Always a favourite gripe this one. When you buy a park home the park owner is entitled to 10% commission on the sale price; if you sell the park home they likewise take 10%. They are arguments for and against this but the facts remains they take 10% so when you buy a Park Home and sign that contract with this written in it you don’t really have a leg to stand on.
Park Owners – Just like people there are good and bad ones so ask around, do a google for the owners name and then look them up. Ask around on the park about the site manager and owner; a good park owner wont mind as they will be proud of their reputation, a bad one, not so much. There are thousands of parks around and its best to go on one that has a good reputation so do your research not just on the park but the owner as well.
Basically do your research and get a solicitor and survey carried out and you wont go far wrong.
For more information click here for the Governments guide for buying a Park Home