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Mobile Homes (Wales) Act 2013

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A consultation about whether the maximum commission rate of 10%, currently chargeable on the sale of every park home should be retained, changed, or abolished has been published.
The aim of the research is undertake a comprehensive independent assessment of the economics of the park home industry in Wales.
This consultation has closed. The summary of responses is now available.
This is a summary of the consultation on the draft regulations being made under the Mobile Homes (Wales) Act 2013.

This law updates the existing law, originally put in place in the 1960s for residential mobile homes.

The rights of mobile home owners are covered by specific mobile homes legislation. This is because although mobile home owners own their own home, a site operator owns the land it stands on. The mobile home owner pays rent to the site operator for use of the pitch.

Mobile Homes (Wales) Act 2013

The Mobile Homes (Wales) Act 2013 came into force on 1 October 2014. It is designed to help improve regulation of the industry, so that conditions on mobile home sites are improved and the rights of residents are better protected.

The main features of the new law are:

  • site owners will be required to apply for a licence from their local authority to operate a site. The licence will last up to 5 years
  • site managers will need to pass a ‘fit and proper person’ test before being awarded a licence
  • site owners will no longer be able to block the sale of a mobile home. The mobile home owner will be free to sell their home to who they wish
  • local authorities will be able to inspect sites and issue a fixed penalty notice to site owners if conditions on the site are not kept properly
  • in more serious instances, local authorities will be able to issue the site owners with a compliance notice to make sure that site conditions are upheld
  • pitch fees can only be increased in line with the Consumer Prices Index
  • site owners and residents will be able to appeal to the Residential Property Tribunal in certain circumstances.

A copy of the new Mobile Homes (Wales) Act 2013 and the Explanatory Notes to the Act can be found on the National Assembly for Wales website (external link).

Explanatory Memorandum

The Explanatory Memorandum sets out the background to the provisions and scope of the Mobile Homes (Wales) 2013 Act.

Implementation

Although the Bill became law in November 2013, there was a transition period of nearly 12 months before all the provisions came into force on 1 October 2014. From 1 October local authorities have 6 months to relicense all sites (by 1 April 2015) and site owners will have 12 months to make and lodge new site rules (by 1 October 2015).

Holiday Caravans

Holiday caravan sites operate under a different system of regulation and are normally only licensed for use by residents for 8 to 10 months. The Mobile Homes (Wales) Act 2013 does not apply to holiday caravans.

If you have a query regarding holiday caravans, then please email quality.tourism@wales.gsi.gov.uk

Site licenses

All mobile homes sites must have a site licence issued by the local authority on a park with relevant planning permission. Local authorities have 6 months to revoke and relicense all sites by 1 April 2015.

Model Standards

The Model Standards 2008 for Caravan Sites in Wales are the conditions, 'normally expected as a matter of good practice on sites.' They apply only to residential caravans and can cover areas such as the layout of mobile home parks and the provision of facilities, services and equipment for them. These standards introduced a number of changes, the most significant relating to:

  • dealing with park site boundaries
  • making clearer what should and shouldn't be allowed within the 6 metre separation space between homes
  • permitting a single car to be parked between homes
  • requiring a concrete hardstanding for all homes
  • extending park drainage requirements to include the pitch
  • making sure that common areas of the site are maintained in a good condition
  • setting out the minimum standards required for the supply of water, electricity, drainage and sanitation
  • making it clear that land allocated for recreational space is required only when children live on the park.

To contact the mobile homes team please email: PrivateSectorHousingMailbox@wales.gsi.gov.uk