New laws to protect park home owners

MP Mark Menzies today welcomed moves to protect those living in park homes in his Fylde constituency, which come into force this week.

The new laws are designed to give residents the protection they need from site owners  in the event of them failing to fulfil their responsibilities.

Park homes offer many people an affordable opportunity to escape to the country, but some operators have been known to abuse their position to make a profit at their residents’ expense.

In some cases, site owners have misled to prospective purchasers about the conditions of homes and even dug holes around homes to make it impossible for people to sell them on.

The Mobile Homes Act 2013 will give more rights to people who live in a park home on a residential pitch.

It includes a modern reformed local authority licensing regime for park home sites, to ensure councils are properly funded for exercising their powers and have sufficient tools for enforcement action should site owners step out of line.

The new laws will hopefully make underhand tactics a thing of the past and include:

- Removing site owners from the park home buying and selling process, meaning residents cannot be forced to, or prevented from, selling their property.

- Making it harder to impose unexpected charges or changes of site rules.

- Giving local authorities more power to enforce breaches, making it easier to prosecute a site owner who does not fulfil their responsibilities.

The Government has also launched a new national helpline, operated by the Leasehold Advisory Service, for residents to get advice on their rights when selling or gifting their home.

Commenting, Mr Menzies said: “I’m delighted the Government is safeguarding park home residents.

“For too long, in some parts of the country some unscrupulous operators have made residents’ lives a misery, intimidating people and manipulating the rules to turn a quick profit.

“These new protections will close the loopholes to root out the rogue operators and ensure that the overwhelming majority who do run an honest business will continue to flourish.

“Fylde Borough Council will also now have the powers to protect the vulnerable, so park home residents will be able to enjoy their properties in peace.”

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