Setting up a Residents Association
Why an Association?
The Site Owners Federation, the BH & HPA recommend to their members that they encourage the forming of a Residents Association.
In the new legislation, Paragraph 22 (e) if the Site Owner wishes to take into consideration at the next pitch fee review, matters concerning improvements to the site he must consult with the association.
How to start.
Having ascertained there are sufficient members interested in the formation of an association, appoint someone to organise a meeting place (usually off site) and to notify each household of the time and place.
For the meeting a Chairperson is required. Not necessarily someone willing to serve on the Committee. This Chairperson will be required to organize the election of persons willing to serve on the Committee. It can be very helpful if these persons are are nominated and seconded beforehand, using a nomination form can help speed up the process. All that is then necessary is for the Chair to read out the proposal form and ask for a vote in favour (or otherwise) of the nominee.
* It should be noted that there is an obligation for the Park Owners to recognise an Association which has more than 50% of owner occupied homes in membership which qualifies under the Mobile Homes Act 1983 (as amended) Schedule 1 Part 3, as a Qualifying Residents Association (QRA). If they refuse to recognise you can go to the Tribunal.
The Association must...
Represent owner occupiers of mobile homes on the site.
Be independent from the owner, any members of his family, agent or employees.
Maintain a list of members which is open to the public and available for inspection along with the constitution and rules (if any).
Have a Chairperson who's duties are...
To chair meetings in an orderly manner in accordance with Committee Chair rules of procedure. Be aware of activities carried out in the name of the association, consult with other Committee Members and assist the Secretary prepare agendas for the meetings. Conduct the business of meetings in order of the agenda, confine discussions to items on the agenda, ensure fair discussion, only one person speaks at one time and all remarks are made through the Chair.
Have a Secretary.
Preferably someone with access to a typewriter. Who should deal with all correspondence concerning the association. Notify those attending a meeting of correspondence received and action taken. The Secretary will be responsible for booking premises for meetings, notifying the membership about a week prior to a meeting, of the date, time and place of any meetings. Preparing an agenda for such meetings in conjunction with the Chairman. Preparing Minutes of the previous meeting for presenting to the meeting. Take notes of proceedings at meetings (if a Minutes Secretary is not appointed) and enter reports in a Minutes Book. If desired by the membership prepare copies of Minutes for each succeeding meeting. Keep up to date records of Committee Members and also the membership.
Have a Treasurer.
Preferably someone with a little knowledge of book-keeping. They will be responsible for accounting all money transactions of the association, opening up an Account and obtaining a Mandate Form from the bank to obtain signatures of those authorized to sign bank transactions on behalf of the association. Usually the Treasurer, Chair and Secretary, but not necessarily those. Proper records of all transactions in one accounts book is the ultimate aim for any Treasurer. Regular reports to the Committee and Members at meetings is desirable.
Election to the Committee. According to the booklet:
"The Right Way to Conduct Meetings." by H M Taylor & A G Mears of the Abbey School for Speakers.
The Chairman if elected direct into the office, has a casting vote only.
Elected as a committee member first, he has a members vote plus a casting one.
The Secretary and Treasurer if elected direct to these offices have no vote.
If elected to the committee first, they are both entitled to vote.
I therefore advise electing your committee and letting them sort out who holds which post. Unfortunately some people do not agree with me, you are the ones in a position to decide for yourselves.
Adopting a Constitution.
The newly appointed Chairperson should then proceed with the adoption of a Constitution. We have included in this page a copy of a constitution agreed by the Government, the industry and Residents representatives. The BH & HPA and NCC members cannot refuse to accept this version.
It is open for the three appointed committee if they so desire, to draw up association rules in addition to the Constitution, rules are not a necessity but can be added at a later date to cover something not in the constitution.
DO NOT make your committee too large, two up to six is ideal and easier managed.
Many people would be willing to help but do not want to be on a committee.
If you have a large park with many roads / streets, then you could cover additional helpers with a rule stating they are responsible for a certain area for the purposes of collection / distribution.
Make life easier for everyone.
Click here for the Model Constitution... this will download as a word document. Please save the document. If preferred you can email firstname.lastname@example.org for a hard copy of the Constitution.
When you form a qualifying association (QRA) the secretary should write to the site owner.
Mr/Mrs (Site Owner)
The residents on ............................................ Park have formed a Qualifying Residents Association in accordance with Paragraph 28 of the Implied Terms of the Mobile Homes Act 1983 (as amended) Schedule 1 Part 3.
.................residents have joined. this gives us a membership of over 50% of the owner occupied homes on the park.
A copy of a list of signatures of residents applying for membership of the association may be viewed at ..................... by appointment in accordance with Implied Terms 28 (1) (e).
A copy of our adopted Constitution is enclosed which is the BH&HPA, NCC and National Residents Associations agreed version.
We write to ask if you would confirm in writing that you recognise our
QUALIFYING RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION
They are only allowed to VIEW the membership list, they have no right in law to have a copy.
Where associations have adopted the "Approved Constitution", the first line of Clause 9 (Voting) should be amended at your next AGM to read,,,
Only one member per owner-occupied park home may vote at meetings of the Association.
Motions formally raised at a General Meeting shall be decided upon by a simple majority of those present, except those relating to the Constitution which will require a two-thirds majority, one vote per park home.
A resolution shall be decided on a show of hands unless a ballot is demanded;
a)by the Chairman of the meeting, or
b)by a proposal from a member which is seconded and passed by a majority vote.
If the Site Owner does not recognise your Qualifying Residents Association, you can apply to the First Tier Property Chamber for recognition. Here are a few decision in cases where the Residents Association have applied.
BIR/31UB/PHK/2013/0001 Castlewood Residents' Association.
BIR/00FN/PHK/2011/0001 Bramfield Park Residents' Association.
CHI/00HE/PHK/2012/0003 Manor Park Residents' Association.