Wales

Updating Mobile Home Laws

The Welsh Assembly have issued seven new pamphlets updating Mobile Home Laws.  We have these in the form of a booklet if you would like a copy.
By joining NAPHR you will receive a free copy.
For more information on the benefits of joining NAPHR and details of how to join please see our membership page
Membership is only £5 per home per annum.

Mobile Homes Act

The rights of mobile home owners are covered by specific Mobile Homes legislation.

Mobile Homes are used by their owners all year round as their permanent home of a residential caravan site, often known as 'parks'.

There are around 3,500 mobile homes located on 92 sites across Wales, housing an estimated 5,000 residents.  They are often a popular retirement choice for older people.

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 National Assembly for Wales recently passed a new law - the Mobile Homes (Wales) Act 2013 which came into force on the 4th November 2013.

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

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 will 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.
For more information please email: mobilehomeswalesbill@wales.gsi.gov.uk

Explanatory Memorandum

The Explanatory Memorandum sets out the background to the provisions and scope of the Mobile Homes (Wales) 2013 Act.  It was prepared by Peter Black AM, in consultation with the Welsh Government and was laid before the National Assembly for  Wales during the preparation of the Bill and to assist Assembly Members in it's scrutiny.

Implementation

Although the Bill has now become law, there will be a transition period of 12 months for all the provisions to come into force.  It is expected that the initial implementation period will completed by October 2014.  In that time, local authorities will need to make sure they meet the requirements of the new law.  As part of this, they will re-license all mobile home parks in Wales.

Holiday Caravans

Holiday caravan sites operate under a different system of regulation and are normally only licensed for use by residents for eight to 10 months.  Darren Millar AM is currently consulting on possible changes to the current holiday park licensing system.

How are sites licensed?

All mobile homes sites must have a site licence issued by the local authority on a park with relevant planning permission.  Existing site licenses issued under the original Caravan and Control of Development Act 1960 will remain in force.  Local authorities will be given a six month period to revoke and re-license sites before October 2014.

What are Model Standards?

The Model Standards 2008 for Caravan Sties 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 six 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.
A copy of the Model Standards 2008 can be found here.