The Caravan Sites Act 1968 and the Mobile Homes Act 1983 (as amended by the Housing Act 2004), set out the rights and obligations of site owners and park residents. GOV.UK guidance: Mobile Homes: A Guide for Residents and Site Owners.
Residents cannot be forced to leave the park or have their mobile home removed unless the park owner has given due notice and obtains an eviction order from the court. A court may agree to end the agreement, but can suspend the order to evict for up to 12 months unless it is a council-owned site. It is a criminal offence for anyone to be made to leave without a court order, or to try to make a resident leave by threats, violence, withholding services such as water or gas, or any other sort of harassment.
The site owner may not harass renters by committing acts likely to interfere with their peace or comfort or withhold services causing renters to abandon occupation of the caravan.
The rights of the renter will depend on whether they have a licence or a tenancy and the nature of the tenancy. Renters are likely to hold an assured shorthold tenancy even if they have not been given one. Providing renters comply with the terms of tenancy, a landlord cannot evict a renter without giving two months' notice to seek possession of the property. If the renter does not then leave, the park owner must seek a possession order from the courts to require the renter to leave. If the owner is successful, the court may require the renter to pay the cost of the court action.
Mobile homes vary and subject to their permanency (wheels removed and connected to mains services) the Council may be able to improve poor conditions under the Housing, Health and Safety Rating System ( Housing Act 2004).
The site licence will confirm the space that there should be between each caravan - this is in order to reduce the risk of a fire spreading. This means it's important to get permission from the park owner before building any porches, sheds or other structures. Without permission, the park operator could get a court order for the possession of the mobile home. Planning permission may also be needed for any changes made.
To report a breach of a mobile home licence firstly, contact the site owner. If the site owner refuses to meet with the conditions, contact Environment and Housing Enforcement. We will, in any case, inspect the site once a year to check that the site conditions are met.
Park rules are not covered by the site licence and are an issue between the site owner and resident. Advice may be sought from the Citizens Advice Bureau, solicitor or other advisory body.
If a park operator wants to move a mobile home, they must make an application to the court, unless they wish to move the home due to essential or emergency repairs. The court must be satisfied that the move is reasonable. In addition, the new pitch must be as good as the original pitch and the park operator is liable for any costs incurred during the move.
If the home is to be moved for repairs to the base, the park operator must return the home to its original pitch on completion of the repairs if the resident requires or the court orders.