Holiday lodges & log cabins for sale and rent in the UK

Misuse of Holiday Homes


By choosing to buy a lodge to use as your permanent residence on a holiday park, exposes what for most of us would be our main asset, to great risk. Once the Local Council finds out that holiday homes are being used for residential purposes, they can prosecute the park owner for either breach of his/her Site Licence Conditions or for breach of his/her Planning Consent. They may also serve an Enforcement Order directly upon the resident to remove their lodge from the Park. We do advise you to think very carefully before placing, what is usually most people's largest asset, in such a precarious position.

You will have no protection under law should this happen, whereas if you purchase your home on a park licensed for residential use, should anything untoward happen you will have the full protection of the Mobile Homes Act 1983, amended by the Mobile Homes Act 2013.

A responsible holiday park owner will ask to see proof of your primary address away from the park at regular times, to ensure that no one is breaching their Site Licence Conditions.

Mill Garth Park

So what's happening now?

We all know that Local Councils are strapped for cash and are looking for ways to bring in additional revenue. Local Councils have a legal obligation to charge everyone Council Tax wherever they are living - even if they are not supposed to be where they are!

Many Local Councils across the UK have now employed the use of a company called Capacity Grid, we believe on a commission basis only, to seek out those not paying Council Tax and where better to start looking than on holiday parks! News reaching our office is that they are proving to be very successful.

So what happens if I get caught out?

Within the annual rent you pay the Holiday Park Owner is your proportion of the business rates they are charged. If you get caught there are a number of things that can happen:-

  • You will be charged Council Tax in addition to the Business Rates you already pay.
  • You may receive an enforcement order from the Local Council asking you to remove yourself and your lodge from the park, or at the very least, sell it to someone who will use it as a holiday lodge and not breach the Site Licence Conditions.
  • Once you have been found to be living on the Park, the Park Owner may use their own powers to seek to have you evicted from the park as you will be in breach of the Written Licence Agreement you signed at the time of purchasing the holiday lodge. They will be looking for their own protection, as they will not want to be found in breach of not just their Site Licence Conditions, but also their Planning Restrictions.
Mill Garth Park

Observation

There are without doubt a few dubious sales people in the industry, just the same as many other industries.

They may tell you that they, or the owners, will turn a blind eye to someone openly saying that want to live on the park, but remember, the judge will not take any notice of what might have been said because you probably won't have any proof.

All they will look at is the Written Licence Agreement that you signed, stipulating no residential use.

But I still want to buy a lodge to live in

Sister website to Just Lodges, Park Home Living recognises this and has put together a list of their client parks who will happily sell you a lodge (sometimes with certain parameters, such as the colour of the exterior cladding) to live on their park.

You may not know this, but the specification build is the same for both a lodge and a park home; both are built to British Standard 3632. It is just the exterior that may have a different finish. There are in excess of 1,730 fully residential parks listed on this website all over the UK.

Although it is not a legal requirement, we do recommend the use of a specialist solicitor to conduct your purchase. It really does need to be a solicitor who specialises in park home and holiday park law. You can find Turbervilles Solicitors listed on this website under 'Buy a Lodge'.

You may also like to download the National Caravan Council brochure on the Misuse of Holiday Homes and the British Holiday & Homes Park Association's sample Purchase Agreement and Licence Agreement.

ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS ASK TO SEE THE PARK SITE LICENCE BEFORE YOU COMMIT.

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