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Caravan/Lodge Holiday Homes: Your Questions Answered...
 
Tuesday, 17 Oct 2017

Frequently asked questions about caravan/lodge holiday homes


 

GENERAL FAQs

How long can I keep my caravan holiday home on the park?

The period of tenure for each privately-owned caravan holiday home will vary. When you buy a new home, the licence agreement should have a start and end date clearly defined.

Do I need insurance for my caravan holiday home?

Insurance is very strongly recommended. It may be provided through the park or it may be purchased separately. You should ensure that your belongings are covered, too. Go to the insurance page to find companies that specialise in caravan insurance - note most policies do not cover alternative accommodation if your home is rendered uninhabitable.

Can I occupy the caravan holiday home permanently throughout the year?

Caravan holiday homes must not be used as permanent residences. A holiday park's site licence (and the consumer's licence agreement) will specify that the park is for holiday use only. All residents must have a permanent address elsewhere. Park homes on a residential park can be lived in permanently. BUYING FAQs

Where can I buy a caravan holiday home/lodge?

Holiday homes, either new or second hand, can be bought from the owner or operator of a licensed holiday park of your choice. Alternatively, you can choose to visit a distributor where you can see a range of homes that can be sited on a variety of parks.

What are the costs of owning a caravan holiday home?

There will be an annual pitch fee - your park manager or operator will be able to clarify what is included. Some additional services you may be charged for by your park operator include gas/oil, electricity, water, sewerage and insurance.

Do I need to pay council tax on my caravan holiday home?

Owners of holiday homes pay a contribution towards the business rates of the holiday park and are therefore not required to pay Council Tax. (Payment of Council Tax or the receipt of housing benefit to help with pitch fees would suggest that the holiday home is being used as a permanent main residence, rather than as a holiday home and this would be in breach of your agreement with the park).

How can I finance the purchase of my caravan holiday home?

There are companies that specialise in finance arrangements for leisure accommodation - see the NCC finance page.

Do I pay stamp duty when I buy my caravan holiday home?

No, because you do not own the land.

What charges am I liable for when I sell my caravan holiday home?

If you sell your caravan on site, and the agreement is assigned with the park owner's consent, a commission of up to 15% (plus VAT) may be payable. If your caravan is moved off the site, you may need to pay a proportion of the annual pitch fee, depending on how much notice you give. You may also be charged fees to disconnect services.

LEGAL FAQs

Can I rent out my caravan holiday home when I'm not there?

Check with the park owner. Some parks prohibit it but others encourage it and even handle the business on your behalf, for a fee.

Should I have a licence agreement when I buy a caravan holiday home?

It is strongly recommended that you do. Park operators who are members of the NCC offer a licence agreement that clearly outlines your rights and obligations.

What is covered in a licence agreement?

It governs how long you can keep your caravan on the park, the amount of pitch fees and how they are determined, plus the rules for selling your home. You should also be given a copy of the park rules.

What is wrong with living in a caravan holiday home?

In a worst-case scenario, you could be evicted and the park could lose its licence. Caravan holiday homes are designed for leisure use and the park will only have a licence for holiday occupation. You will also not have the protection of the Mobile Homes Act (see below) and the Housing Act.

Do the Mobile Homes Act 1983 and 2013 apply to holiday parks?

No, this legislation was designed to protect the rights of owners of residential park homes on licensed residential home parks. They do not apply to caravan holiday homes sited on holiday parks. So if you do want to live in a caravan, it is really important that you chose a park that is licensed for residential use.

What is the legal definition of a lodge?

There is none - it is a marketing term with no definition in law! Most lodges are built to the standards that govern the manufacture of caravans (EN 1647 or BS 3632). If the park is licensed as a caravan park, it is important that the homes on it comply with the statutory definition of a caravan, otherwise it could constitute a breach of the site licence.

Do I own the land?

No, but when you buy, you will be offered an agreement by the park to keep the caravan on the land for a specified length of time. Where can I find a guide on agreements between the park and the consumer? The OFT has produced a Guide to unfair terms in agreements for holiday homes - See Buying Guide > Professional Services > Legal.

SITING FAQs

Where can I site my caravan holiday home?

Normally, a caravan holiday home must be sited within a licensed holiday park.

Do I need planning permission to site a caravan holiday home on private land?

If you wish to site it on your own land, planning permission should be sought.

How do I arrange to get my home sited?

If it is being sited on a park, this will normally be arranged via the park operator who will ensure that all the manufacturer’s instructions are adhered to and that Health & Safety requirements are met during the operation.

How do I arrange for a home to be sited on private land, or moved from a park?

If the home is being moved or sited on private land, you must use a specialist company - there are several in membership of the NCC - not least to ensure that the manufacturer's warranty is not compromised. If you are moving a caravan off a park, the park operator may charge a fee to disconnect your home from services, especially gas, sewage and water. Again, this needs to be done by a competent professional.

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