What is a park home?
Park homes are modern, bungalow-style timber framed, detached homes located on plots/pitches, on privately owned estates. Park Homes come under the definition of a caravan as defined in the 1960 Caravan Act. In law these homes are known as “Mobile Homes” and are covered by their own legislation, The Mobile Homes Act 2013. They are built to comply with British Standard BS 3632, which dictates stringent Health and Safety standards and requires high levels of insulation for year-round occupation. Park Homes are constructed in a workshop and transported to site; they are usually fully furnished with good sized modern interiors.
Do I own the land as well as the park home?
No. Your park home is covered by a unique form of legal tenure under which the park owner continues to own the land on which the home is sited; but you, as the occupier, own the home itself. The Mobile Homes Act 2013 gives you wide-ranging rights allowing you to occupy your pitch on the Park as a resident, almost indefinitely. The legal relationship between you and the owner is governed by a very important agreement known as the “Written Statement Under the Mobile Homes Act 1983”. This agreement is transferred to the new occupier whenever a park home is sold on the Park.
Does the land owner have to comply with any regulations?
Yes. The Park Operator can only sell park homes to be stationed on their site when they have a site licence to do so. The site licence granted by the local authority clearly sets out the terms and conditions with which the Park Operator has to comply, such as how many homes they can have on site and how these homes are to be stationed.
Are there any legal title documents that come with the purchase?
Under the Mobile Homes Act, all prospective owners of park homes purchasing the home from the park owner must receive a written agreement from the park owner at least 28 days before they complete their purchase and move in, to give them time to understand exactly how things will work.
The Written Statement is the most important document you will receive as it sets out the terms on which you are entitled to keep your home on the park and explains your rights in law, as well as, providing a pitch plan that defines your boundaries.
Once the agreement is signed, you will need to keep it in a safe place. If you are buying a used park home, you will take over the existing Written Statement from the outgoing occupier. This will need to be formally transferred to you. You must make sure that the correct procedure is followed when purchasing a pre-owned park home.
Click here to go to the Government web site to find out more about buying previously owned park homes.
What other information should I be provided with?
form part of the conditions of the Mobile Homes Act Licence Agreement and are there to ensure the smooth running of the park.
New homes will have the Manufacturer's Owners' Handbook
for your home, covering items such as how the home should be maintained and information about how to apply for a Gold Shield or Platinum Seal Warranty Certificate.
Is Council Tax payable for park homes and if so how much?
Yes. Council Tax is payable on park homes (as on all residential homes). The amount payable will depend upon the individual Council Tax band assessed by the Council Tax Valuation Office. For further information contact the Council Tax department of Bracknell Forest Council.
Is stamp duty applicable when buying a residential park home?
No. Stamp duty is a tax payable on a transfer, conveyance or lease of land. As a park home owner you do not own the land where the home is sited, so no stamp duty is payable.
Can Park Homes be inherited on an owner’s death?
Just like other property Park Homes can be passed on in a will, but only if the owner was living with his or her family member when death took place, and that they comply with the park rules. The surviving family member can inherit the home and rights under the agreement but must also pay the pitch fee and utility charges. Under these circumstances no money would be payable to transfer the agreement into the surviving partners sole name.
What would happen if I wanted to sell my Park Home?
Just like with bricks and mortar properties, you can market and sell your Park Home to whomever you please so long as they can comply with the park rules. You are responsible for ensuring they can comply, for example if they run a business from home and this is prohibited within the park rules then they should not be considered for purchasing unless they are ceasing to run the business.
There are set government guidelines to help you through a Park Home sale and these can be found on the Government web site.
The main thing to be aware of when selling a Park Home is that a 10% commission is paid to the Park Operator by the incoming resident within 7 days of the sale completing. For example, if a resident sells their home for £100k, £10k would be payable in commission to the park and £90k would be paid to the seller of the home.
Why is there a 10% commission on the re-sale of a park home?
The commission represents that fact that the site’s facilities and pitch add to the re-sale value of the home. It also represents that the value of the home is likely to have increased as a result of the land on which it is stationed increasing in value.
Substantial investment is required in order to maintain and develop a site as large as Warfield Park. The commission values contribute to the investments we make to our infrastructure, such as the roads, the supply of utilities and general up-keep of the park.
Can you get a mortgage for a Park Home?
Mortgages are not available for park homes.
Are there any other charges I should be aware of?
Yes. To occupy a pitch on a park you will need to pay a pitch fee. A pitch fee is paid monthly to the site owner. The pitch fee will form part of the agreement (your Written Statement). It includes charges to cover the site's basic running costs and maintenance. The pitch fee is increased on the same day each year - this is detailed within the written agreement. It is only allowed to increase in line with those factors outlined within the written agreement such as the Retail Price Index. You will also need to make provision for utilities that you use.
Do I need a Solicitor or Surveyor to buy a park home?
There is no legal necessity to appoint a Solicitor or Surveyor when buying a park home. It is recommended that you do seek professional advice to handle the purchase of a new or pre-owned park home. It is also recommended that you get a specialist park home surveyor when buying a previously owned park home. You should also ask the seller about any warranties that apply.
Can you get insurance for Park Homes?
Yes, like any major asset insuring your property is important and there are many companies that will undertake this for you. It is also a condition of the Mobile Homes Act Agreement that the Park Home is insured and it is recommended that the cover be at current market rates.
Can I choose my own home?
On Warfield we very much encourage our customers to design their own new home, we want to make sure that when you buy on Warfield Park you are getting exactly what you want. We will show designs that have previously been chosen and then recommend manufacturers who will tailor make the home of your dreams.