The Mobile Homes Act 2013 amends the law in relation to residential sites. Residential caravan sites are more often now known as Mobile Homes or Park Homes sites.
The mobile homes fees policy was approved by Full Council on 23 September 2015 and is effective from 1 October 2015.
The key measures which come into force on 1 April 2014 are as follows:
- Current licences will remain in force, but new enforcement powers will apply.
- A local authority can refuse to grant a licence or approve a transfer of one when a site changes hands. In deciding on this point, the Council will have regard to matters prescribed in regulations.
- The Council can charge a fee for considering applications for the grant or transfer of a licence. They will also be able to charge an annual fee for monitoring and administration of existing site licences.
- Where a site owner is in breach of a condition of a site licence, the Council can serve a compliance notice, which sets out the steps required for the breach to be remedied. The Council will also have works in default powers.
- The Council will be able to recover the costs of taking enforcement action, including works in default. There will also be powers for an authority to force a sale to recover costs and charges if the site owner fails to pay them when required.
- Failure to take action required under a compliance notice will be a criminal offence, and on conviction, a site owner will face a fine which will not be limited by law. Penalties for operating a site without a licence will not be limited by law. Directors of companies will also be personally liable for offences related to site licences committed by their companies.
Owners of residential sites intending to sell them soon, or prospective buyers of such sites, are advised to contact the Council to discuss the implications for them well before any site sale.