– in the Scottish Parliament on 6th October 2022.
5. To ask the Scottish Government how the needs of mobile home residents will be incorporated in the final version of the strategy, “A New Deal for Tenants”. (S6O-01432)
The consultation on our new deal sought views on how we can improve accessibility, standards and affordability across the whole rented sector. The focus of the question on mobile homes was on the issues for people who have standard tenancies on mobile homes that are owned by landlords. It also committed us to a post-implementation review of the mobile home site licensing scheme.
We are now considering our response to the consultation about the issues for renters of mobile homes, to identify potential gaps in protections. That will inform our housing bill.
The draft new deal for tenants underlined that the Scottish Government intends to carry out a post-implementation review of the residential mobile homes site licensing scheme before the end of this session of Parliament. Although that is welcome news to my constituents who live in mobile and park homes, many of them worry that issues concerning enforcement of the licensing scheme are not being addressed quickly enough.
Will the cabinet secretary give an assurance that the needs of mobile home residents will be considered with the same urgency as the needs of those living in other types of residence?
I am committed to ensuring that people living permanently in mobile homes have appropriate protection. The licensing system for residential mobile home sites was introduced in May 2017 and came fully into force in May 2019. It provides local authorities with a range of powers to help them issue, manage and revoke site licences, and to ensure that sites meet modern standards, which includes the behaviour of site owners. Although the review will seek to make improvements in the licensing framework, local authorities remain responsible for enforcing licensing conditions in the meantime. I will be happy to update the member on progress.
Pitch fees for my Cunninghame South constituents who live on mobile sites rise by a maximum of the retail prices index annually. The gap between RPI and the consumer prices index is increasing, with the cost of pitch fees growing faster than pension incomes. Will the Scottish Government address that by basing uprating on CPI?
Mobile home pitch fee increases are regulated under the Mobile Homes Act 1983. That act contains a presumption that pitch fees will rise by a maximum of RPI annually. As the member says, there are concerns that the gap between RPI and CPI is growing, with the result that pitch fees are growing faster than pension incomes. We will therefore undertake the required consultation on moving the basis of uprating from RPI to CPI in time for the coming housing bill. That would slow the rate of pitch fee increases in future. I will be happy to update the member on that.