Residents of Leisure Park Homes

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 4:30 pm on 27th February 2019.

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Photo of Helen Whately Helen Whately Vice-Chair, Conservative Party 4:30 pm, 27th February 2019

I have heard the same thing. It is as if my hon. Friend had seen my speech in advance—although I know he has not—because we have clearly come to some of the same conclusions.

I reiterate that where the law does not work and enforcement does not happen, the industry overall gets a bad name. As a consequence, individuals’ dreams of an idyllic retirement in a country or coastal setting turns into a nightmare. One specific reason for that is because the owners of a holiday park home do not own the land that they live on; they are simply leasing the caravan or the mobile home on that land. People think that they are signing up to own the property in the long term, but they are actually signing a short-term lease, which can be for as short a time as 12 years. As they are leaseholders, they are covered only by consumer protection legislation, not wider housing laws.

Under the Mobile Homes Act 2013, local authorities have powers to issue notices to residential site owners when the site is not kept in a good condition. They can be fined up to £5,000 for failure to comply with those notices. The Act also gives councils emergency powers to enter sites at short notice to enforce those notices. Holiday park homes are excluded from the Act, however, so although it has helped to reduce exploitation on residential sites, that exploitation seems to have shifted to holiday home sites. Solving one problem appears to have created another.