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HouseWorth
© GetAgent Limited 2024
  1. Blog
  2. How easy is it to sell a park home?
Advice about properties
16 August 2023

How easy is it to sell a park home?

Kimberley Taylor
Writer & Researcher

Table of contents

  1. 1. What is a park home?
  2. 2. Site licence and conditions
  3. 3. Residential sites
  4. 4. Holiday sites
  5. 5. Mixed use sites
  6. 6. Rights and protections for park home owners
  7. 7. Costs of park homes
  8. 8. Eviction
  9. 9. Selling a park home
  10. 10. How easy is it to sell a park home?
  11. 11. Summary: Park the nerves, clean the curbs

Some people may assume selling a park home is a stressful experience. It's not a traditional home, and there are other things to think about, from licensing and pitch fees to site rules and conditions. But selling a park home doesn't have to be all doom and gloom.

In fact, there are plenty of similarities between preparing a park home and traditional home for prospective buyers, from decluttering and sprucing up your garden, to finally finishing the repairs and other odd jobs you've been putting off over the years.

So really, how easy is it to sell a park home? What's the selling process like, and how can you speed up a sale?

What is a park home?

Park homes are mobile homes located on a protected site. Often, people will live in park homes as their permanent residence as they include all the usual home amenities from bedrooms and living rooms to bathrooms and kitchens. Though park homes are designed to be mobile, they usually stay in the same location because they're used for long-term residency.

Unlike traditional properties, a park home owner owns the home itself, but isn't the land owner. A site owner owns the land the park home sits on, and the park home owner will pay monthly rent for a pitch from the site owner.

Site owners

A site owner must have planning permission, as well as a site licence issued by the local authority. The site licence will state whether the site is a fully residential park or a holiday park, or both.

Site rules

The site owner must give you a written copy of the site rules, terms and conditions. These will usually cover parking arrangements, satellite dishes and television aerials, as well as if children and pets are allowed.

Site licence and conditions

The site licence and conditions of the site will include whether the home is for holiday or residential use. Both certificates will need to be displayed in an obvious place on the site, for example near the entrance or on a noticeboard. If you can't find the site licence, you can also ask for a copy from the local authority who must keep a register of all site licences. Other details will include:

  • The services and amenities on the site.
  • Health and safety conditions.
  • The maximum number of homes allowed in the park.

Residential sites

There are a number of different types of sites, all of which have different criteria. Residential sites, also known as protected sites, must be licensed by the local council. You can't be convicted from a residential park with a reason and a court order, and the site owner can't harass you or interfere with your rights to sell your park home or give it to a member of your family.

Holiday sites

Holiday sites, otherwise known as unprotected sites, are for temporary living. You can't live on a holiday site all year round, and you'll have fewer rights than on a residential site even though they are still licensed by the council.

Mixed use sites

Mixed use sites do what they say on the tin. They will have licences for residential and holiday use, and different parts of the park may be separated according to what type of park homes they hold.

Rights and protections for park home owners

If your park home is your main or only residence, and is located on a protected site, you're entitled to a number of rights and protection under mobile home law.

Costs of park homes

As a park home owner, you need to think about the different costs that come with owning a mobile home.

Pitch fees

You'll need to pay a pitch fee to the site owner, which is usually paid monthly. If a site owner wants to increase the pitch fee, they have to give you 28 days' notice, and they can only do it once a year. You can also claim benefits to help pay your pitch fee if your mobile home is your permanent residence.

Utility charges

Utility charges may be included as part of your pitch fee, but they can sometimes come as a separate charge. The terms for your water, gas, electricity or LPG should be in your written agreement. The site owner cannot make a profit from selling on water, gas or electricity, but LPG isn't regulated in the same way.

Council tax

If you live in your park home, rather than use it as a holiday home, you need to pay council tax. Owners on a low income can apply for a council tax reduction, and if you live by yourself you can apply for a single person's 25% discount.

Repairs and upkeep

As the owner, you're responsible for the repairs and upkeep of your mobile home, as well as the fences or outbuildings you own or have on your pitch.

On the other hand, site owners are responsible for the upkeep of shared areas, repairs to the hardstanding area (where park homes sit) and the services they supply like sewerage.

Eviction

If a site owner wants to evict you, they have to get a court order, which will only be granted if it's reasonable to end your agreement. Causes for eviction may include:

  • Unpaid pitch fees.

Antisocial behaviour or other violations of site rules.

  • Breached agreement terms.
  • The mobile home isn't your only or main residence.
  • The mobile home is in very poor condition.

Selling a park home

There's no legal requirement to sell your park home with the site owner's consent. However, the buyer must pay 10% of the agreed sale price to the site owner, which is deducted from the amount they pay you, the seller. For example, if your agreed sale price is £150,000, you'll get £135,000, and the site owner will get £15,000.

There are other ways to transfer ownership of your park home beyond selling it, such as:

Passing on your home and pitch when you die

In the event of your passing, you can pass your park home and your pitch agreement along to a partner or other family member you live with. If you pass your home to someone who doesn't live with you, they don't have an automatic right to take over the property, so would need the consent of the site owner, and a new agreement may have to be drawn up.

Giving a mobile park home away

You also have the option to give your home to a spouse, civil partner or family member during your lifetime, but they have to live there as their main home. To transfer ownership, you need to complete a Notice of Proposed Gift form that outlines how you're related to the new owner.

How easy is it to sell a park home?

The ease of selling a park home depends on a large variety of factors. But generally speaking, it's usually slightly trickier to sell a park home than it is to sell a more traditional property.

Before 2013, site owners had right of first refusal, which meant they had control over who people sold their park homes to, which caused delays in the selling process, as well as mistreatment of park home owners. The Mobile Homes Act 2013 changed the game to make sure they were being treated more fairly. Sellers can now sell their property on the open market and aren't restricted when it comes to who they want to sell their park homes to.

Buyers and sellers also have more responsibility when it comes to making sure transactions are completed properly and legally.

Research your rights

If you bought a park home before 26th May 2013, your site owner will have more say in who can buy your home, which means they can veto a buyer and delay the sale process. You have to notify the site owner that someone wants to buy your park home by sending a Notice of Proposed Sale form. The site owner then has 21 days to decide whether to approve the sale or not.

If they want to object to the sale, they have to make an application to the tribunal for a Refusal Order, but they can only do this if the new buyer doesn't meet existing site rules (such as age, pets, or more vehicles than allowed). If the site owner has applied for a Refusal Order, you need to put your sale on hold until a decision is made. If they accept the application, you have to start the sales process again with a different buyer.

The Mobile Homes Act 2013

As we briefly touched on earlier, The Mobile Homes Act 2013 was designed to give park home owners more rights and protection, including when it comes to selling your park home.

Park homes bought on or after 26th May 2013 can be sold on the open market or passed on to any familial relation. Park owners also won't have the right to approve or reject the new owner (unless they break the park rules).

You also don't have to carry out a property survey or have an energy performance certificate (EPC) to sell your park home. However, it's important to be completely transparent with prospective buyers and give them full and accurate information about your property. This includes informing them about if a survey has been carried out; if they request one, you'll need to come to an agreement with them about who covers the arrangements and costs.

This change in law also stopped park owners from being able to:

  • Evict you from your property without a court order.
  • Interfere or prevent you from selling your park home, including stopping you from using an estate agent to help with your sale.
  • Harass or bother you to try and make you leave their park.
  • Force you to carry out a survey on your park home.

Keep your property in good condition

Much like a traditional property, keeping your property in good condition is really important in making a good, fast sale.

Decluttering is a good first step. Prospective buyers want to be able to imagine themselves living in the space, so removing and packing up your belongings is a simple way to make that happen.

Think about curb appeal too. First impressions count, and a potential buyer often makes a decision about a property before they've even walked through the front door. Freshen up the garden and patio area, tidy your pitch, cut the grass, just make sure the exterior is looking top notch.

It's also good to carry out any pesky repairs you've been putting off. They may not be serious repairs, but a new owner will want everything to be in working order when they move in.

Repair fixtures and fittings

As well as smaller repairs, you also need to make sure your fixtures and fittings are in good nick, as well as giving the exterior walls a quality finish and good recoating.

Check the mastic joints between UPVC windows, doors and wall frames. Check for broken windows, as well the paint job of your park home's doors and windows.

Finding a buyer

When you're selling a park home, you can choose whether or not you want to enlist the help of an estate agent or sell privately. You can also try to find a buyer through displaying advertising materials on your pitch (and you don't need permission from the site owner to post your ads). Some park home sites may also offer a sales service which can be really useful.

Completing the selling process

Step one:

Once you've found someone who wants to buy your home, you need to give them** a Buyer's information form.** The form tells them everything they need to know about the park home so they can make an informed decision about their purchase. Whether you give them the buyer's information form in person or via post is up to you, but you have to make sure they receive the documents at least 28 days before the completion date. They'll then decide if they want to purchase the property or not.

You'll also need to provide the buyer with a copy of your Mobile Homes Act Agreement, a copy of the park rules, written details about the bills and charges the park owner is obliged to pay, any surveys carried out in the last year, and a copy of any current warranty for the property.

Step two:

Both the seller and the buyer then need to fill out a Notice Of Proposed Sale form and send both copies to the site owner at least 21 days before the completion date. This form tells the site owner all the details about the proposed sale.

Step three:

The site owner has 21 days to contact the First Tier Tribunal for an Order if they want to prevent the sale. With changes in law caused by the Mobile Homes Act 2013, site owners are quite restricted in preventing a sale, and can only object if the proposed buyer breaks specific park rules.

Step four:

Once your buyer agrees, you'll need to transfer the pitch agreement to complete the sale. Both of you will need to fill out an Assignment form, which confirms the agreed purchase price, the commission payable to the site owner and the new agreement between site owner and park home owner.

You also need to agree to all the final meter readings, as well as any outstanding bills before any money is exchanged.

Step five:

Within the first week of ownership, the new owner must fill out a Notice of Assignment form which gives the park owner details of everyone planning to live in the property and the seller's forwarding address. They'll also need to include the price of the mobile home, both the value of the property and the 10% commission payable to them. And that's it, sale complete!

Summary: Park the nerves, clean the curbs

Though there may seem to be more problems with a park home sale, it may not be as difficult as you think. Thanks to changes in law, it's become much easier for mobile home owners to sell their home without the interference of site owners. It's become much more difficult for a site owner to veto potential buyers, and park home owners have comprehensive rights to protect them.

In many ways, selling your mobile home is very similar to selling traditional properties. Decluttering, boosting your curb appeal, making your home feel brand new for potential buyers.

If you have any doubts about selling your park home, it's always best to consult an expert. Many park home owners seek the advice of an estate agent to help them with the property sale. With our Estate Agent Comparison Tool, you can find the agent to best suit your needs, and that includes finding an estate agent with the track record of helping people sell their park homes. You can check it out on our website today!

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